ASAN’s Mission and Vision

ASAN’s vision is a resilient agricultural system in Alabama. We believe that strong relationships are essential to resilient systems; strong, personal connections between growers, eaters, institutions and businesses make our agricultural system thrive and therefore our mission is to deepen relationships between the people of Alabama, the food we eat, and the place we live.

Core Beliefs

  • A resilient agricultural system is ecologically regenerative. In order to flourish, our agriculture should replenish the soil, protect the air and watershed, and enhance the ecosystem. We must understand ourselves to be humble participants in an interdependent ecological community.
  • A resilient agricultural system centers around those who work the land; for an agricultural system to thrive, farmers and farmworkers must be able to sustain themselves economically and socially.
  • A resilient agricultural system is just. Inequity and exploitation in any form, from producer to consumer, are threats to sustainability.  All laborers within the food system must be justly compensated and treated with dignity. The historic and modern racism and sexism that pervades current agricultural institutions and practices must be specifically addressed.
  • A resilient agricultural system is intergenerational. Agricultural knowledge and wisdom inherited from our elders and ancestors should be maintained and celebrated.  The system we sustain and work for should be worthy of our children and youth, who should be engaged and invited to participate in growing, harvesting, and consuming healthy foods.
  • A resilient agricultural system is rooted in community.  A network of strong, personal, place-based connections between/among members of the entire food system stabilizes and drives a thriving agricultural system.

 

Note: This list of beliefs is considered a living document, presented to the membership for discussion and revision (if needed) each year at the Food & Farm Forum.

Our Role

In alignment with our vision, mission, and core beliefs, ASAN works in three primary ways. We:

  • Convene Alabama stakeholders in sustainable agriculture in order to facilitate relationships among growers, consumers, policy makers, institutions and resource providers
  • Listen to and aggregate the needs of growers and other stakeholders in the food system. Amplify the voices of the marginalized in the food system, and
  • Create and distribute resources to lessen barriers to ownership and to promote wider meaningful participation in the food system.

2017-18 Strategic Planning Process

In 2017 and the first part of 2018, our primary focus was listening and visioning as part of an overdue strategic planning process. We hosted seven assemblies across the state and distributed a statewide survey, trying to engage a diverse swath of Alabamians with deep questions about the current and future state of our food, land, and agriculture. We called this work “Cultivate ASAN” because we understand it to be the work that yields growth; it’s the kind of work that doesn’t yield immediate or flashy results, but creates a more fertile long-term environment for us to grow.

We worked with a videographer to capture the process in the short video below:

Proud Member of…

ASAN is proud to be a member of the following organizations, coalitions, and networks.

We have countless working partners in addition to the ones listed here, all of whom are invaluable towards our overall vision of a resilient agricultural system in Alabama.