About NAFSN

NAFSN is fostering a community of professional practice and supports the work of any individuals, agencies, and organizations that focus on agriculture and food issues in a community development context — from farmland protection or beginning farmer programs, to value-chain development, urban agriculture, food security and public education. Learn more about becoming a member!  

 

NATIONAL PARTNERS

 

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE

 

TRANSITION TEAM (sunsetted in 2016)

 

STEERING COMMITTEE (sunsetted in 2016)

 

WORKING GROUP (sunsetted in 2015)

 

FAQs

NAFSN Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a Founding Member?

Who's in charge?

How is NAFNS Funded?

What is the relationship between NAFSN and the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)?

What is NAFNS's Mission?

How long has NAFSN existed?

What can I expect to get out of membership?

When will I be able to get certified?

When will NAFSN Communities of Practice get underway?

What are NAFSN Mentors?

What is NAFSN's Community Certification About?

Additional Questions?

 

 

What is a Founding Member?

A Founding Member of NAFSN is an individual who joined on or before December 31, 2015. Benefits of Founding membership include:

  • Receive discount membership dues, including a 5% discount in perpetuity;
  • Participate in structuring the organization, including joining committees and selecting the inaugural board of directors; and
  • Participate in the early planning of programs such as the NAFSN certification program.

 

Who's in charge?

NAFSN is currently a project of the Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems. NAFSN has a temporary and organic organizational structure that includes a steering committee facilitated by Duncan Hilchey and a working group that provides feedback to the steering committee. Duncan Hilchey is co-coordinator of the Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture, a project of the Center for Transformative Action, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Cornell University in Ithaca, New York USA.

 

In 2016, the Founding Members of NAFSN will select its first board of directors, and will incorporate separately from the Lyson Center. From then on, the board of directors will be in charge.

 

How is NAFSN Funded?

NAFSN started with a very small project budget provided by the Lyson Center, along with in-kind support from Lyson Center staff and the many members of the steering committee and working group. Membership fees will contribute most of the revenue to NAFSN in 2016. However, we anticipate leveraging these limited resources to secure financial sponsorships and public and private grants to develop programs over time. Our hope is to be lean, efficient, and sustainable over time and not be grant-dependent.

 

What is the relationship between NAFSN and the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)?

JAFSCD is published by the Lyson Center, as NAFSN is currently a project of the Lyson Center. A membership benefit for NAFSN members is a free subscription to JAFSCD. However, note that NAFSN and JAFSCD have separate websites. To receive your free subscription, use the coupon code listed in the confirmation email you receive after joining NAFSN. If you are already a JAFSCD subscriber, log in to your account (at www.AgDevJournal.com) and use the coupon code to extend your subscription by a full year!

 

What is NAFNS's Mission?

The NAFSN Steering Committee developed the following mission statement at its June 2015 meeting:

The mission of the North American Food Systems Network is to support equitable and sustainable food systems by:

(1) creating opportunities for professional growth for food systems development practitioners;

(2) identifying and encouraging best practices;

(3) expanding applied research on food systems; and

(4) developing tools, methods, and programs to build the capacity of communities to engage in food system innovations.

However, founding members will refine and adopt the final language at our first annual meeting in spring 2016.

 

How long has NAFSN existed?

NAFSN launched its founding member campaign on October 13, 2015. However, it has been in conceptual development for a number of years, after a survey of self-identified food systems development practitioners showed strong demand for a professional community of practice. Read the NAFSN White Paper for more background details.

 

What can I expect to get out of membership?

It is a cliché to say you will get out of membership what you put into it, but there is some truth this idea. One can pay for membership and wait for things to happen, or become engaged — volunteering for committees, voting, taking advantage of training discounts, and participating in communities of practice (CoPs). Our hope and expectation are that as a result of these activities, you will improve your employment prospects, your effectiveness, your contacts, and your satisfaction with work in food systems.

 

When will I be able to get certified?

The development of the Certification Program is underway; components may be rolled out in 2017. The criteria for the certification program will be developed by a team of experienced food systems development professionals and curriculum development experts. It is likely to consist of credits for participation in workshops and the like provided by our partner organizations around the continent, supplemented as necessary by online, self-paced modules and exercises developed by NAFSN. A "fast track" certification process may be developed for NAFSN members with considerable experience (to be defined) or training.

 

When will NAFSN Communities of Practice get underway?

A CoP Work Team has been established to provide guidance in the creation and management of CoPs that come under the umbrella of NAFSN. A pilot CoP will be launched in 2016 and lessons learned will inform the development of new CoPs over time. If you are interested in starting a CoP on a particular topic or geographic region, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

What are NAFSN Mentors?

NAFSN Mentors are members who have exceptional experience or success and have agreed to provide advice and support to other NAFSN members on a limited basis and specific time frame. Mentors may be able to earn continuing education credits by providing their junior colleagues with this advice and support. For more details, click HERE.

 

What is NAFSN's Community Certification About?

The (Sustainable) Farm-Friendly Community Certification Program is a proposed program in collaboration with other organizational partners to build community capacity to support locally/regionally oriented food producers. With so much else going on at NAFSN, this is on the back burner for now. However, interested members can join the ongoing working group developing the concept.

 

Additional Questions?

If you have questions about NAFSN that aren't answered here, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so he can respond to your question and perhaps add it to these FAQs.

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North American Food Systems Network, a program of the Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems (a project of the Center for Transformative Action, an affiliate of Cornell University) • Ithaca, New York USA • Copyright 2016 • All Rights Reserved • Hosted by Ancient Wisdom ProductionsQuestions or problems with our site?