Effie Rawlings

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Effie Rawlings was born in California and moved to her family’s seed corn farm in Illinois as a child, just in time to witness her aunts, father, and grandmother’s final struggle to keep their business alive in a rising tide of corporate domination of the seed industry.  Her affinity for agroecology and cooperative farming was shaped by her experiences as a volunteer at Sisonke School in South Africa, and as a student organizer at UC Berkeley, where she joined the fight against privatization and skyrocketing tuition.  Her interests found a nexus at the Gill Tract Farm, where she joined other students and community members in their 20-year struggle to protect the historic farmland from being paved for commercial “development”.  Today, she helps collectively farm 2.5 acres of the Gill Tract‘s northern acerage, an innovative collaboration with the UC College of Natural Resources.  She continues to organize with Occupy the Farm, protesting the paving of the historic Gill Tract’s southern acerage.  She studies social permaculture in South Berkeley, where she has shared in the stewardship of a 25 person housing co-op called Coorperative Roots for the last 6 years.  She organizes nationally with the US food Sovereignty Alliance, and internationally with the Friends of the Landless Workers Movement (MST).  When she’s not OD’ing on consensus processes, Effie likes to sing harmony round the fire, read the tarot, and practice archery.