NOFA-NY is an organization of farmers, gardeners, and consumers working together to create a sustainable regional food system that’s ecologically sound and economically viable. Through demonstration and education, we promote land stewardship, organic food production, and local marketing. We bring consumer and farmer together to make high-quality food available to all people.
A just and resilient farming system grounded in a diverse community now and for future generations.
Since 1983, NOFA-NY has been serving the organic and sustainable food and farming community. A year later, we became the first organic certifier in New York State. With the arrival of National Organic Standards in 2002, NOFA-NY established separate certification and education functions and offices, while maintaining a cohesive strategy to support the organic farming community. Today, we are New York State’s leading organization providing effective programs and services that promote sustainable, local, organic food and farming. NOFA-NY is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by our membership. NOFA-NY is one of seven northeastern state organizations that work together under the umbrella of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) ‒ the oldest grassroots organic farming organization in the country!
History of the Northeast Organic Farming Association: In June of 1971, farmers and homesteaders gathered on a Vermont hillside with one thing in common: the desire to grow food in a way that was healthy for themselves and for the earth. This is the story of the organization that was born that day – NOFA. See the faces and hear the voices of the people who have nurtured the NOFA community and the organic movement in this region for the last 50 years.
Our Equity Statement
This statement is a living document, intended to guide NOFA-NY’s equity work.
NOFA-NY is a membership organization committed to creating a sustainable regional food system that is ecologically sound and economically viable. In an effort to realize our vision of a just and resilient farming system, in late 2018 NOFA-NY began to evaluate the ways in which we can center racial and social equity in our work.
Food is inextricably linked to structures of power in society and therefore, our food system is inherently unjust. In the United States, the food system was built upon the forced displacement, enslavement, and subordination of peoples on dispossessed Indigenous lands. We have seen institutional inequities continue in both the private and public sectors with the denial of access to land, opportunities, and healthy foods, and with the consolidation of agribusiness. These systemic features have left certain urban and rural demographics in a state of disproportionate disadvantage, affecting health and survival.
We are committed to a reiterative process that requires us to have difficult conversations. It requires reflection and inquiry, as individuals, as representatives of our organization, and as parts of the food system as a whole.
We wish to uplift the positive contributions to our NOFA-NY community from especially those continually marginalized by systemic forces of dominance and neglect. At the same time, we acknowledge that we have not previously centered equity in our work.
We plan to build a racial and social equity lens that informs our organization’s planning, decision-making, and advocacy for policies at both the State and National levels. We intend to conduct an organizational equity assessment, including an evaluation of our internal processes around board appointments, hiring, and programming.
We view this work as a long-term process that includes ongoing racial and social equity trainings and workshops for board, staff, presenters, and general membership.
We have created a small committee of staff and board members to lay the groundwork for this process. We aim to open this committee and process to NOFA-NY members and others who are interested in providing feedback and sharing knowledge.