Conference Sessions


Thursday - Friday - Saturday


6:00pm-7:30pm Mix and Mingle Happy Hour — Mezzanine 

Come for the old friends and stay for the promise of new collaborations. Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar at the Hotel Baltimore.

7:00pm-8:30pm People of Color Caucus — International

The People of Color Caucus (PoCC) is an annual gathering specifically for people of color attendees to meet informally and network over light refreshments. For some, it serves as an introduction to NESAWG and for others, a time to meet and reconnect. The PoCC offers a unique opportunity to share with one another highlights from our respective work as well as our movement building efforts to lift up equity within various networks. Anyone who identifies as a person of color is welcome to attend the Caucus.

8:30-9:45pm Food Frontiers film screening - Baltimore Theatre

The American public is increasingly interested in healthy eating, but many people have poor access to healthy food. The documentary Food Frontiers
explores a variety of projects from around that U.S. that are improving access. The people driving these projects are begging people to steal their ideas – any or all of them – and make them their own.

The film profiles a pioneer in the farm-to- school movement, a citrus grower who helps rescue his farm (and his neighbors’ farms) by supplying fruits and vegetables to local schools, some dynamic high school students who run a rural grocery store in Nebraska, and a Virginia pediatrician who prescribes cooking classes for her patients and their parents.

The film is part of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s free online curriculum called FoodSpan that helps high school students delve into public health, environmental and social justice issues in the food system.

Presenter: Leo Horrigan, Center for a Livable Future

BLOCK A: FRIDAY 10:00-11:15 AM

How Important is Producer Health and Health Care Access to Food System Sustainability?Charles Suite
Panelists will discuss existing health and health care access challenges that they have identified in their advocacy work with producers (farm owners, migrant farmworkers, fishing boat captains and fishing crews), as well as how proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act might impact producer communities. Panelists will also identify potential policy changes that could reverse existing and troubling trends in these populations and how policies could be shaped to improve the sustainability of these important industries.

Presenters: Julie Sorensen, The Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety; J.J. Bartlett, Fishing Partnership Support Services; Julianna Simmons, Migrant Clinician's Network; Patrick O'Hara, New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health

Hospitals Supporting Local Food Systems through Innovative Community Outreach and Procurement — Hanover A
Health Care Without Harm harnesses the purchasing power, expertise, and voice of the healthcare sector to advance the development of a sustainable food system. Health care institutions around the country have begun to adopt practices and policies to support a healthy, local food system. This workshop will feature some of the innovative initiatives of hospitals in the Chesapeake Bay region in sourcing fresh, local, sustainable ingredients and increasing access to these nutritious foods to patients, employees, and visitors of their institutions as well as low income communities within their service areas.

Presenters: Kristen Markley, Health Care Without Harm; Aaron Boush, Carilion Clinic; Michael Brack, Sodexo, Lehigh Valley Health Network

Leveraging Federal and State Policy to Advance Farm to School — Hanover B
Tags: Policy and Advocacy

As the farm to school movement continues to grow, so too do federal and state policies that advance farm to school. Join National Farm to School Network staff and Core and Supporting Partners to discuss innovative policies from a few states and our nation's capital and to get involved.

Presenters: Maximilian Merrill, National Farm to School Network; Natalie McKinney, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation

Fixing the Food & Farm System: Can the Farm Bill Help in 2018? — Caswell Suite
Tags: Policy and Advocacy

Our food and farm system is facing many challenges: from farming communities struggling with population loss and a downturn in the farm economy to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers confronting structural barriers and a lack of access to resources and opportunities. These problems aren’t inevitable - they are the result of policies created over many years. We can steer American agriculture in a new direction! The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has developed a comprehensive plan for taking meaningful steps toward building a sustainable, resilient and just food and farm system. Join NSAC and learn about the 2018 Farm Bill and how you can become an advocate for change.

