By Michael Wall
Michael Wall is Georgia Organics’ Director of Advocacy and former Director of Farmer Companies.
As a non-profit, Georgia Organics updates its strategic plan each 5 years to make sure it stays on monitor with its mission, values, and farmer-focused programming.
Usually, the board of administrators, key constituents, and essential companions are interviewed to evaluate the altering panorama that Georgia Organics operates inside, and the wants of the group that Georgia Organics makes an attempt to serve.’
One of many stunning parts that emerged from these discussions in the latest strategic plan was a robust course for Georgia Organics to re-launch its advocacy efforts, this time with a singular concentrate on farmer prosperity.
To that finish, and after months of conversations and planning inside the Georgia Organics workplaces, Lauren Cox was promoted to Director of Farmer Companies, and Michael Wall moved over to the brand new place of Director of Farmer Advocacy.
It should be famous that advocacy shouldn’t be a brand-new effort for Georgia Organics.
Roughly 10 years in the past, Georgia Organics had an Advocacy Director, Jennifer Owens, who addressed small-scale poultry processing, early Farm to Faculty efforts, and plenty of different essential matters. Additionally, the Atlanta Native Meals Initiative, one other Georgia Organics initiative beneath the management of now Director of Packages Suzanne Girdner, additionally engaged in coverage work that gave rise the Metropolis of Atlanta’s city agriculture laws and later town’s first City Agriculture director place.
Wall and different members of the farmer companies group, together with Donn Cooper and Tenisio Seanima, and the board of administrators, comparable to farmer Joe Reynolds of Love is Love Farm Collective, have labored on advocacy previously, particularly across the Farm Invoice, SARE and NRCS funding, and the Natural Value Share Reimbursement Program.
The strategic plan was permitted by the Georgia Organics board of administrators on Nov. 8, 2021, and consists of a number of key themes that pertain to advocacy, partnerships, and motion constructing, particularly round farmer prosperity, racial justice, and local weather change.
For instance, one of many plan’s objective states that Georgia Organics work would:
“Develop an influential community of advocates who champion natural and regenerative farmers.”
Different key themes from the Strategic Plan abstract associated to Farmer Advocacy work:
Transfer from program constructing to motion constructing. Step totally into our function as a convening and advocacy group.
Foster sturdy partnerships, and collectively pursue collective influence methods.
Change into an integral a part of Georgia’s local weather change options.
A abstract of the strategic plan is under.
To date, Georgia Organics Farmer Advocacy work has been based mostly on sturdy present partnerships and former advocacy expertise, particularly across the Farm Invoice with companions such because the Nationwide Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Natural Commerce Affiliation. In March, Wall and natural farmer and board member Sed Rowe traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with federal lawmakers concerning the Farm Invoice and the wants of Georgia’s natural farmers.