** Although we encourage you to sign up for this event when registering for the SAFSF Policy Briefing, please note that this meeting is sponsored by NSAC and is not part of the SAFSF Policy Briefing program.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and its member organizations are launching a major federal crop insurance reform campaign in advance of the next farm bill. All interested funders are invited to join staff from NSAC, Land Stewardship Project, RAFI-USA, and Center for Rural Affairs for a discussion about the big substantive and strategic issues for a crop insurance reform campaign. Contrary to current policy, the federal crop insurance program should support conservation and a more sustainable agriculture, provide meaningful access to all farmers, increase economic opportunity in farming rather than support the consolidation of land ownership, and be transparent and fair to the taxpayer. Attending this pre-briefing event is a great chance to learn more, discuss the issues, ask your questions, and consider future involvement.
We hope you will join us for an informal get-together at the hotel lobby bar. This is a great time to meet others
and make some connections before the Briefing officially kicks off. And remember, sometimes the most fruitful
ideas germinate on the back of a cocktail napkin…
Why Funders Need to Care about Trade Pacts that will Undermine Fair and Sustainable
Around the world, hard-won victories on local food policies, farm-to-institution programs, food safety regulations, worker health, animal welfare, GMO labeling, transgenic crop bans, and other issues are under threat from two of the largest proposed free trade agreements in history. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) will have devastating impacts on multiple fronts, including sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty and safety, environmental protection, public health, and human rights.
Juliette Majot, president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)–—a leader on international food issues and trade––will lead a conversation about the real world consequences that these new trade agreements may have for your funding priorities. Learn what actions you can take to ensure that the food systems victories we’ve achieved together over the years aren’t reversed—and important future policies outlawed—by these new trade laws.
Co-hosted by SAFSF and GRACE Communications Foundation
The adverse effects of farming practices on water quality have become a major issue throughout the United States. Chemical and nutrient runoff from farmlands is one of the main causes of drinking water advisories, fish kills, and the dead zones that plague estuaries—all of which affect people’s health, livelihoods, and quality of life. Speakers at this session will bring their different perspectives to the question of how best to reduce pollution from agriculture in a way that will protect drinking water, rivers, and estuaries; allow for thriving agricultural economies; and be fair and achievable. Speakers will outline what they see as the most effective mix of incentives, innovation, and regulation to solve this challenging problem. Participants will come away with a better understanding of:
– which agricultural practices contribute to or remediate water pollution and what factors—–economic, social,
and cultural—–lead farmers to employ those particular practices;
– aspects of the clean water problem that require regulation, those that can be achieved through voluntary
efforts, and examples of successfully combined approaches;
– what water regulations look like at local, state, and federal levels, and how those policies are made; and
– opportunities to create broad, cross-sectoral alliances that move us toward a clean water future.
Agricultural policy discussions often focus on the Farm Bill, yet a lot of food and farm work happens at the local level, where zoning laws, health codes, purchasing policies, and partnerships with local public leaders can impact our grantees’ effectiveness. Knowing how to navigate these local policies, with whom to connect, and which tools are already available is crucial.
Come learn about resources that have been developed and hear success stories where local policy changes have built power for people—producers, aggregators, and consumers—along all the links in the value chain. Explore how philanthropy can add value to local policy efforts.
Moderator: Kathleen de Chadenedes, director, The School Food Initiative, Orfalea Foundation, CA
The policy changes necessary for a more sustainable food and agriculture future require robust supporting research. Yet the amount of both public and private funding for research in support of conventional agriculture greatly exceeds that of organic and sustainable production. This session will demonstrate the importance of funding sustainability research and provide information about how philanthropy can have an impact in this space.
1:40—2:00PM Can We All Agree?
A unified Good Food Policy Platform is critical to our movement’s success. In this discussion, SAFSF member
Eric Kessler will share for the first time a proposed set of policy priorities developed with other members, policymakers, and
industry leaders. Sure to provoke discussion and debate throughout the meeting, please join us for a first look at
Through storytelling and discussion, the Regional Lens plenary will highlight food systems policy issues that are playing out in the Heartland—and, in many cases, throughout the country. Lively Pecha Kucha-style presentations will be followed by table discussions with the speakers, in which you will have the opportunity to further discuss their work, ask questions, and engage with funder colleagues.