Presenters: Olivia Dooley, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Wes King, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Sarah Hackney, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

USDA’s Local Food Marketing Practices Survey : Benchmarks and Analysis for Food Systems Practitioners — Royal Conference Foyer 
Recently, USDA fielded the 2015 Local Foods Marketing Practices (LFMP) Survey of agricultural producers. This session will provide practitioners with a foundation to understand what LFMPS says about baseline measures of producers’ local food marketing practices, and how practitioners might develop impacts indicators that correspond to possible subsequent fieldings of the survey. We discuss the survey and its origins, and present survey results and analysis, including what survey results and analysis cannot tell us. Finally, in the Northeast, initial results are heartening – what we’re doing is working. Let’s celebrate success!

Presenters: Jill Fitzsimmons, USDA AMS/ UMass Amherst Department of Resource Economics; Jim Barham, USDA Rural Development; Julia Marasteanu, FDA

Developing a Sustainable Business Assistance Network — Fairmount Suite A
The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation and The Carrot Project are conducting a planning process to develop a sustainable business assistance network across our region –– New England and the Hudson Valley –– which will create an entrepreneurial culture that champions agriculture and local food systems, and encourages innovation, creative investments and risk taking. A draft blueprint outlines a network that will provide opportunities for professional development, networking and advocate for funding for programs across all states. Come and learn about the process, the blueprint, and how to get involved.

Presenters: Ela Chapin, VT Farm & Forest Viability Program

Securing the Promise of Commercial Urban Agriculture — Fairmount Suite B
Tags: Urban Ag

While commercial urban farmers may have many social and community goals as part of their mission, they seek to primarily support their farms through sales of agricultural products. How might new urban - rural collaborations help urban farmers intensify production, enhance labor resources, target new market niches and implement more strategic business practices? How can urban farms become more deeply connected to the larger agricultural system? This panel will highlight findings from the recently USDA study -“The Promise of Urban Agriculture” and from practitioners to seed a discussion on securing urban agriculture as part of key contributor to a vibrant local and regional food system.

Presenters: Anu Rangarajan, Cornell University; Onika Abraham, Farm School NYC and NESAWG Board Member; Samantha Schaffstall, USDA AMS; Neith Grace Little, University of Maryland Extension—Baltimore City; Kira Bennett, The Carrot Project

Poultry Workers and Contract Growers: Peril, Perspectives and the Power of Partnership Royal Board Room
Tags: Poultry, Equity and Racial Justice

Elevating the voices of those on the frontlines of agricultural production and processing is essential to humanizing our food systems. This session features poultry supply chain workers, growers and advocates discussing labor issues and innovation in the poultry industry. Speakers highlight how supply chain producers and workers are leading the conversation; describe levers for change and outline ways to support worker and grower rights and corporate commitments to good working conditions and fair wages. 

Presenters: Dennis Olson, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; Leila Borrero-Krouse, CATA- The Farmworkers' Support Committee; Mike Weaver, Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias; Suzanne Adely, Food Chain Workers Alliance

YOUTH TRACK OPENING SESSION: Youth Empowerment v.s. Youth Leadership - Peer to Peer Exchange — International 
Tags: Youth

Youth leadership is one of the many vital characteristics of non-profit organizations in the food justice movement. Youth empowering each other and leading one another to a better future is encourage continuously throughout these youth programs. This workshop provides youth with the space to facilitate a peer-to-peer exchange and ways in which they can improve upon youth leadership and youth empowerment in the work that they do.

Presenters: Members of the Youth Food Justice Network: Friends of the Highline, Added Value Farm, East New York Farms!, NY2X, New Settlement

BLOCK B: FRIDAY 11:30-12:45 PM

Consolidation and Power in the Poultry Industry — Charles Suite
Tags: Poultry

Chicken is the dominant agricultural industry in the Delmarva region, where poultry farmers produce 5 billion pounds of broiler chicken yearly. This session addresses concentrated corporate power, the history of contract poultry farming, how the tournament system suppresses farmers’ wages, and how poultry companies leverage market power to affect political and legislative outcomes. The session also discusses local and regional organizing that is reclaiming power in the poultry industry for farmers, workers, and consumers.

