As we all gather our thoughts of a difficult year, we can take comfort in some silver linings of this pandemic—and look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel in 2021!
During this year we adapted, as many did. Some highlights:
- shifted an online sales platform to allow for online ordering from farmers' markets as early as March 21
- held a virtual fundraiser in May that saw the silliness of a kazoo-a-long as well as testimonials from staff and partners in some of our core programs
- continued our farm to early care work, focusing on activities for parents and caregivers to do at home to help kids learn about farm-fresh foods
- planned for a hybrid version of the annual FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace—and then adjusted to online-only when infection numbers increased
- doubled the number of our Farmland Access Navigators (now eight!) who provide one-on-one support to beginning farmers in IA, WI, and MN. Our navigators have helped >70 farmers achieve secure access to land
forged two new partnerships with NRCS to increase conservation training and resource connections to women landowners and historically underserved farmers (BIPOC, immigrant, low-income, and veteran)
- Soil Sisters became an official project of RTC, supporting this vibrant Wisconsin-based network of women in sustainable ag to grow new networks + continue their successful annual event.
The other necessary ritual at the end of each year is a reminder to you, that if you're deciding on donations that have impact, we hope you'll consider donating to RTC. Below, we introduce you to one of our board members. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful holiday!
RTC Board Member
“Making connections between those values we all share”
Kate Graham is a practicing attorney who specializes in estate planning and farm succession. First attracted to Renewing the Countryside during college, she kept tabs on RTC’s work, and jumped at the chance to serve on our board of directors. We're glad to have her insights helping guide our work!
One of the assets that draws Kate to RTC is our focus on shared values. Whether you’re a rural farmer or an urban gardener, Kate says, you can find support and community in the efforts and initiatives Renewing the Countryside prioritizes. Kate enjoys working with RTC on education and outreach to non-operator landowners. It’s a really important piece of farmland access that she doesn’t see many other organizations targeting.
No matter what you’re passionate about, getting involved with RTC’s work is a way for urban folks to learn about rural issues and for rural folks to learn about urban issues. It’s those connections, Kate thinks, that make Renewing the Countryside an effective bridge in the work to support healthy local foods and the people who grow them.
Are you able to help?
We invite you to become a sustaining donor if you are able.
Your generosity makes a big difference in sustaining our small non-profit organization!
Thank you for your support of time, energy, funds, and enthusiasm!
Renewing the Countryside is a non-profit organization that strengthens rural areas and small towns by championing and supporting farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists, and others who are revitalizing the countryside through innovative endeavors.
We build awareness and support for these initiatives by collecting and sharing stories of rural renewal, providing practical assistance and networking opportunities for those working to improve rural America, and fostering connections between urban and rural people.