As the still newish executive director of the Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm), I would like to express my appreciation for your deep commitment to our work, and ask for your support.
I joined EcoFarm in the autumn of 2019 because I recognized the organization’s accomplishments and enormous potential for transforming the food system in the face of numerous challenges, such as the climate crisis and deep seated inequities in food and farming.
As with so many things in the world today, the Covid-19 pandemic threw EcoFarm’s best plans out the window, and forced us to adapt. “Man plans and God laughs,” goes the Yiddish proverb. We found that 90 percent of our revenues were at risk from our inability to hold EcoFarm Conference or the Hoes Down Harvest Festival.
So we pivoted toward producing our events virtually.
We developed a new series of year round webinars called the Dirt First Conversation Series. Our latest webinar about indigenous food sovereignty attracted 150 attendees and was impactful, inspiring and motivating.
The 41st EcoFarm Conference went virtual as well. We produced a connective experience and platform that offered a wide variety of transformative speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities.
Pictured: A virtual meeting with our dedicated EcoFarm Conference Planning Committee
While we could not come together in person as we have for decades , this year’s virtual EcoFarm Conference:
- Offered twice the amount of Spanish-language programming;
- Provided focus on racial equity through multiple keynote talks, an anti-racism training, affinity sessions, and an organization-wide listening session;
- Reached a wider audience with more attendees from 14 countries.
- Offered dramatically reduced fees of $99 as compared to $700 for our in-person conference with meals and lodging;
In spite of these positives, the loss of our in-person event resulted in dramatically lower revenue, with our organizational budget reduced by half from last year.
For EcoFarm to provide a leadership role in supporting the ecological, equitable, and democratic transformation of the food system, and still survive on a greatly reduced budget without the ability to gather, we need your support.
To bridge this transition period during the pandemic, we seek the generous support of donors such as yourself.
Whether online or in-person, EcoFarm Conference is a vital part of the calendar year for beginning and seasoned farmers and ranchers alike, mission driven companies, activists, and educators.
To make ends meet in 2020-2021, we ask that our core community - you who follow us, participate in the conference, and who know us well - support us now.
As attendee Malik Coburn, said of the conference experience:
“It is a symbolic time, considering what is happening in the world right now. We have the opportunity to be the example of what that change can look like."
Malik Coburn, an EcoFarm Conference attendee with Earth Activist Training
With your support we will be able to continue our conference, develop galvanizing online education experiences, and hold an in-depth strategic planning process in 2021 to identify new directions and programming for the conference and the organization as a whole.
Please make a generous donation to EcoFarm today.
EcoFarm remains committed to serving as one of the strongest engines fueling the heart of organic agriculture and the regenerative food movement.
With your donation, we can keep the meaningful experiences of the Ecological Farming Conference alive beyond the crisis of Covid, and emerge still connected, ever stronger, and working for the future we envision where social justice and ecologically sustainable farms, food systems and communities thrive.
Can you make a tax-deductible gift of $50, $100, or $500, or more to EcoFarm this year? You can click here to donate by credit card, or send us a check to the address below.
I greatly appreciate you and your ongoing support of EcoFarm.
Foster the next generation of EcoFarmers
"The EcoFarm Conference helped me so much to get answers I needed at a critical time (post-fire), as well as inspiration, community, and confidence." - EcoFarm 2018 scholarship recipient
About the EcoFarm Scholarship Fund
There are many ways to support EcoFarm.
EcoFarm is you, EcoFarm is me.
It takes a community to help us fulfill our mission: To nurture safe, healthy, just, and ecologically sustainable farms, food systems, and communities by bringing people together for education, alliance building, advocacy, and celebration.
The Ecological Farming Association is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt organization, tax id# 68-000-3547, and your charitable donation is tax deductible.