Presenters: Leah Douglas, Open Markets Institute; Maria Payan, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project; Craig Watts, Farmer

Exploring Emerging and Potential Market Niches for Local Farm Products in the Chesapeake — Hanover A
Tags: Baltimore and the Chesapeake Region

At a recent local food distribution conference, 90 farmer representatives, distributors, and others from the Chesapeake region identified ways to grow the local food economy. Among these was a call for new infrastructure and an association to support small and medium-sized farmers and local food businesses. Together these would offer engaged businesses a range of services, including a forum to develop “micro niches” within local food markets. This interactive panel of food system thinkers and business people will consider how the evolving business models and changing consumer preferences in the Chesapeake region might point to what some of these coming “micro niches” in local food may be. Lindsay Smith at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will introduce the panel and panelists. Emily Best at Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative will serve as the Moderator.

Presenters: Emily Best, Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative (TOG); Debra Moser, Central Farm Markets and Meatcrafters; Ron Williams, Jr., Dorchesters Farm FoodHUB; Phil Gottwals, Agriculture and Community Development Services, LLC

The Good Food Purchasing Program: Using 5 Values to Leverage Municipal Food-Buying Power  Hanover B
Tags: Policy and Advocacy, Equity and Racial Justice

The Food Chain Workers Alliance, ASPCA, and other local and national groups are working through the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) to help public institutions source more just, healthy, humane and sustainable food. GFPP is a multi-sector coalition supporting a food system reflecting five values: nutrition, worker justice, local economies, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare. GFPP provides a comprehensive food procurement tool for cities, school systems and other public bodies to invest in food meeting these five values. This session covers the history, scope and structure of GFPP; current GFPP campaigns in Northeastern states; and opportunities to get involved.  

Presenters: Suzanne McMillan, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA); Suzanne Adely, Food Chain Workers Alliance; Craig Willingham, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute; Liz Accles, Community Food Advocates

The Next Generation versus Climate Change — Caswell Suite
Tags: Youth

This workshop is about the effect the food system has on climate change and the way youth can contribute towards making changes to slow down climate change. We are also going to learn the difference between climate change and climate justice. Through various activities we will interact with each other, have opportunities to learn from each other, and share our ideas. We will also hear from speakers on their perspectives about how climate change is affected by our food systems, and the power of the youth voice.

Presenters: Ingabire Amida Adam & Lucy Handman, Massachusetts Avenue Project

Youth/Adult Collaboration to Create a Healthier School — Royal Conference Foyer
Tags: Youth

High school entrepreneurs working with Rebel Ventures, a youth-run nonprofit food business in Philadelphia, will lead participants through an experiential workshop to create a healthier school. Rebel Ventures is a youth-powered social enterprise with a mission to create healthy deliciousness with kids (and adult allies) in our community. Our main product, Rebel Crumbles, is a whole-grain fruit filled breakfast cake that is served in all Philadelphia public schools. In our workshop we will guide participants through the same problem-solving method we use to design products. We will split into groups and compete to design and pitch a product or service to create a healthier school.

PresentersJarrett Stein, Rebel Ventures; Tre'Cia Gibson, Rebel Ventures; Zaire White, Rebel Ventures; Kevin Dixon, Rebel Ventures

Seed Justice: Growing community through the power of seed. Fairmount Suite A
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

Seed diversity is directly linked to social, environmental, economic, agricultural, cultural, and ecological justice issues. Learn about the many ways communities can protect local cultivars in ways that grow social, food, and seed justice solutions. This presentation will include a short history of seed access and diversity in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic from native peoples to biotech. From there, we'll explore the challenges presented by the current seed industry and existing models that communities are using including seed libraries, farmer seed cooperatives, seed swaps, seed sanctuaries, regional seed companies, and NGO seed banks. We'll have an interactive guest panel at the end of the session that includes leaders in indigenous food and seed sovereignty efforts, farm-based seed stewardship, regional seed production, and ability inclusive seed growing. 

