Northeast Food Movement Organizing, 2/1

Thursday February 1, 2018

1:00 – 3:00pm

North Star Fund
520 8th Ave, suite 1800

Register here

This discussion is available to join remotely

[UPDATE: You can now read a recap of this briefing online]

Join Community Food Funders and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) for a discussion on the role philanthropy can play in working with our state policymakers in supporting the good food systems work of our grantees.

In September 2018, the heads of agriculture from all 50 states will convene in our backyard (in Hartford, CT) as part of the annual National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) meeting. And we have the opportunity to bring a unified message about the importance of our movement to this group!

Similarly, the heads of agriculture of the 10 northeast states (NEASDA) convene all together every year. Coordination led by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG), a 12-state network of over 500 participating organizations, is underway to build a yearly presence at these gatherings. The 2018 NEASDA meeting will be held June 3-6 in Newport, RI. These efforts are also working towards planning for the 2018 NASDA meetings. At the recent NESAWG conference in Baltimore, over thirty advocates from across the region came together for a half-day meeting. These conversations are continuing and are building momentum.

Come join a roundtable discussion to learn and strategize with us! We will hear from SAFSF Executive Director Virginia Clarke who has spearheaded the effort to sponsor the annual NASDA meetings and send a local cohort of food systems advocates to each meeting since 2014. We will also hear a debrief on the 2017 NEASDA meeting from a group of advocates who attended under CFF sponsorship, including NESAWG Executive Director Tracy Lerman.

The full list of invited speakers include:

  • Tracy Lerman, NESAWG
  • Rebecca Fuentes, Workers Center of Central NY
  • Zach Wolf, Glynwood Institute
  • Samantha Levy, American Farmland Trust
  • Andrew Bahrenburg, National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Peter Allison, Farm to Institution New England
  • Steven Farley, Wholesome Wave

Co-sponsored by Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders

More info

Every year, the heads of the 50 states’ department of agriculture come together for the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). Five years ago, the national food funders affinity group, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), raised $30,000 from among its members in order to allow a partner NGO to attend the 2014 NASDA meeting as a Diamond Sponsor, the highest level sponsorship possible.  This sponsorship not only afforded the partner NGO important visibility at the conference of agriculture directors, but also enabled a cohort of ‘good food’ advocates to attend the meeting and directly engage with state agriculture policymakers.  SAFSF has repeated this effort every year since then and has seen positive results in terms of relationships built and the influence of the sustainable agriculture sector on this influential (and more conservative) group. The 2018 NASDA meeting will take place in Hartford, CT in September, and we want to make sure we carry the torch and continue to build on this great work.

NASDA is made up of four smaller regional associations that each have their own annual meetings as well. In our region it is the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA), comprised of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Following the lead of SAFSF, northeast regional food funders organized to send a cohort of advocates to the 2017 NEASDA meeting in Cooperstown, NY. Due to the positive feedback of those who attended, this is an effort we will replicate year after year. The 2018 NEASDA meeting will take place in Newport, RI in June.

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