This past December, Congress finalized the 2018 farm bill––but that was only the first half of the process! Now begins the second half –– USDA administrative implementation, where legislative victories are won or lost. Regardless of which farm bill issues you work on and care about, USDA will play a role in how each and every aspect of the farm bill is rolled out on the ground.
This briefing will allow you to dig in and learn how the USDA administrative implementation process works, including the role of Congress, and hear from leading sustainable agriculture, rural development, and food system experts about the topline Farm Bill implementation issues they will be championing. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity for networking and collaboration, and you will leave this briefing with a clear understanding of how and where the grantmaking community can engage to broaden the impact of farm and rural policy in communities across the country.
Stacey Barbas,senior program officer for Health, The Kresge Foundation A-dae Romero-Briones,director of programs – Native Agriculture and Food Systems, First Nations Development Institute
Overview of Farm Bill Implementation
Traci Bruckner,policy program manager, SAFSF
The politics of implementation: What it looks like inside USDA
Kathleen Merrigan,executive director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Arizona State University; former USDA Deputy Secretary
Panel Discussion: Critical implementation issues for sustainable agriculture and food systems
Moderator: Moira Mcdonald,program officer, Freshwater Conservation, Walton Family Foundation
Speakers: Colby Duren,director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law Kate Fitzgerald,principal, Fitzgerald-Canepa, LLC Ferd Hoefner,senior strategic adviser, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Ellen Teller,director of government affairs, FRAC
Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky(invited)
Funder Only Discussion
Moderator: Michael Roberts,program manager, Ecological Agriculture and Food Systems, The 11th Hour Project
Summary & Next Steps
Virginia Clarke,executive director, SAFSF Traci Bruckner,policy program manager, SAFSF
STACEY BARBAS is a senior program officer on the Kresge Foundation’s health team. She is responsible for managing a portfolio of approximately $20 million that focuses on increasing health equity by addressing conditions that lead to poor health outcomes. Her portfolio includes grants that address healthy food systems that benefit low-income communities, and she is a lead staff person on Fresh, Local, and Equitable, a $12 million initiative with the Foundation’s arts and culture program that funds projects around the country that use food-oriented programs to contribute to economic revitalization, cultural expression, and health in urban low-income communities. Stacey’s professional career in the nonprofit health and human service fields spans thirty years. She joined the Kresge Foundation in January 2008 after serving for five years as executive director of the Michigan AIDS fund, a statewide nonprofit grantmaking organization. She received a master of science in administration and management from Central Michigan University. She serves on the steering committee of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders and chairs the Policy Committee.
Colby Duren Director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
COLBY DUREN, J.D. is the policy director and staff attorney for the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Based in Washington, DC, Colby has nearly ten years of experience in federal Indian law and policy, with a specific focus on food, agriculture, and natural resources issues. Before joining the Initiative, Colby served as a staff attorney and legislative counsel for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Washington, DC, advocating on behalf of Tribal Nations on land, natural resources, and agriculture issues, including the 2014 farm bill. Previously, he was a legal assistant for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Washington, DC office, and a paralegal and legislative assistant at a Washington, DC law firm specializing in food and agriculture, and represented Tribes on land reparation and agriculture issues.
Colby earned his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, and his bachelor of arts from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He is licensed to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2016, Colby was nominated by the Native American Bar Association of Washington, DC for its Significant Contribution in Indian Law Award for his work on environmental issues in Indian Country.
KATE FITZGERALD works on policy that links family farms with low-income consumers to achieve economic opportunity and better public health. Based in Texas for 25 years, she now works in Washington, DC representing Fair Food Network and advising several organizations on SNAP produce incentive programs.
Ferd Hoefner Senior Strategic Advisor, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
FERD HOEFNER is a senior strategic advisor for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), and has been the group’s senior Washington, DC representative since its founding in 1988. NSAC is the leading voice for sustainable agriculture in the federal policy arena, joining together the voices of more than 100 grassroots farm, food, conservation, and rural organizations from all regions of the country to advocate for federal policies supporting the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Before his work with NSAC, Hoefner represented Interfaith Action for Economic Justice and its predecessor, the Interreligious Taskforce on U.S. Food Policy, on federal policy on farm, food, and international development issues for nearly a decade. He has also served as a policy consultant to Bread for the World, Center for Rural Affairs, Conference on Alternative State and Local Public Policies, Land Stewardship Project, Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, and U.S. Catholic Conference, among others.