Moderator: Alicia Harvie, director of advocacy and issues, Farm Aid, MA
Speakers: Dawn Hernandez, student, Drake University Law School; former city council member, Postville, IA Ferd Hoefner, policy director, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, DC Wendy Johnson, farmer; secretary (at-large), Practical Farmers of Iowa, IA Adam Mason, state policy director, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, IA Rod Snyder, president, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, DC
Iowa plays a key role in national agriculture conversations and in national elections. We are honored to have Secretary Northey share where he sees opportunities for SAFSF and the philanthropic community to engage in productive, effective dialogue, and collaborate with others working on state and national food and agriculture policies.
Meet in hotel lobby for a short (10-minute) walk to our dinner reception in the Culinary Loft space at the Des Moines Social Club. If you would prefer to take a taxi, please notify the concierge in the lobby.
Location: Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines, IA
The Des Moines Social Club is an innovative arts and entertainment venue located in a renovated historic art deco firehouse in downtown Des Moines. The nonprofit provides a home for local artists, offers unique programming spanning all arts disciplines, and brings people of every age and background together under one roof—all for the purpose of using the arts to create community engagement. Catered by Tangerine with local, sustainably sourced food and beverages, the evening will be a celebration of our time together in Des Moines.
Increasingly, conversations about the linkages between food, nutrition, diet, and health are taking place at the local, state, and national levels. However, policy interventions that support the types of sustainable, equitable community food systems that often result in greater local resilience and better health outcomes have been much more limited. The current dialogue needs to be deepened—and existing food and farm policies re-imagined—to reflect the relationships between food production methods; access to healthy food, safe drinking water and clean air; and human health and dignity.
This plenary session will explore the case for linking sustainable food and farming with dietary and health policies; showcase sustainable food policy advocacy efforts within the public health community; and highlight the successes and challenges of community-led campaigns to promote health, community engagement, and sustainability.
We need more farmers on the land. And with an aging farming population and many farmers set to retire in the coming decade, we need those farmers now. Yet beginning farmers today face significant and pressing challenges. Many are coming to the profession without a personal history or connection to farming and need networks for mentorship and skill development. Student debt and access to land, credit, and capital are also major barriers for new and beginning farmers.
Important policy developments in recent years have allocated resources and programming to support beginning farmers, but little is known about the outcomes of those efforts and if they are truly tackling the issue head on. This session will look at the sector of beginning farmers—some young, some mid-career, some immigrants, some veterans, but all in need of a supportive infrastructure spurred on by effective policy. Join us in a discussion of how philanthropic investments can advance, complement, and strengthen policymaking to support beginning farmers in getting on the land, developing prosperous farms, and advancing solutions for a sustainable food and farm future.
This workshop will look at the critical importance of media and messaging in educating the public, activating voters, and expanding the reach of the good food movement. The panelists will frame the topic in the context of the 2016 election and Iowa caucuses and discuss how sustainable agriculture fares in the competing universe of issues. The panel will also explore how various spokespeople resonate as messengers and which food and agriculture issues motivate voters and consumers. In this session, funders will learn how to work with their resources and partners to maximize their impact, and build power for food and agriculture policy change.
Moderator: Scott Cullen, executive director, GRACE Communications Foundation, NY
For the past two days, we have exchanged ideas and engaged in deep thinking about a range of food and farm policy issues. This lunch is an opportunity to activate those ideas. Grab a table with colleagues and identify some next-steps you might take individually or collectively. Our intent is to begin conversations that SAFSF can help to sustain and bolster as we build power together, into 2016 and beyond. At the end of the lunch session, each table group will have a chance to report briefly on their progress.
For those seeking to make change, the power to leverage the marketplace is an important tool in an
increasingly interconnected world, and can impact local, state, and national policies.
This plenary will provide an overview of recent successes in the corporate and nonprofit arenas, as well as an analysis and discussion about possible opportunities coming down the pike. Panelists will speak to the increasing consolidation of certain segments of the marketplace and explore its ramifications. The discussion will also address how these market changes are affecting farmers.