Food and Society Policy Fellowship Announces New Class
On July 25, 2002, the Food and Society Policy Fellowship announced the new class of fellows. The fellows will serve for a two-year term beginning September 1, 2002. The recipients of the fellowship and were selected from a highly competitive group of over 120 applicants.
The fellows will begin their term with a media training session in Vancouver in September. Later this year, they will travel to Washington, DC to learn more about food and agriculture policy issues.
The Food and Society Policy Fellows is a professional fellowship that addresses the needs for consumers and society leaders to better understand the issues and challenges associated with sustaining family farms and food production in the United States. The program is administered by the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute in partnership with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
The following is a list of the 2002-2003 class of Fellows:
Molly Anderson, Massachusetts, Director of the Institute of the Environment at Tufts University
Jeremy Brown, Washington, commercial fisherman
Leon Crump, South Carolina, State Director of Federation of Southern Cooperatives
George DeVault, Pennsylvania, Farmer and Magazine Editor for Rodale Press
Loni Kemp, Minnesota, Senior Policy Analyst of The Minnesota Project
Winona LaDuke, Minnesota, Director of White Earth Land Recover Project
Michelle Mascarenhas, California, Interim Executive Director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Ricardo Salvador, Iowa, Associate Professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University
Francis Thicke, Iowa, Dairy Producer
Amy Trubeck, Vermont, New England Culinary Institute Faculty Member
Arlin Wasserman, Michigan, Policy Director of Michigan Land Use Institute
Mark Winne, Connecticut, Executive Director of Hartford Food System
For more information on the program, please visit: www.foodandsocietyfellows.org.
4-H could help turn around falling farm numbers
by LaVon Griffieon
Guest Opinion – Iowa Farmer Today– July 13
Over the past hundred years 4-H has influenced the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iowa youth. Jessie Field Shambaugh planted the seeds for 4-H when she formed Boys Corn and Girls Home Clubs, which met on alternate days after school at Goldenrod country school in Page County, Iowa. She promoted hands-on practical learning so that rural children could improve personal skills, agricultural practices and their quality of life. A by-product of that program was that parents learned new and better ways of doing things along with their children.
4-H has changed over the years. It’s not just for rural children any longer. However, it continues promoting practical learning that leads to a better quality of life. As I parent I can attest that the learning continues for all involved.
As the number of farms continues to fall in Iowa, (we lost 1500 last year alone) I often wonder what the county fair livestock contests are actually preparing my kids for. My husband and each of his siblings showed beef in 4-H and they raise beef on their farms today. But I have a suspicion that not all of my kids will be raising beef in ten years. Yet I feel that 4-H could have a hand in turning those falling farm numbers around.
Three years ago my son, Nick, took his hormone-free, antibiotic-free, pastured poultry to the fair. He was told the best way to place high in the class was to feed the chickens he was going to show at the fair a different feed with antibiotics and hormones. These additives were growth stimulants. Nick stated that he couldn’t make as much money if he fed the feed additives to his poultry. The judge agreed but repeated that if he wanted to win at the fair, he needed to consider the growth hormones.
4-H could serve Iowa well by educating rural and urban youth about community-based food systems. Iowans would benefit in learning about the interdependence between our rural and urban citizens. Having food grown in our state that is healthy for our bodies, families, farms, soils, water, environment and economy needs to emerge as a societal issue.
County fair boards have the option of adding specialty classes to their county fair. Special classes for animals raised without feed additives or hormones and garden produce that is grown naturally or organically would be a nice addition to county fair competitions. If the trend becomes common at the local level, more than likely it would be considered at a state level for a classification at the State Fair.
As consumers become more aware of the value of a community-based food system which sustains family farms, is environmentally sound, promotes health and is locally owned and controlled, they are going to be willing to pay the price necessary for the produce that comes from that system. Multi-national corporations and Wal-Mart, the largest grocer on the planet, will not be spending their money on fancy ad campaigns to tell the American consumer about the value of locally grown foods. It is going to be a grassroots effort, much like Jessie Shambaugh’s, that helps educate consumers about the value of a community-based food system.
Producers need to be the first to accept the facts. After years of increasing their acres to make a living, often at the expense of their smaller neighbors, many conventional farmers are convinced that you have to be big to be in farming. Yet a 1999 Farm Bureau report, Farming in the Heartland A business in crisis, tells us that while personal income in the US increased 65% from 1989 to 1999, farm income decreased. Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture have years of research proving that farms don’t have to be big to make money.
While the media and others tell us repeatedly the family farm is pass , a link to a bygone era with a romantic past that never existed, it’s time Iowans speak up and tell the media and policymakers the facts. Iowans spend $8 billion a year on food. Eighty percent of that food is brought in from out of state and travels between 1200-1800 miles to get here. Do the math and don’t forget to include all the benefits. If we had small farms producing fresh food locally the greater share of our money would stay here in Iowa. Consumers would know where their food is coming from and who produces it. Fresh produce is healthier for us. Iowans would have local food security. Small farms using sustainable practices are environmentally friendly. Small farms producing local foods do not require the financial overhead for expensive equipment that big farms require. This would enable more young people to get started in farming.
Sustainable agriculture can co-exist with conventional agriculture. This doesn’t have to be an “us vs. them” situation. Iowa’s rural communities are losing population and main street businesses are dwindling. The average age of farmers is 53.4 years. In the next 15 years, we are going to see a mass exodus of independent farmers. If the face of Iowa’s rural communities is going to endure, Iowa needs to have a plan to place more people on the land. Our window of opportunity to do this diminishes each day. Fifteen years from now, today’s beginning 4-H members will be completing college and looking for a career.
