Virginia Clarke, executive director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, CA
The Hon. Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator for Michigan, will deliver timely opening remarks, insights, and commentary on the state of food and agriculture policy. Senator Stabenow has been active as a sponsor and supporter of food systems-related bills throughout the breadth of her career.
Inspiration from Food Policy Leadership Institute Fellows
Fellows from the Food Policy Leadership Institute at George Washington University will share stories about their journey into food policy and the impact it is having on their work.
Speakers: Amber Bell, program director, Southwest Georgia Project, GA Kendal Chavez, farm to school director, Farm to Table, NM Sarah Green, project manager, Kansas Health Foundation, KS Kavita Patel, director of local programs, Whole Foods Market, DC
Nourish your body and spirit for the days ahead with food, drink, and lively conversations. Our meal will be crafted by emerging immigrant and refugee chefs working with Foodhini, a catering company founded on the idea that food can be used to create new opportunities for immigrant and refugee communities. Sweet treats from Dolcezza, crafted with locally sourced ingredients, will round out the evening.
Assembling the policy pieces of a farm bill every five years always presents a unique set of challenges, but the current political backdrop has undergone a sea change that requires new thinking about goals, strategies, and expectations for the 2018 version of this omnibus bill. This plenary session will examine what our community might reasonably expect to achieve given the current policy landscape; where our interests are most likely to have traction; how groups are coalescing
to transform their power into legislative action; and what leverage points can aid funders’ engagement in this process. There will also be an opportunity to consider how philanthropy might take advantage of this unique political environment, harnessing the farm bill conversation as a platform from which to catalyze action as a broader food movement and seek connections to other vibrant social movements.
This session will set the table for an in-depth conversation around farm bill policy, coalitions, and movement-building during the farm bill workshop that immediately follows the plenary.
Moderator: Ellyn Ferguson, reporter, CQ Roll Call, DC
Speakers: Helena Bottemiller Evich, senior food and agriculture reporter, POLITICO Pro, VA Frank James, staff director, Dakota Rural Action, SD Navina Khanna, director, HEAL Food Alliance, CA
Our national identity and economy are intricately tied to immigration. Yet recent policy proposals and the broader political discourse around immigration threaten to weaken America both morally and financially. Immigration policies are being substantially changed by this administration with efforts to move from a balance of humanitarian-, family-, and employment-based immigration to a system that is almost wholly merit-based. Policy changes are already underway in the realms of enforcement and deportation of immigrants, access to public benefits, procedures for legal immigration, and the rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and possibly Temporary Protected Status. Policy changes in this arena are dynamic and continue to emerge at a rapid pace.
In this workshop, we will explore the human impacts of these policies and how they are interconnected with food and agriculture systems. Participants will learn about some of the important on-the-ground work taking place and hear from funders about the challenges and opportunities of being a grantmaker in this arena. Through small group discussions, participants will explore how immigration policy intersects with their grantmaking priorities and how to engage meaningfully in this work.
Co-sponsored with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR)
Moderator: Aryah Somers Landsberger, director of programs, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), DC
Speakers: Gratienne (Sienna) Baskin, director, NEO Anti-Trafficking Fund, NEO Philanthropy, NY Cristina Jiménez Moreta, executive director and co-founder, United We Dream, NY Carol Pickering, program officer, Dietel Partners, ME
This workshop provides an opportunity to build on and enrich the dialogue about farm bill policy opened during the preceding plenary. This session will begin with brief presentations by a number of coalition leaders working for just and sustainable food and agriculture policies in the 2018 farm bill. Next, participants will join breakout table conversations facilitated by coalition leaders and plenary panelists, digging deeper into current campaigns and strategies around the upcoming farm bill. Whether they choose to engage in one topical conversation or several, funders will be encouraged to make this learning actionable by considering next steps, sharing key takeaways, and identifying avenues for continued discussion and potential collaboration.