Moira Mcdonald Senior Program Officer, Environment Program, Walton Family Foundation
MOIRA MCDONALD is a senior program officer for the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Program. Moira joined WFF in 2009 and manages the foundation’s grant portfolio in the Mississippi River watershed. Moira has more than 18 years experience in wetlands and freshwater conservation and previously managed programs on the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Moira received her undergraduate degree in environmental science and Russian studies and has a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Minnesota.
Kathleen Merrigan Executive Director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Arizona State University
KATHLEEN MERRIGAN is an expert in food and agriculture, celebrated by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010. Currently, she serves as the Kelly and Brian Swette Professor in the School of Sustainability and executive director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. From 2009 to 2013, Merrigan was deputy secretary and COO of the United States Department of Agriculture. She is currently a board member of FoodCorps, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and the World Agroforestry Centre. She is a partner in Astanor Ventures and an advisor to S2G Ventures, two firms investing in ag-tech innovation. Merrigan holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Environmental Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MA in Public Affairs from University of Texas at Austin, and a BA from Williams College.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree U.S. Representative of Congress (D-Maine)
CONGRESSWOMAN CHELLIE PINGREE represents Maine’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the 1970s, with a degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic, Chellie Pingree started an organic farm on the island of North Haven, Maine. Selling produce to summer residents and raising sheep for wool turned into a thriving mail order knitting business that eventually employed ten people in her small community.
Chellie is still a small business owner today. In her home town on the island of North Haven, Maine, she owns Nebo Lodge and Restaurant and Turner Farm-a diversified organic farm that provides produce, meat and cheese to Nebo Lodge and is sold at a farm stand and the local farmers market.
In Congress, Chellie is an advocate for reforming federal policy to better support the diverse range of American agriculture-including sustainable, organic, and locally focused farming. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, she continues to make food policy reform her top priority. Due to her leadership, the 2018 Farm Bill more than doubled funding for organic research, created the first federal produce prescription program, and established the first federal local food program with permanent funding.
Michael Roberts Program Manager, 11th Hour Project
MICHAEL ROBERTS serves as program manager for the food & agriculture portfolio of The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation. A long-time backpacker, climber, paddler, and organizer, Michael recognizes the colonial and white supremacist roots of the conservation movement as we know it. His work tries to bridge the values of ecology with social justice and racial equity. Michael is a Cider Institute of North America certified cider maker, and a true amateur baker and brewer.
A-dae Romero-Briones Director of Programs – Native Agriculture and Food Systems, First Nations Development Institute
A-DAE ROMERO-BRIONES (Cochiti/Kiowa) works as director of programs—Native Agriculture and Food Systems for First Nations Development Institute and manages the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative at First Nations. She is formerly the director of community development for Pulama Lana’i. She is also the co-founder and former executive director of a nonprofit organization in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. Ms. Romero-Briones worked for the University of Arkansas’ Indigenous Food and Agricultural Intuitive while earning her LL.M. degree in food and agricultural law. Her thesis was on the Food Safety Modernization Act as it applied to the federal Tribal relationship. She wrote extensively about food safety, the produce safety rule and tribes, and the protection of Tribal traditional foods. A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Romero-Briones received her bachelor of arts in public policy from Princeton University, received a law doctorate from Arizona State University’s College of Law, and earned a LL.M. in food and agricultural law from the University of Arkansas. She currently sits on several boards, including the Lana’i Elementary and High School Foundation. She was also recognized as a White House Champion of Change in Agriculture. She currently sits on the National Organic Standards Board.
ELLEN TELLER is the director of government affairs at the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). Ellen directs the development and implementation of FRAC’s legislative agenda, working with Congress, national organizations, and FRAC’s diverse state and local grassroots network. Paramount to this agenda is improved access and participation for low-income individuals and families to domestic food and nutrition programs–SNAP (formerly food stamps), School Lunch and Breakfast, Summer Food, WIC, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP), commodity programs (TEFAP and CSFP)–and anti-poverty programs. Ellen joined FRAC in 1986 as a staff attorney, and provided technical support to legal services attorneys on food law issues. She previously worked at the American Bar Association’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Ellen has a BA in political science and English literature from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and a JD from Western New England University School of Law. She is a member of the DC Bar and is the board chair of the Coalition on Human Needs. Ellen has been honored by the National WIC Association, the National Commodity Supplemental Food Program Association, the Congressional Hunger Center (Emerson Fellows’ Fairy Godmother Award), and the State University of New York at Oneonta.