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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Charity Navigator Shares Charities Farming for a Sustainable Future

Charity Navigator Shares Charities Farming for a Sustainable Future

For most of us, the start of August marks the last few golden weeks of summer--a time to enjoy the warmer weather and take it easy. But for some, the farmers among us, summer marks the busy season--the warm weather signals growth and harvest. Today, in honor of all the hard working farmers who will be found in a field rather than on a beach, we’re taking a look at a handful of highly-rated charities fighting for farmers and a sustainable agricultural future. Check them out below!

One Acre Fund exists to serve farmers and seeks to always put their interests first. They “envision a future in which every farm family has the knowledge and means to achieve big harvests, support healthy families, and cultivate rich soil.” Its goal is to make more farmers more prosperous. The organization estimates that it will serve more than half a million farm families this year!

One Acre Fund supports small farmers in the remote corners of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi. Farming is the primary economic activity for most of the world’s poor, and this 4-star charity seeks to make that activity more fruitful and productive. It aims to do this by financing farm inputs, distributing seed and fertilizer, providing training on agricultural techniques, and facilitating market placement to maximize profits from harvest sales. One Acre Fund is committed to measuring and sharing its impact to better serve its donors and farmers.

In 1985, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert to raise awareness about the loss of small family farms in the United States. The concert also served as a benefit to raise funds to help struggling farmers stay on their land. Since then, Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million to strengthen our farm family system of agriculture.

Farm Aid’s work goes beyond an annual concert and strives to empower farmers every day. It does this by expanding markets for locally grown produce and connecting farmers to local, regional, and national resources to help them succeed. The top-rated charity also advocates for fair farming policies, both locally and nationally, that defend and strengthen farm-centered agriculture. It seeks to provide opportunities for citizens to come alongside farmers and support the individuals and trade our country depends on.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy is committed to working, both locally and globally, at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm, and trade systems. Founded in the mid-1980s, the Institute sought to address the broken policies that led to the United States’ family-farming crisis, which threatened many small farmers’ livelihoods.

Today, the Institute has expanded its scope to advocate for fair farming policies domestically and internationally, as well as for economic, environmental and trade legislation that will have a lasting effect on farmers and markets. This highly-rated organization is committing to advancing practices and legislation that are environmentally responsible and socially just. The organization is currently working on issues related to agriculture, industrialized meat, trade, climate change, and rural development.

Located in Massachusetts, The Farm School helps individuals learn to farm through a year-long program on a working farm. A small class of participants spends a year living and working together--experiencing all aspects of farm and agricultural life. The aim of this program is to inspire people to fall in love with farming, and to learn how to create a sustainable future in the field.

In addition to their full-time adult program, The Farm School offers short-term education opportunities for adults and children. Over the last 15 years, this highly-rated charity has exposed many people to the joys of farming.

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