Our Vision

A sustainable regional food system that is good for all consumers, farmers, farmworkers, and ecosystems.

Our Mission

CFSA advocates, educates, and builds connections to create sustainable food systems in the Carolinas centered on local and organic agriculture.

Our Values

As an organization, we:

  • Commit to serving and reflecting diverse stakeholders for a racially just and equitable food system in the Carolinas.
  • Support the critical role farmers, farmworkers, processors, distributors, research institutions, and consumers have in providing all people in our region with healthy, quality food.
  • Promote holistic, regenerative farming practices that close the carbon cycle and build soil health, crop resilience, and nutrient density.
  • Champion a food system that is secure, resilient, and responsive to climate change and that protects natural resources for future generations.
  • Pledge to provide resources for farmers, producers, purchasers, and policymakers to encourage accountability from the field to the fork.
  • Prioritize fiscal responsibility and value collaboration with partners to leverage resources.

CFSA’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan

Governance & Board Development

Foster a culture of accountable leaders who, sharing knowledge and perspective across diverse disciplines and backgrounds, proactively govern a growing organization through its strategic focus.

  • Ensure an organizational culture that promotes ongoing dialogue about the cultural, structural, and institutional racism in the food and agriculture system and how CFSA will challenge systems of oppression and inequities in that system.
  • Provide a thorough orientation process for new board members that engages new members soon after their election, highlights the strategic plan, and emphasizes CFSA’s expectations of board members, including active service on committees and mutual accountability.
  • Ensure that the board and its committees set yearly goals and regularly assess participation and progress toward those goals.
  • Ensure that board members are educated and empowered to become enthusiastic ambassadors for the organization.
  • Establish yearly fundraising goals for the board to work toward together, including a personal financial contribution commensurate with each board member’s ability to give.
  • Conduct ongoing assessment of board composition in order to facilitate year-round recruitment of motivated prospective board members who represent the diverse communities and cultures of the membership and of the sustainable agriculture community.

Organizational Capacity

Ensure that staff has the knowledge and resources they need to fulfill CFSA’s mission and goals and are supported to progress in their own professional and quality of life goals.

  • Build a diverse staff that honors the agricultural contributions of many cultures and shows organizational commitment to correcting the practices of oppression and inequity in the food and farm system.
  • Ensure as appropriate that staff participates in annual professional development activities, meaningful performance reviews, and training opportunities.
  • Enhance inter-team collaboration and face-to-face access to colleagues through setting cross-team goals.
  • Annually review staffing, technology, and equipment needs to ensure that the organization has the human and capital resources to meet our strategic goals.
  • Monitor and adjust salaries and benefits to ensure that they are competitive and lead nonprofit industry standards.

Sustainable & Resilient Food System

Provide effective support to sustain and grow an environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially just food system.

  • Provide technical assistance to farmers, livestock producers, food hubs, and other regional food system entities to help them increase their sustainability and resilience through workshops, webinars, one-on-one direct assistance, and online and printed materials.
  • Support the ongoing success of small- to medium-sized organic and sustainable farms by conducting applied research to help farmers overcome the obstacles that prevent them from meeting their operations’ goals.
  • Actively partner with historically underserved farmers and organizations to ensure that CFSA’s Farm Services programs meet all farmers’ needs.
  • Work with relevant state and federal agencies and financial and educational institutions to ensure that their programs are meeting the needs of the small- to medium-sized organic and sustainable farms we work with.


Increase knowledge, understanding, and commitment in all aspects of organic, local, and regenerative food and agricultural systems among farmers, the general public, and food system actors.

  • Empower diverse communities to inform educational programming to meet the specific needs of historically underserved audiences.
  • Improve data collection systems for assessing the effectiveness of educational events in order to adapt programming in scope, scale, and model to meet identified needs.
  • Create opportunities for farmers to connect and share their expertise.
  • Leverage existing educational events to engage students in agriculture.
  • Use educational events to grow public support for and reinforce CFSA’s commitment to climate change solutions in agriculture.

Communication & Membership

Enrich the local food community across the Carolinas through increased engagement with CFSA content, programs, events, and membership opportunities.

  • Engage and steward members by creating a sense of community and connection to fellow members, CFSA staff, programs, events, and opportunities.
  • Grow membership by communicating CFSA core values, offering relevant and useful member benefits, and reaching out to new audiences to build a membership that reflects the agricultural contributions and interests of diverse cultures and historically underserved communities.
  • Make CFSA’s advocacy, education, and training accessible through cohesive messaging, branding, and engagement tracking; empower staff and stakeholders to interact with CFSA’s content in useful ways.
  • Tell the story of the impact of Carolina farmers and food systems on sustainable agriculture and on a resilient regional food movement.

Policy & Advocacy

Increase CFSA’s influence and credibility in advancing policies that promote local and organic farms, equitable community-based food systems, and climate resilience in agriculture.

  • Empower the network of grassroots food system leaders in the Carolinas who advocate for local and organic farms, equitable community-based food systems, and climate resilience in agriculture.
  • Partner with organizations representing historically underserved populations to advance policies and programs that address the impacts of structural racism on food and agriculture systems.
  • Harness CFSA’s stakeholder services, members, community connections, and partner organizations to better document the needs of the Carolinas’ sustainable agriculture community and enhance our position as a thought leader in sustainable agriculture policy.
  • Leverage relationships with state and federal agencies, research and land grant institutions, and advocacy allies to implement policies that support our members and our mission.
  • Strengthen CFSA’s ability to effectively engage grassroots stakeholders in state and federal legislative advocacy campaigns and coalitions.

Fund Development

Ensure sufficient financial support to meet our strategic objectives and sustain our commitment to growing the local, organic food system.

  • Expand diversification of funding sources for current and future programming and organizational needs.
  • Grow our operating reserve to cover nine months of non-grant expenses.
  • Collaborate across teams on fundraising initiatives.
  • Increase unrestricted funding so that we can respond to emerging needs and opportunities.