Presenters: Ken Greene, Seedshed and Hudson Valley Seed Co; Kenny Perkins, Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment Horticulturist, Ohero:kon Rites of Passage Lead Uncle, Seedshed Native American Seed Sanctuary; Tina Square, Native North American Traveling College Cultural Educator,  Ohero:kon Rites of Passage Lead Auntie, Seedshed Native American Seed Sanctuary;  Lisa Millette & Andrea Baring, Turtle Tree Seed 

Stepping Outside the Silo: Coalition Building for Policy and Legislative Wins  Fairmount Suite B
Tags: Policy and Advocacy

Enacting policies that support a sustainable, equitable food system hinges on our ability to build coalitions that cross sectors and comfort zones. But how do we get there? As a case study, we'll explore the legislative efforts of the Baltimore City Partnership to End Childhood Hunger. Partnership members will share about their work within a diverse coalition on city, state, and federal policy, including: efforts to state-fund a farmers market matching program and expand free meals to all students in Baltimore City schools. Hear about the range of collaborating partners, the equity implications, and the challenges. Come prepared to step outside your silo and contribute to the learning!

Presenters: Michele Levy, Maryland Farmers Market Association; Matt Quinlan, Family League of Baltimore City

Centering Racial Justice and Equity in a Small Agricultural Organization: Steps Taken and Lessons Learned — Royal Board Room
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

In this interactive workshop, staff from Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming in Ithaca NY will share lessons learned as we’ve deepened our commitment to building a just, inclusive and equitable organization, specifically in a majority white organization and region of Upstate NY. We’ll share concrete examples from our work including resource sharing, racial justice staff/board education, collaboration with people of color-led organizations, the creation of an organizational equity statement, bridging rural farmers and urban food justice efforts, accountability practices, and the food justice curriculum we piloted in our 2017 Farmer Training Programs. Insight & feedback encouraged!

Presenters: Kate Cardona, Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming; Anna McCown, Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming

BLOCK C: FRIDAY 3:00-4:15 PM

Peer to Peer Learning for Networks — Charles Suite
In food systems networks, groups of interconnected people and organizations work together intentionally to pursue a common purpose or goal. Are you operating or building a food system network organization? Do you participate in, or work for, a network? In this session, participants will explore three questions about the unique challenges organizations face in convening farm and food movement networks. Questions were developed based on input from a survey of people working with network organizations and focus on topics such as “how networks manage stakeholder expectations” and “strategies that support shared leadership”. The session discussion may form the basis for a future Community of Practice on Food Systems Networks.

Presenters: Brett Tolley, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance; Christy Gabbard, Local Concepts, LLC; Juliana Simmons, Migrant Clinician's Network; Tanya Swain (moderator), SmallFish Consulting Group

Personal Finance Management, a Guide for Starting Urban Farm Enterprises — Lafayette Suite
Tags: Urban Ag

This session discusses essential guides for prospective urban farmers and even rural farmers to understand and manage their personal finances before planning to start a farm enterprise. The discussions include: understanding the economics relationship between personal income, consumption spending, saving or investing; how budgeting can motivate saving and investing; and the implication of credit, credit report, and credit scores to farmers. Knowledge gained from these discussions would help prospective farmers have a clear picture of their finances before deciding to seek loans to start the enterprise or not.

Presenters: Michael Elonge, University of Maryland Extension; Clayton Williams, Strength to Love II Farms (SLF); Neith Grace Little, University of Maryland Extension—Baltimore City

Efforts to move the Local Food Movement in the Chesapeake Bay Region Forward Hanover A
Tags: Baltimore and the Chesapeake Region

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is one of the most recognized bodies of water in the world. Agriculture is a key component of the watershed’s composition. Two recent projects looking at the region’s food system will be highlighted in this session. The first project sought to understand the complexities of federal, state, and local policies and legislation and how they are helping or hindering to enhance the local food movement in Chesapeake Bay region. The second project focused on collaborative efforts of Maryland’s food sectors to develop a statewide Food Charter. In each case, recommendations provide a call for collaborative and strategic approaches to strengthen the food system.    