Moderator: Ellyn Ferguson, reporter, CQ Roll Call, DC
Speakers: Helena Bottemiller Evich, senior food and agriculture reporter, POLITICO Pro, VA Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, DC Colby Duren, policy director and staff attorney, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law, DC Sarah Hackney, grassroots director, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, DC Ferd Hoefner, senior strategic advisor, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, DC Frank James, staff director, Dakota Rural Action, SD Navina Khanna, director, HEAL Food Alliance, CA Erik Olson, director, Health Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, DC
Together, the census and American Community Survey (ACS) provide the cornerstone for ensuring fair political representation and directing public and private resources to communities most in need. Although the census is mandated by the Constitution, many know little about it and its critical importance to the programs, issues, and people central to our work. This session offers specific details on the community and food and agricultural system consequences of the census count and resultant demographic data. Guided by experts in the field, we will explore what we should know about the upcoming census and discuss how we might engage in ensuring a fair and accurate census in 2020.
Co-sponsored with Arabella Advisors, Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), and United Philanthropy Forum
Moderator: Maggie Gunther Osborn, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, United Philanthropy Forum, DC
Speakers: Gary D. Bass, executive director, The Bauman Foundation, DC Amber Ebarb, budget and policy analyst, program manager, Policy Research Center, National Congress of American Indians, DC
During this session, funders will receive detailed information about the itinerary for Wednesday’s Capitol Hill and federal agency visits, an overview of what to expect, tips on etiquette and decorum, and a chance to ask questions that will help make the most of this opportunity.
Sponsored Theme Dinners (pre-registration required) or Dinner on Your Own
Quickly reference whether you signed up for a sponsored dinner by checking the listing on your name badge. If you are unable to participate in the sponsored dinner you signed up for, please visit us at the registration table and let us know.
If you did not pre-register for a dinner, enjoy some quiet time or dinner in a small group. See Mobile Guide for list of restaurants.
Co-sponsored by the John Merck Fund and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders
Four years into SAFSF’s partnership work with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), we are excited about the many opportunities we see ahead. We hope you will join us for a strategy conversation that will highlight emerging efforts to bring both funders and advocates together at future regional, national, and policy NASDA gatherings, including advance work already underway in the Northeast as the region prepares to host the 2018 NASDA annual meeting in Hartford, Connecticut.
Co-sponsored by The John Merck Fund and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF)
Speakers: Barbara Glenn, CEO, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), DC Steven Reviczky, commissioner, Connecticut Department of Agriculture; president (2017-18), National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), CT
Sponsored by GRACE Communications Foundation and the 11th Hour Project
Food systems are complex and multi-faceted, and the problems we face require a diverse range of interventions. So many of our problems root down to that most intractable issue, corporate consolidation; farmers need a fair shot! Coordination is key to taking on the broken food system, and a growing network of state legislators and advocates present great opportunity for state-level food system policy work. Veteran farmer programs help veterans settle in and succeed, while training and support serves a dual purpose in helping to address local food access issues. Come hear from experts working on inventive efforts to open markets for farmers, share state-level innovations, and support our veterans while reinvigorating the local farm sector.
Co-sponsored by GRACE Communications Foundation and The 11th Hour Project
Speakers: Pamela Hess, executive director, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, VA Joe Maxwell, executive director, Organization for Competitive Markets, MO Sam Munger, director of strategic engagement and senior advisor, State Innovation Exchange, WI
Co-sponsored by Farm Aid and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
The hurricanes of 2017 highlight the precariousness of farming and the vulnerability of farm and farmworker communities to various environmental, economic, and social risks. Even before Harvey, Irma, and Maria, an alarm was sounding on a growing farm credit crisis that is threatening thousands of farmers and ranchers. The termination of DACA and failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform left thousands of farmworkers and their children subject to deportation. A Congress skewed against regulations is debating the next farm bill, and undoubtedly looking for cuts.
Our pre-dinner presentation will touch on the many storms brewing that affect our food system. We’ll share a quick and dirty rundown on how our nation’s disaster relief, insurance, and credit programs are performing (or not); provide an update on the effects of anti-immigrant policies on farmworkers, farmers, and their communities; and work to understand how advocacy by people directly affected by this mix of complex and evolving threats is coming together. During dinner, we´ll consider what funders can do to help advocates hold the line on justice and assure equal access to sustainability in the 2018 farm bill debate. For dessert, we´ll share questions and ideas for next steps.
