FTCLDF Summary 2012, cont’d
Membership / Finances
Protecting the right to the food of your choice – Join Now
In 2012 the Fund added a membership category for Artisan Food Producers to support off-farm food producers selling their products direct to consumers. This is a fourth membership category after the Farmer, Consumer, and Affiliate Community (e.g., food buyers clubs and cooperatives) memberships. The Fund continues to have Non-Member Consulting Agreements for farmers and consumers who have a philosophical or religious objection to membership in an organization that engages in litigation, such as persons from the Mennonite, Amish or other Anabaptist faiths.
The Fund added a number of additional member benefits to the core services it has provided to members in the past year. The core benefits remain:
- Unlimited consultation with attorneys on matters within the Fund’s mission statement. Legal services include interpretation of federal and state laws and resolving disputes on the administrative level with government agencies.
- Drafting contracts and other documents, including herdshare agreements and buyers club contracts.
- 24/7 access to toll-free hotline.
- Possible representation on matters within the Fund’s mission statement.
- Consultations for best farm management practices with Tim Wightman. Tim, who operated shareholder dairies in Wisconsin and Ohio for several years, is one of the leading agricultural consultants in the country. He is also President of the Fund’s sister organization, the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation [a 501(c)(3) nonprofit].
- Consultation on administrative setup and operation of food buyers clubs with Fund board member John Moody. John is the administrator for a successful buyers club in Kentucky.
- Expansion of free educational handbooks for members. Previously, Farmer members received a copy of Tim Wightman’s Raw Milk Production Handbook, and Consumer members received a copy of Safe Handling – Consumer’s Guide: Preserving the Quality of Fresh, Unprocessed Whole Milk by Peggy Beals, RN. Starting in 2012, Affiliate Community members received a copy of the Food Club and Co-op Handbook by John Moody. Artisan Food Producer members have their choice of either the Safe Handling – Consumer’s Guide or the Raw Milk Production Handbook.
- A 15% discount on all items purchased through the Fund’s online store.
- Access to conference recordings. These recordings are posted on the Members Only website and include both the 2010 and 2011 Raw Milk Symposium audio recordings and the three-hour Activist Workshop video recording by Fund board member Judith McGeary taped at the 2011 Weston A. Price Foundation annual international conference.
Benefits added in 2012 include:
The Fund is a true grassroots organization and receives the bulk of its revenue from membership fees and private individual donations. “Corporate” donations come from small businesses that support local food production; but the Fund receives no funding from any government agency.
Donations to the Fund’s sister organization, the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation [a 501(c)(3) nonprofit] are tax deductible and may be dispersed to the Fund as grants for public interest litigation (PIL) .
Expenses have gone up significantly in the past year, due mostly to increased legal expenses as we take on more cases. Legal costs accounted for 43% of total expenses, 26% for operations, 23% for education and 8% for merchandising.
The Fund protects farmers from government harassment and levels the playing field, making it more difficult for the government to win wars of attrition by depleting the farmer’s resources through court proceedings. Farmers are now able to spend their money on farming instead of lawyers.
With your help, the Fund can build on the successes of the past year. Thanks for your support and your belief in our mission.