The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) is a non-profit organization whose programs nurture the ecological, social, and economic resiliency of food and farming systems. Their many programs focus on education, research, policy, and market development to advance sustainable farming practices.
Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Molly Roamer, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.
Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?
Molly Roamer (MR): MFAI provides education for aspiring, as well as experienced, organic farmers on production methods, marketing, and relevant research. MFAI also helps citizens take charge of creating, funding, and optimizing federal and state programs that support new farmers, healthy land and water stewardship, access to food, new agricultural entrepreneurism, and healthy communities.
MFAI has, for a number of years, provided internships for students from several different countries who want to know how to farm without chemicals. Reaching beyond state and national borders is important.
FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?
MR: MFAI is a leader in creating capacity and maintaining funding for good agricultural stewardship and supporting local food initiatives such as Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin, which supports new businesses and markets for Wisconsin grown agricultural products.
FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?
MR: One of our 2015 goals is to increase our outreach and education programs to open-minded conventional farmers who want to get off the treadmill of GMOs, chemicals, and the high cost of inorganic fertilizers.
We will also continue our decades of work on the national campaign to gain funding for federal programs supporting sustainable agriculture. We will work to optimize state policies affecting agricultural conservation, entrepreneurship, and food access. And we will continue to offer resources to help farmers and others access federal and state program resources, through grant writing workshops and direct grant writing assistance.
FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?
MR: To support a more sustainable food system eat local, get to know how your food is produced, and then learn to produce, process, and store something you grow on your own and pass that knowledge along to a young person.
FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?
Join us! Through our worker share program, volunteering time and energy, and/or financial support. We could not do this work without generous support.
Download the 2014 Good Food Org Guide HERE.
Submit your suggestions for the 2015 guide HERE.