Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA


Pittsboro, NC


The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just and environmentally sound family farms.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Edna Rodriguez

Main Address

PO Box 640

Pittsboro, NC 27312 USA


family farming, contract agriculture, organics, sustainable agriculture, food security, biodiversity, rural, economic development, community development





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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

Community Coalitions (S21)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media


Programs + Results

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Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Just Foods

Farm Sustainability

Contract Agriculture Reform & Corporate Concentration

Agricultural Reinvestment Fund

Come to the Table

Fiscally Sponsored Projects

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

RAFI-USA believes that farmers and consumers must be informed, involved with each other and active in protecting and directing the use of natural and human agricultural resources. Our programs are strategically designed to advance our mission and vision. Our vision: 1) Family farmers have the power to earn a fair and dependable income. 2) Everyone who labors in agriculture is respected, protected, and valued by society. 3) Air, water and soil are preserved for future generations. 4) The land yields healthy and abundant food and fiber that is accessible to all members of society. 5) The full diversity of seeds and breeds, the building blocks of agriculture, are reinvigorated and publicly protected.

We achieve results through coalitions, partnerships and affiliations. Our strategies include: 1) Preserve farm and community assets through one-on-one farmer support and fair development and implementation of public policy. 2) Support innovative, replicable models of farm and community-based enterprises in the Southeast. 3) Increase financial capital and risk-management tools available to under-served farmers. 4) Develop marketplace initiatives that provide economic incentives for sustainable production and fair compensation. 5) Ensure that farmers, workers, and others in rural communities have the power to move families and communities out of poverty. 6) Close the loop between farmers and policymakers through advocacy and policy research.

RAFI-USA has a long history and demonstrated body of work regarding the development, promotion and protection of national and international organic farming, equity and fair treatment in rural communities, modeling of fair food systems, and agricultural innovation that strengthens the market viability of independent operators. Our advocacy efforts to promote policies and alternatives are built upon our work directly with farmers. For more than 25 years RAFI-USA has provided financial counseling, business planning and risk management training to farm families. Additionally, the organization administers cost-share grants for farm innovation. These direct service experiences inform our advocacy and organizing for rural advancement. RAFI-USA's history and proven impact make the organization uniquely qualified to bring together farmers and broad coalitions to work towards our common goals.

Sample Key Indicators (by program area)

Farmer Entrepreneurship / Farmer grants program:
-Number of jobs created
-Farm income generated

Farm Advocacy Program:
-Value ($) of farm assets preserved
-Homes & farms saved from foreclosure
-Value ($) of farm credit secured or restructured

Come to the Table Project:
-Number of farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits
-Number of church ministries supporting local farm businesses

Accomplished: -2018: 26 cost-share grants of $8,000 - $12,000 to farmers developing new or innovative farming enterprises -2018: launched Farmers of Color Network (FOCN), emphasizes outreach, relationship building and listening -2018: one-on-one assistance with 100 farmers re issues of credit access, USDA programs, beginning farmer applications, business development. Caseload equals >$20M in assets/debt/revenue at stake What's next: -Build capacity of Junior Farm Advocate in anticipation of Senior Advocate retirement -Administer 23 grants to individual farmers and 3 grants to collaborative farmer groups for a total of 26 projects -Host the 2-day 2019 conference with multiple keynotes, 48 workshop sessions and extended pre-conference workshop opportunities -Implement and support a Seed Producers’ Cooperative as a model for farmer-controlled seed distribution -Plan and host second CFLDT, leveraging lessons learned, developed curriculum and confidence in the model

External Reviews


Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity