I happened on a brilliant consultant/strategic thinker person who works with some thirty different organizations. In our short chat, she encouraged me to follow what I am drawn to.
For some reason, I came immediately back to the CRAFT network, the potluck style training of farmers that has no budget, pools resources efficiently, and has pretty amazing impact considering the efficiency of resources.
The potluck! Yes, this is the cultural form that never ceases to amaze me. The pooling together of individual efforts in a collaboration to achieve something amazing together. Particularly a farmer potluck, as the foods almost always center on the freshest highest quality locally flavorful ingredients imaginable!
So then the issue becomes how to plant the seed of the Latitude Movement and grow it. I am drawn to the CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) model. I recognize that it is not everything, and it is not intended to be everything. That’s the beauty. And that’s the Latitude Movement. It is intended to be a potluck style, efficient and effective piece of the large puzzle oh how to integrate local efforts with greater global connection and awareness.
The way to proceed is not just to emulate the CRAFT model with a new population and idea and focus, but actually to focus on the CRAFT model more specifically, and root the Latitude Movement with local, regional agriculture.
This was in fact the original idea. That local agriculture might really benefit from a kind of specific global connection that latitude affords. That farmers in the local food movement already have a sense of their place on planet earth, and a great appreciation for the impact of sunlight on their work. That farmers appreciate local in ways that only farmers can truly appreciate as rooted into local as they are, and so around the world, along a same latitude line, they not only have sunlight and latitude in common, they have local in common, they have flavor and food in common, they have SO much in common.
CRAFT networks are composed of the kinds of farmers that value reaching out and branching out, and so are a natural audience and participant in the Latitude Movement.
Back to the brilliant strategic consultant. She somehow reminded me, in the span of some two minutes, of my love for the CRAFT model. She got me gushing about it.
And that reminded me that the path of the Latitude Movement needs to align with CRAFT farmers. In spirit, and in practical focus. That’s the kind of community I know well, I have a lot of experience with, and it’s a real starting place for this movement.
Then, strategic brilliant thinker helped me, in another minute focus on a strategy- get a few investors, a few supporters who might understand the potential for this idea, and support it, and find a fiscal sponsor- or sponsors- to support this work.
The Latitude Movement is a non-profit style idea, yet I have felt that partnership is the key to the movement. That, like CRAFT, the Latitude Movement should be budget minimal, yet there are some aspects of it that might benefit from funding streams. Again not budget dependent, but budget as bonus, as additional fuel for the journey.
The original idea of CRAFT not being budget dependent centered on sustainability.
So the degree to which the Latitude Movement can benefit from funding for some creative work, amazing, but without funding the project continues to go and grow.
Fiscal sponsors then become local regional sustainable ag non-profits, the kind of non-profits that really focus on a particular region that is not a large region, that has the intimate network between staff and local farmers. This is the right fiscal sponsor, because this kind of small sustainable ag non-profit is entrenched in a local community in a grassroots way, and has the relationships with local farmers that put local in every aspect of what they do.
These organizations may find a kind of specific international initiative as part of their work refreshing, as a way to gain new perspective on their work, as a kind of branching out that is helpful to their work. And because of the fiscal sponsorship, this is not a time and energy drain on the organization. The Latitude Movement will create very clear, specific programs that are simple in scope and effective in ambition.
“You are drawn to Grassroots” said the strategy thinker. Yes, yes I am.