Seeding Power

New York’s regional food economy is home to hundreds of nonprofit, policy, advocacy and industry leaders who work on a range of issues related to food and farming. And yet, there is no organized food movement to offer a unified vision or coordinate a response to the various inequities happening all along the food chain.

Instead, food work is often siloed by sector and issue area, with no entity holding space for collaboration and cross-sector dialogue. How do we build power to advocate for and bring about a regionally responsive strategy to create a just food system? The Seeding Power Fellowship is our response.

Download the Seeding Power handout here


The Seeding Power Fellowship is an innovative 18-month, cohort-based food justice fellowship program for experienced leaders working across sectors to build equitable food systems. In its inaugural year it will accept applications from leaders in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Long Island.

Seeding Power is unique in both the region it serves and the focus on movement building in food systems, as opposed to more traditional leadership programs that focus solely on individual skill-building. It places racial equity and social justice at the core of a curriculum customized to the specific needs and assets of each cohort.

By providing peer learning space to develop a shared analysis of the issues plaguing our food system, the Seeding Power cohort will graduate with strengthened cross-sector relationships and skills to advance individual, organizational and movement-related goals.


Seeding Power will impact transformation on three levels: the individual, the organization and the movement.

By investing in leaders and creating a shared analysis across the twelve leaders in the cohort, fellows can bring their organizations in closer alignment, thus seeding a more unified food movement.

The program is designed to foster collaboration across sectors and regions by providing opportunities to interact and align with each other’s work, while also building organizational capacity and individual leadership skills based on the specific needs and desires that arise from the fellowship cohort.

Seeding Power will provide a space to have challenging conversations among organizations and sectors that are not always totally aligned, in order to find common ground and build consensus on a path forward.

Fellows will enter the program with a goal in mind for themselves and their organization, and will develop and complete a project by the end of the fellowship to demonstrate the impact of their learning journey.

Each fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend to participate, be part of a three-person peer coaching circle with other fellows that meets monthly, and will identify one accountability partner at their home organization.


Courtesy Truelove Seeds

Individual work, peer coaching, and project development happens between the in-person retreats


  • January – Applications open
  • February – Selection process
  • March – Fellows identified & introductory webinar

Phase 1: Content framing

  • May, 2019 – 1st retreat, Exploration of Power
  • July, 2019 – 2nd retreat, Race & Power

Phase 2: Emergent learning

  • September, 2019 – 3rd retreat, Emergent Skillshare
  • November, 2019 – 4th retreat, Project Innovation

Phase 3: Project development

  • Feb, 2020 – 5th retreat, Leadership & Communications
  • June, 2020 – Project presentations
  • August, 2020 – Final celebration with organizations

How to apply

Seeding Power is open to experienced leaders from nonprofit organizations whose work touches the food system in New York City, Hudson Valley, and Long Island.

To be eligible, you should have significant experience working on food system change, and be in a position to influence a nonprofit organization with similar goals. Your affiliation with the organization can be as a member, staff, or part of the board.

Applications will be accepted January 1st – 31st, 2019. Check back here for a link to applications.

Selection Process

A selection committee comprised of 2-3 members of the CFF steering committee, and 4-5 nonprofit partners from the field, will read and score every application. Those who advance to the second round will be notified by mid-February and invited to participate in a video interview. The twelve selected fellows and their host organizations will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to confirm their spot.

Bees and apples images courtesy USDA

The Seeding Power Fellowship was designed in partnership between the CFF steering committee and Noor Consulting, and will be facilitated by Simran Noor.