Presenters: Nancy Nunn, Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology; Greg Bowen, Land Stewardship Solutions LLC; Christine Bergmark, CLB Advising, LLC; Joe TassoneTal Petty, Hollywood Oyster Company

Antibiotic Use and Resistance: Poultry worker impacts and solutionsHanover B
Tags: Poultry
This workshop examines how the health crisis of antibiotic resistance affects the health of workers on poultry farms and processing plants. Panelists address the latest research findings on worker exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria and how advocates are pursuing solutions through legislation, and litigation and collaboration. The session also highlights the power of institutional procurement, consumer demand and retail/restaurant policy in reducing the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture.

Presenters: Cameron Harsh, Center for Food Safety; Kathy Lawrence, Antibiotic Resistance Action Center, NESAWG Board Member; Shelby Luce, Antibiotics Program, U.S. PIRG; Ellen Silbergeld, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Putting Inefficiencies Back Where They Belong: Redefining Scale Through Social Impact —Baltimore Theatre
No one in agriculture is a stranger to the rally cries “get big or get out” and “efficiency is king.” So many of us are accountable to investors who look to gross sales, volume and margins to define our success. Or we embrace the opposite path and look to micro-enterprises in order to preserve independence. And when we pour our very selves into building viable, thriving organizations it can be tempting to default to big-is-bad/small-is-good, big=change/small=limited in defense of our chosen path. In this workshop, entrepreneurs and funders will collaborate to unpack traditional metrics for success and explore how we might redefine them based on social impact.

Presenters: Laura Edwards-Orr, Red Tomato; Christine James, John Merck Fund; Alex Linkow, Fair Food Fund; Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm Company; Sue Miller, Birchrun Hills Farm

Advocating for Food Waste Reduction on College Campuses Caswell Suite
Tags: Youth

The session will begin with a brief introduction of food waste and its effects on a sustainable and just farm and food system. We will be stressing the importance of creating an effective and engaging campaign, by sharing an annual anti-food waste campaign that Real Food Hopkins conducts at the Johns Hopkins dining hall. We will share our results from past years, successes, challenges and overall tips in promoting this cause at a college setting. Following this presentation, our participants will break up into small groups. Each group will have roughly 30 minutes to brainstorm, plan and create an anti-food waste campaign pitch or proposal. Then, they will each have about 3-5 minutes to present, depending on the number of groups. The session will wrap up with a 5-minute discussion on final thoughts and questions. 

Presenters: Ivory Loh, Johns Hopkins University; Clarissa Chen, Johns Hopkins University; Divya Korada, Johns Hopkins University; Katie Smith, Johns Hopkins University 

Youth Powered School Food in Philadelphia Royal Conference Foyer 
Tags: Youth

This session tells the story of school food innovation in Philadelphia that simultaneously advances the goals of childhood nutrition, food education, local procurement, and Women and Minority Owned Business Enterprises. This is a story of government, community, nonprofit, university, and industry collaboration to develop youth-centered school food.

Presenters: Audrey Huntington, The Common Market Environmental Leadership Program; Marcy Cuneo, Revolution Foods, Back on My Feet; Jarrett Stein, Rebel Ventures; Tre'Cia Gibson, Rebel Ventures; Amy Virus, School District of Philadelphia Food Services; Alex Elson, Revolution Foods

From the Ground to the Grassroots: The Evolving Science and Movement Behind Healthy Soils Fairmount Suite A
Tags: Policy and Advocacy
Healthy soil can retain water, boost fertility, and store carbon. So how do we get more of it? University of Maryland soil scientist Dr. Sara Via will conduct a hands-on demonstration explaining the complex microbial interactions beneath our feet that create great soil. Dena Leibman, Executive Director of Future Harvest CASA, will then moderate a panel to discuss the fast-growing movement to build better soils around the world.

