Florida Organic Growers provides multiple learning and networking opportunities to farmers through on-farm workshops, trainings and seminars. During a workshop this past April, the idea of starting a North Central Florida Agricultural Cooperative surfaced. Such a cooperative would increase the community’s access to local, sustainably grown produce and create new market opportunities for farmers. In order to assess the feasibility of starting such a cooperative, FOG gathered groups of farmers and community members to discuss the benefits and any disadvantages. Community involvement and input like this is important to FOG—and makes it more accountable to its members.
In addition to farmer trainings, FOG helps farmers understand and comply with legislation, like the Food Safety Modernization Act. Through FOG’s policy work in Washington, D.C., they have been able to ensure that organic and sustainable farmers have a voice in government, particularly related to the Farm Bill.
FOG credits Farm Aid grants with opening the doors for education, teaching and furthering the organic and sustainable farming movement in Florida. “Through this grant, we have been able to impact the movement in Florida this year and for years to come.”