Published Aug 26, 2010

What’s in a name?

By Teresa Opheim

What a fun exchange on the PFI listserv today. We’re looking for some creative help on what to call these wonderful nonfarmer members PFI has (such as Pete Lammers, pictured here at the Cory Field Day). As you see from the previous sentence, we now call them “nonfarmers.” Is there a better term? We went to our members for help. “Consumers” doesn’t seem to work, as we’re all consumers. How about “farmer supporters”? But other farmers are supporters of farmers as well.

Here are the member ideas, taken from our listserv. PFI staff will discuss the ideas Monday at our staff meeting.

“When lay people want to be closely affiliated with a religious order, they are usually called “associates.” Couldn’t we have “farming associates” who don’t farm but want to identify with what farmers are doing?”

“Potential Farmers” – “PFI Patrons” – “Root Supporters” – “Non-farming Patrons” – “Non-farming Members”

“PFI – Healthy Food. Diverse Farms. Vibrant Communities. – A farming and non-farming Membership with thoughts toward our children’s future.” It reads well, anyway…

“Farmer advocates”

“Supportive Members. Contributing Member. (Wanna Be Member!)”

“When someone is very close to a family but not exactly a family member, we often call them “friend of the family.” Perhaps some variation of this for the nonfarmer members of PFI”

“Friends of the Farm”

“The word steward came to mind when I read your question. Stewards are fostering, nurturing, and becoming a part of their interest. This is what our non-farmer members each day by their support, recognition, and participation.“


“Sustainable Agriculture Supporters”

“Farmer partners”

“Friends of PFI” or “PFI Supporters”

“Friends. Virtual farmers. Farmers in spirit. Farm Fans”

“Kit Pharo calls the guys that think outside the box and ahead of mainstream Herd-quitters. How about mainstream starters! “

“Farm enthusiasts”