Presenters: Maryland Delegate Dana Stein, Civic Works; Dr. Sara Via, University of Maryland College Park; Dena Leibman, Future Harvest CASA

Talk is Cheap, and Effective - How to Solve Practical Problems In Food Systems by Building Value Chains Fairmount Suite B
“Oh! You really have to talk to...” As the local food movement expands beyond direct markets, regional food businesses must establish more complex relationship networks in order to thrive. Leads, contacts, business and personal connections needed for growth are not easy to discover. However, there are people and organizations that provide this "soft infrastructure" (value chain coordinators (VCCs)), acting as the lynchpin in making good matches. The USDA's Food LINC program is funding and studying 13 such organizations around the country. Three experienced Food LINC VCCs, each in a unique context, will share inspiring, practical examples illustrating this work. You can expect to leave with new insights and techniques to build resilient and efficient local food value chains.

Presenters: Sarah Fritchner, Farm to Table; Lindsay Smith, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG); Jazmin VarelaJim Barham, USDA Rural Development; Ann Karlen, Fair Food; Ellie Bomstein, Wallace Center

Urban Agriculture Policy: What Works, and for Whom — Royal Board Room
Tags: Urban Ag
City policies and federal programs have made progress in addressing urban farmers’ issues of land and water access, animal husbandry, product sales and more. Yet policies and plans are not necessarily deployed or accessed equitably among all people growing food in cities. Drawing from national and local experience, the panel of practitioners, planners, and advocates invite the audience to discuss urban agriculture planning and policy: what works, what does not, and how to promote equitable planning, programming, and access to urban agriculture resources.

Presenters: Abby Cocke, Baltimore Office of Sustainability; Qiana Mickie, Just Food; Denzel Mitchell, Baltimore Montessori Public Charter; Molly Riordan Bucknum, Cornell Small Farms Program

A People's Hxstory of the Food System — International
Tags: Youth, Equity and Racial Justice

This workshop explores personal connections to food, the history of our food system, advocating for food sovereignty, and building the grassroots. We will explore the intersections of labor, gender, environmental, racial, and economic justice in food justice through an interactive timeline. Presenters will also share their work as growers and community organizers at VietLead’s community farm, Resilient Roots, in Camden, NJ and building a community school garden at Furness high school in South Philadelphia which is in partnership with Cambodian Americans of Greater Philadelphia (CAGP) and Bhutanese American Organization of Philadelphia (BAO-P). 

Presenters: VietLead; Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia; Bhutanese Organization of Philadelphia

BREAKFAST DISCUSSION: Saturday 7:15am-8:15am

Race and Equity in the Food System and Sustainable Agriculture Movement Discussion — International Room 

During this breakfast session, we will explore the meaning and impact of the stories we tell over and over again. We will identify different kinds of stories in our food systems and how they can serve to perpetuate privilege, inequity and “othering" or challenge the old narrative and point us towards justice and “belonging.”

Presenters: Curtis Ogden, Interaction Institute for Social Change; Karen Spiller, KAS Consulting; and Joanne Burke, University of New Hampshire

Equity and Racial Justice Block – 
All sessions in this block are centered on equity and racial justice issues.

Growing Equitable Food Connections through Local Government Planning — Charles Suite
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice
The workshop will highlight results from the national Growing Food Connections project that aims to build connections among underserved residents and small- and medium-sized farms through planning and policy. The workshop will include an interactive activity where participants will audit plans and policy tools to explore their power and limitations in food systems work.