Let’s educate our young 4-Hers about the importance of community-based food systems. Let’s develop new fair classes for them to compete at county fairs across Iowa. As they improve their skills, agricultural practices and quality of life we will see Iowa take a step back to a method of agriculture that provides a sustainable future.
Editor’s Note: LaVon Griffieon of Ankeny, Iowa, is a farmwife and co-founder and president of 1000 Friends of Iowa. LaVon is also a Food and Society Policy Fellow, a national fellowship program designed to educate consumers, opinion leaders and policymakers on the challenges associated with sustaining family farms and food systems that are environmentally sound, health promoting and locally owned and controlled. The fellowship is funded through the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
Food and Society Policy Fellowship Announces New Class Columbia, Mo.
(July 25, 2002) The Food and Society Policy Fellowship, primarily funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has confirmed the members for its second class. The class will serve for a two-year period beginning September 1, 2002. The recipients of this prestigious fellowship were selected from a highly competitive national group of over 120 applicants. The following is a list of the 2002-2003 class of Fellows:
* Molly Anderson, Massachusetts, Director of the Institute of the Environment at Tufts University
* Jeremy Brown, Washington, commercial fisherman
* Leon Crump, South Carolina, State Director of Federation of Southern Cooperatives
* George DeVault, Pennsylvania, Farmer and Magazine Editor for Rodale Press
* Loni Kemp, Minnesota, Senior Policy Analyst of The Minnesota Project
* Winona LaDuke, Minnesota, Director of White Earth Land Recover Project
* Michelle Mascarenhas, California, Interim Executive Director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers
* Ricardo Salvador, Iowa, Associate Professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University
* Francis Thicke, Iowa, Dairy Producer
* Amy Trubeck, Vermont, New England Culinary Institute Faculty Member
* Arlin Wasserman, Michigan, Policy Director of Michigan Land Use Institute
* Mark Winne, Connecticut, Executive Director of Hartford Food System
The fellows will begin their term with a media training session in Vancouver in September. Later this year, they will travel to Washington D.C. to learn updates on food and agriculture policy issues. The Food and Society Fellows program addresses the need for consumers and society leaders to better understand the issues and challenges associated with sustaining family farms and food production in the U.S. today. The
fellows use media, scholarship, public education and outreach to promote change in food and agriculture systems, through the creation and expansion of community-based food systems. For more information about the program, go to: www.foodandsocietyfellows.org.
The program is administered by the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute in partnership with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute
601 W. Nifong Blvd., Suite 1D
Columbia, MO 65203
Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy
2105 First Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Special Report: The Need for More Supermarkets in Philadelphia: Food for Every Child
Using GIS computer mapping software, this ‘Special Report’ shows that poor supermarket access is linked to a high incidence of diet-related deaths in many low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
The report demonstrates that the location of supermarkets – access to supermarkets – is a key factor contributing to the health and development of neighborhoods. The report maps the locations of supermarket sales, income and diet-related mortality data, using data obtained from TradeDimensions, the Philadelphia Department of Health and the Census.
The report provides information that can be used by hunger advocates, policy makers and legislators to address the growing need for supermarkets and food resources in lower-income communities. Colorful maps, recommendations and descriptions of GIS methodology are included.
Research and publication of the report was funded by the Samuel S. Fels Fund, the Philadelphia Department of Health and individual contributors.
Copies of the 15-page full-color study are available for $8.50, including shipping and handling.
Please send check or VISA/MC information to:
Farmers’ Market Trust
1201 Chestnut St 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-568-0830 Ext 10
Community Food Security Coalition announces release of latest report
The Community Food Security Coalition is proud to announce the release of its latest report: Urban Agriculture and Community Food Security in the United States: Farming from the City Center to the Urban Fringe.
This document is currently available online in Adobe Acrobat format at www.foodsecurity.org. We expect that printed copies will become available by Fall 2002. Prepared by the Urban Agriculture Committee of the Community Food Security Coalition, this document is intended to raise awareness of the ways that urban agriculture can respond to food insecurity.
The document advocates for policies that promote small-scale urban and peri-urban farming, and thereby prepare the next generation of urban farming leaders. The task is to increase public knowledge and support, in order to transform urban agriculture from its cottage industry status into a major instrument against hunger and poverty.
The guide begins with an overview of the variety of forms that urban agriculture is taking in the United States, and the range of farmers found here, and addresses some of the positive impacts current and potential of urban agriculture on community food security.
It also lists some of the challenges facing urban agriculture and suggests ways that these might be addressed. The guide outlines key policy changes that can further expand the effectiveness of urban agriculture.
In the final section, a list is provided of additional contacts and resources for those who are promoting just urban food systems through urban agriculture.
Food and Society Policy Fellows Launch Web site
Those interested in learning more about the Food and Society Policy Fellows can now access information from their newly launched Web site www.foodandsocietyfellows.org.
Features of the Web site include a program overview, application information, background on the 12 Fellows as well as links to published articles written by individual fellows.
The fellowship is a national program of funded professional development. Through the program, fellows use the media and public education outreach to promote food systems change through the creation and expansion of community-based food systems enterprises.
The Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute in partnership with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy are administering the fellowship program. Primary financial support for the program is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
FAS Policy Fellow Examines the Effect of European Farm Policy on Small Farms
By Richard A. Levins for the Grand Forks Herald. “I spent a week this fall visiting farms in Holland and the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. As I had expected, we talked about high-profile issues such as food safety, mad cows and genetically modified organisms. But the discussions I found most interesting were about policies that would save small farms and preserve the character of rural areas”.