Kitchen Table Advisors

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Mission Statement

Kitchen Table Advisors fuels the long-term economic viability of sustainable small farms and ranches through practical business advising and trusted relationships.
We are investing in the next generation of farmers and ranchers, a diverse group of social and environmental change-makers who steward our land, grow healthy food, and build communities and economies that work for people and the planet. These farmers and ranchers, when supported, increase biodiversity, enrich soils, improve watersheds, enhance ecosystem services and strengthen local communities.

Description

Since our inception in 2013, Kitchen Table Advisors has supported 64 sustainable small farms and ranches throughout Northern California by providing them with one-on-one business advising, financial education and tools, and access to markets, land, and capital.
Diversity: The farm owner-operators we serve represent the diversity of agriculture in Northern California, including producers of vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, and pastured livestock. 60% of our clients are women. 58% of our clients are people of color.
Sustainability: 100% of our clients grow certified organic produce and/or raise livestock on pastures. Many of them go beyond certification standards and practices that just reduce harm to the environment; they engage in regenerative agriculture practices that boost soil health, sequester carbon, and improves local ecosystems. With KTA's support, these farmers and ranchers increase acreage of sustainably-managed farmland in the region, increase biodiversity, and conserve water and energy.
Economic opportunity: KTA clients report increased sales and net incomes, are more likely to secure loans, build up credit and business assets, and purchase land. On average, farmers and ranchers begin our program with ~$18,000 in take home pay and grow their take home pay by an average of 59% after 3 years in our programs and 347% after 6 years.

Program Details

Kitchen Table Advisors pursues two strategies toward affecting regional change: we provide direct business advising services to sustainable farmers and ranchers; and we partner with allies to build a regional ecosystem within which farms can thrive.
Business Advising Program: KTA provides sustainable farmers and ranchers with bilingual, in-depth, personalized support that includes one-to-one business advising, connections to resources, and alumni support. We provide each of our clients with three years of in-depth, one-on-one business advising, coaching, tools, and technical assistance, so that they have ample time and support to learn new skills, implement new systems, and access the resources they need to achieve long-term viability.
They learn about business planning, budgeting, and how to build financial management systems to track cash flows. They learn to analyze their business’ profitability and make financial projections based on real data to improve their fiscal management, grow their businesses, and achieve their economic, environmental stewardship, and social impact goals. KTA introduces our sustainable farmers and ranchers to new sales markets, enabling clients to gain new customers, sell more products, and increase their incomes. KTA also teaches clients about using credit to grow their businesses, and introduces them to appropriate financing partners. Our Advisors guide, support, and advocate for them through the financing process from preparation and application through loan repayment. KTA also connects, guides, and advocates for clients to pursue long-term lease and land-ownership opportunities, and can help them access land opportunities through partner organizations. Long-term land security is critical to economic viability for farms and ranches; ensuring this security for our clients will keep more acreage under long-term sustainable, holistic management.
After three years of intensive advising, farms graduate to KTA’s alumni support program, where they continue to benefit from biannual check-ins with their Advisor, and can receive targeted support toward specific business goals, such as land ownership. Each year KTA on-boards a new cohort of 5-15 advisees into the core Business Advising program, and each cohort transitions into the alumni program after three years of core advising.
Regional Ecosystem Building: Our Regional Ecosystem Building program focuses on systems change and collaborative projects with our partners that will shape and influence the regional food system to be friendlier and more equitable to sustainable small farms and ranches. Our emergent work in this arena is particularly focused around improving access to land, sales markets, and financing for small scale, organic and sustainable farmers and ranchers, especially for farmers of color, immigrants, and women who are under-represented and historically disadvantaged in the profession.
Some of the Regional Ecosystem Building projects we are currently working on include:
  • Assisting food hubs to transition to farmer ownership.
  • Supporting community members and local land trusts in making appropriate and affordable farmland available to small-scale, sustainable farmers.
  • Directing emergency relief capital to farmers during the coronavirus pandemic; focusing on both their market adaptation needs and on farmers of color who have been disproportionately impacted.
Primary Issue
Food
Secondary Issue
Land
Address
405 14th Street Suite 164
Oakland, CA 94612
United States
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