Co-sponsored by Farm Aid and Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Guests: Lorette Picciano, executive director, Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural, DC Quinton Robinson, policy advisor, National Family Farm Coalition, DC
A growing number of states are enhancing funding, providing incentives, and delivering technical resources to encourage the adoption of agricultural practices that build the health of soil–a dynamic and vital living system that supports plants, animals, and people. These state-level healthy soils initiatives are driving progress at the intersection of economic prosperity, environmental quality, and community health. This workshop will feature leaders of emerging and established projects that support healthy soils approaches from a range of perspectives, including ones that benefit communities most acutely impacted by industrialized agricultural systems. Join us for an interactive conversation about short- and long-term opportunities to drive shifts in the food system through healthy soils approaches.
Moderator: Meredith Lathbury Girard, senior program officer, Town Creek Foundation, MD
Speakers: Dena Leibman, executive director, Future Harvest: A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, MD Shanon Phillips, water quality division director, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, OK Delegate Dana Stein, delegate, Maryland House of Delegates; executive director and founder, Civic Works, MD
In this new and highly polarized political environment, successful communication strategies have become elusive. It has become more challenging to successfully convey persuasive messages as opinions masquerade as facts, fake news proliferates, and audiences remain oversaturated. How can we effectively communicate both to our base and to those who sit in opposition to our views? What if, instead of doubling down on our usual communications tactics, we found shared values between opposing groups and used those commonalities to develop messaging? How might cognitive and social science research inform advocates in framing dialogue in a way that is resonant with the public in the short-term and transformative in the long-term? Join us for an interactive session that, with the aid of real-world case studies, will provide fodder for how you can craft your communications to break through those walls of dissent and further your philanthropic goals.
Facilitator: Joe Grady, co-founder and partner, Topos Partnership, CA/RI
Breakout Conversations Hosted By: Jill Birnbaum, vice president, Global Advocacy and Strategic Opportunities; executive director, Voices for Healthy Kids, American
Heart Association, TX Alicia Harvie, advocacy and issues director, Farm Aid, MA Leslie Hatfield, senior partnership and outreach advisor, GRACE Communications Foundation, NY Sara Rummel, engagement manager, Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative, MN Stephanie Tama-Sweet, senior foundation relations advisor – advocacy, American Heart Association, OR
Funders’ capacity to influence our food system goes far beyond the power of the purse. Each of us has some combination of social, political, technological, and human resource capital that can be leveraged to support and catalyze the food movement on the ground. Doing so requires strategic coordination, thoughtful dialogue, and ongoing collaboration. This closing plenary provides space to reflect both on our responsibilities as individual grantmakers and investors, as well as our collective potential and power as a network. Our speakers will share their experiences and lead us in a conversation about how we, as a community of funders, can show up in a way that cultivates, sustains, and activates equitable power for the long term.
Moderator: Virginia Clarke, executive director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, CA
Speakers: Cuong P. Hoang, director of programs, Mott Philanthropic and Chorus Foundation, MA Carolyn Mugar, executive director, Farm Aid, MA
11:45-12:00 pm Magnolia
Reflections and Next Steps
Hill and Agency Visits Meet in lobby for prompt 12:45 pm departure
Drawing from the inspired learning over the past two days, teams of experts will guide attendees through a series of meetings with key legislators, committee staff, and administration appointees on Capitol Hill or at federal agency offices. Hill and federal agency visits have been planned in coordination with Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), and Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).
Participants have been assigned to the following Capitol Hill or federal agency visit options based on preferences indicated during registration:
SAFSF and NASDA staff are working together to facilitate visits at USDA on an array of issues that may include nutrition, research, climate-resilient agriculture, and more. Visits will, we hope, include both career staff and newly appointed undersecretaries and provide an opportunity to further expand public-private partnerships.
Much is at stake for health and nutrition in the upcoming farm bill. This Hill visit track will educate members of Congress about the importance of SNAP in promoting food security and healthy outcomes.
The Organic Food Production Act, which defined organic standards and created the USDA’s National Organic Program, was originally authorized as part of the 1990 farm bill. Join this track of Hill visits to educate members from both sides of the aisle about the economic and environmental importance of ensuring support for organic food and farming in the 2018 farm bill. As members consider HR2436, a bill that could bring funding for research in organic systems to a quarter of a billion dollars over the life of the next farm bill, we will also use this opportunity to share our perspectives on why investing in research is critical to supporting organic production.
NSAC visits will arm members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees with the knowledge that they need to support and advance sustainable food and farm policy in the farm bill. Topics will include conservation, local and regional food systems, beginning and minority farmers and ranchers, sustainable agriculture research, crop insurance and subsidy reform, and organic production.