COMMUNITY INVOLVED IN SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE INC

Strengthen farms and engaging the community

aka CISA   |   South Deerfield, MA   |  www.buylocalfood.org

Mission

CISA strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy.

Ruling year info

2000

Executive Director

Philip Korman

Main address

1 Sugarloaf Street

South Deerfield, MA 01373 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3416862

NTEE code info

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (K12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our mission is to strengthen farms and engage the community to build the local food economy in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties and impact the state food economy. Over the next three years, we are focused on growing resilience in farming, the local food economy, and the organization. CISA prioritizes helping farms be viable, fair and just working conditions for owners and workers, respect for the environment, and locally grown food available to all.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Local Hero Program

CISA’S LOCAL HERO PROGRAM PROVIDES EDUCATION AND OUTREACH TO RESIDENTS OF OUR REGION ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF FARMS, FARMING AND LOCAL AGRICULTURE. THE LOCAL HERO PROGRAM REACHES RESIDENTS THROUGH EVENTS, PUBLICATIONS, INDIVIDUAL OUTREACH, PRESS AND CISA’S ONLINE PRESENCE.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
Adults

CISA’S FARM & BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAM PROVIDES TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND EDUCATION TO FARMERS ON ISSUES RELATED TO FARMING, INCLUDING BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, AND CUSTOMER COM-MUNICATION. IN 2017 CISA HAS SPECIFIC FUNDING TO FOCUS ON BEGINNING FARMERS, FARMERS WHO SELL DIRECT TO CONSUMERS, AND WHOLESALE FARMERS. OVER 180 FARMS AND BUSINESSES ATTENDED 57 CISA WORKSHOPS AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CONSULTATIONS.

Population(s) Served
Farmers

THIS PROGRAM RESEARCHES AND SUPPORTS MARKETS THAT ARE AN IMPORTANT BRIDGE BETWEEN COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND FARMERS. THROUGH THIS PROGRAM, CISA EXPANDS MARKET ACCESS FOR FARMERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND PROVIDES LOW-INCOME SENIOR CITIZENS WITH A SHARE OF THE LOCAL HARVEST AND EDUCATES SENIORS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF FRESH, LOCAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS. WE WORK DIRECTLY WITH FARMERS’ MARKETS AND FARMS TO SUPPORT THEM IN BEING ABLE TO ACCEPT EBT/SNAP AND SUPPORT FARMERS’ MARKETS IN OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS TO POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

farms and businesses attending workshops (not # of people)

Number of website pageviews

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

year total

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

A. Growing Resilience in Farming

B. Growing Resilience in the Local Food Economy

C. Growing Resilience in the Organization

1. Technical assistance to farmers: CISA will continue reaching out to beginning farmers that have been in business 10 years or less. Out of our 275 farmer members, there are 100 farms who fit this definition. We will also focus on farm businesses that want to increase the direct sales of their harvest through farm stands, farmers' markets, farm shares, and other needed training items that may come up.

In addition, we will continue to provide in-depth technical assistance to farms on environmental and economic sustainability. This support includes planning for implementation of new production practices, in-depth business analysis, or financial analysis and prioritization of new investments, such as new equipment to improve environmental practices.

2. We will continue to stress the importance of fair and just working conditions for farm owners and farm workers. We believe that both farmers and farmworkers deserve to make a living. We are assisting farm owners in understanding their legal responsibilities and improving their managerial and communications skills.

3. We have increased access to local food for many in our three counties and statewide. The Healthy Incentives Program or HIP is a huge success. In addition, we will continue our Senior Farmshare program which provides summer farm shares to almost 500 low-income seniors.

4. CISA will be more active in researching and sharing its learning regarding the inequities in the local food system as we continue to share the importance and benefits of a thriving local food economy.

5. We made improvements to our on-line guide to ensure that more people have access to this wealth of information available about farms, farm products, and businesses that sell local food. This year, we also spent substantial staff time ensuring that our online local food guide was continually updated with COVID-19 protocols, curbside pickup information, online ordering for farms, and for restaurants we included dining and take-out options.

6. CISA is clear that for its work to continue to engage the community, we need to bring in residents who are just beginning to shop, cook, start families, and act on their values.

We are in our 28th year working with and supporting farms and farmers in the Pioneer Valley. Our staff have a broad depth of knowledge across many relevant fields, and our board is a healthy mix of community members, farmers, and professionals. We have a solid track record for getting state and federal grants and have developed ongoing relationships with many local donors.

Our accomplishments include:
• Senior FarmShare, a CISA program which provides nearly 500 low-income elders with shares of the summer harvest through 15 distributions sites throughout Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties. The program began in 2004 and has provided steady income to 13 farms.
• Healthy Incentives Program role out in conjunction with the state Department of Transitional Assistance
• Be A Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown®, a marketing and education campaign that has had a dramatic impact on consumer behavior. More than half of the residents of Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties are aware of the campaign and over 90% of those who are aware of it find it effective.
• Over 450 farmers and businesses attended workshops, tours, or one-on-one training opportunities offered by CISA . We have offered training on topics including business planning, marketing, reducing risk and increasing profitability, and finding grants and loans to finance farm business growth.
• CISA's Emergency Farm Fund, launched in fall 2011 in response to Hurricane Irene, has provided 37 no-interest loans to over 30 farms to cover losses for natural disasters as well as losses due to COVID-19.
• Collaborative work with other advocacy groups in the state to pass a law that established a statewide Food Policy Council. CISA was an active member of the working group that led to a state-wide food plan completed at the end of 2015. Its main goals included both increasing the consumption of Massachusetts foods and reducing hunger and food insecurity.
• Strong partnerships with agricultural organizations across the state, including those we will partner with for this program.

CISA is committed to improving access to local food for all members of our community. We believe thriving, profitable farm businesses ensure that agricultural land is active, productive and remains in agriculture; committed and engaged community members move beyond their role as consumers to become advocates for better farm policy; and stable farm businesses and improved farm and food policy help bring healthy, locally grown food to people of all income levels throughout our region.

Financials

COMMUNITY INVOLVED IN SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

COMMUNITY INVOLVED IN SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE INC

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Nancy Hanson

Hampshire College

Term: 2017 - 2019


Board co-chair

Al Griggs

Beth Lorenz

Casey Steinberg

Old Friends Farm

Elizabeth Wroblicka

Helen Kahn

Nancy Hanson

Pete Solis

Mockingbird Farm

Glenroy Buchanan

John Kokoski

Mapleline Farm

Al Griggs

Catherine Sands

Insiyah Bergeron

Shawn Robinson

Prospect Meadow Farm

Ben Clark

Clarkdale Fruit Farms

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/2/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/25/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.