Partnerships strengthen project design, increase the likelihood
of funding and ensure the applicability of results. Creating and
maintaining successful partnerships requires leadership, enthusiasm,
patience, and a commitment to open communication and group decision-making.
Building North Carolina's Sustainable, Local Food Economy
During 2008-2010, Curtis Consulting played a leadership role in helping the Center for
Environmental Farming Systems facilitate an 18-month, statewide Farm-to-Fork initiative engaging over 1,000 North Carolinians.
The goal of the initiative was to identify state and local priorities for action to advance a sustainable, local food economy.
Curtis Consulting helped craft funding proposals, facilitate meetings, manage the Advisory Committee, staff Working Issue Teams,
facilitate a statewide summit, and conduct media outreach. Funding for the initiative came from the Agricultural Advancement
Consortium of the NC Rural Center, the Golden LEAF Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Z. Smiths Reynolds Foundation.
Reducing Risks in Sweetpotato Production Systems
Between 2001- 2007, Curtis Consulting facilitated a regional, multi-disciplinary partnership to develop and implement
reduced-risk pest management strategies in sweetpotato production throughout the Southeast. Initially hired by Gerber
Products Company (sweetpotatoes are the Company’s #1 selling vegetable), Curtis Consulting conducted a needs assessment,
wrote several grants, and developed a partnership amongst growers, crop consultants and land grant researchers and extension
personnel in Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. Funds were secured for strategic planning from the U. S.
Environmental Protection Agency's Region 4 Agricultural Stewardship Initiative
and for project implementation from USDA’s Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program (RAMP).
Working with South Florida Cattle Ranchers to Protect the Everglades
Between 2002 and 2004, Curtis Consulting worked with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to identify strategies for working
proactively on agricultural issues in conjunction with its advocacy work on restoring Florida's Everglades ecosystem.
In addition to helping secure funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Curtis Consulting conducted a feasibility assessment
which included the development of a set of criteria to assess agricultural production systems in south Florida and their
compatibility with a restored Everglades ecosystem (see WWF South Florida Agricultural Assessment). Based on the assessment
and its recommendations, WWF decided to work with cattle ranchers north of Lake Okeechobee and hired Curtis Consulting to
develop a partnership with ranchers around the common goal of improving the economic sustainability of ranching as a regional
business and to provide additional water storage and phosphorous clean up to help with Everglades restoration. WWF has now
formalized the partnership as the Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project and has secured over $5 million in funds
from federal, state and private sources to explore the potential to create a "market" for the state of Florida to compensate
ranchers for providing water storage and phosphorous clean-up.
||Courtesy of South Florida
Water Management District