Presenters: Samina Raja, UB Food Lab; Erin Sweeney, UB Food Lab; Domonique Griffin, UB Food Lab; Daniela Leon, UB Food Lab; Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust

Cultivating New Food Entrepreneurs and Scaling-Up Businesses to Create Self-Sufficiency in the Takoma/Langley Crossroads — Lafayette Suite
Tags: Baltimore and the Chesapeake Region, Equity and Racial Justice

Learn about how Crossroads Community Food Network is building long-term economic vitality in the richly diverse, mostly immigrant, low-income Takoma/Langley Crossroads community by increasing equity in the food system and building our community’s self-reliance through food entrepreneurship. Hear how we, with the help of key community partners, a USDA Community Food Project Grant, and a brand-new shared-use community kitchen, are facilitating the creation of new food businesses, supporting the scaling-up of those food businesses, and strengthening markets for locally produced food.

Presenters: Christie Balch, Crossroads Community Food Network; Jennifer Underwood, Crossroads Community Food Network

Human Rights & Food Justice in the US Hanover A
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

(How) can human rights frameworks support food justice, sovereignty, and self-determination in the US, especially in regards to food apartheid and the lack of Black land sovereignty?

Presenters: Rebekah Williams, Massachusetts Avenue Project; Anne C Bellows, Syracuse University Falk School; Alexander Wright, African Heritage Food Co-op; Acour Dour, Black Lives Matter - Buffalo Chapter; Ashia Rain Auborg, Syracuse University; Collin Townsend, Syracuse University; Neena Hussey, Syracuse University

Milk with Dignity: Community-Based Solutions to Make Human Rights a Reality on Farms Hanover B
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

This session will improve participants' knowledge of dairy farmworkers’ issues, including a program called Milk with Dignity that will protect the rights of workers through worker-driven social responsibility.The Milk with Dignity Program secures dignified livelihoods for both farmworkers and farmers. The Milk with Dignity Program, inspired by and modeled after the Fair Food Program, enlists the resources of food industry leaders to improve farm conditions. Migrant Justice and the program's third party human rights monitor will share more about the development of the program as a solution to the struggles of migrant dairy workers in Vermont.

Presenters: Rafaela Rodriguez, Milk with Dignity Standards Council; Tom Fritzsche, Milk with Dignity Standards Council; Abel Luna, Migrant Justice; Brendan O'Neill, Migrant Justice; Will Lambek, Migrant Justice

Creating a Culture of Equity and Belonging for a Sustainable Food Future — Baltimore Theatre 
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

Food Solutions New England, a regional collaborative network, has committed to putting racial equity at the center of its food systems work. Session participants will learn why this commitment was made and explore the various network innovations FSNE has made in order to advance its commitment to racial equity.

Presenters: Karen Spiller, KAS Consulting; Curtis Ogden, Interaction Institute for Social Change; Joanne Burke, University of New Hampshire​

Giving Meaning to Food Sovereignty — Caswell Suite
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

This workshop, a collaborative presentation by leaders of Black Yield Institute and Corbin Hill Food Project, will focus on highlighting examples of Food Sovereignty in action in Baltimore and New York City, respectively. Presenters will also discuss conceptual framework for understanding food sovereignty practice.

Presenters: Dennis Derryck, Corbin Hill Food Project; Eric Jackson, Jr., Black Yield Institute

If You're not at the Table, You Are on the Menu: Young Minorities Leaders as Stakeholders in Food and Agriculture — Royal Conference Foyer
Tags: Youth, Equity and Racial Justice

Youth and minorities are consistently less represented and involved as agriculture and food stakeholders. Although many frameworks exist to address inequality in the food and agriculture sector to better engage minorities, women and people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, age is stills a limiting factor for youth to engage within their food system. Nevertheless, this workshop will explore how the intersectionality of individuals presents them with challenges and opportunities to engage in the food system.

Presenters: Vanessa Garcia Polanco, Rhode Island Food Policy Council

Innovating Food Access Solutions for Aging Adults — Fairmount Suite A
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

The number of Americans over the age of 65 is estimated to double between today and 2060, rising to nearly 24% of the population. These older adults are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity; recent data indicates that about 1 in 6 older adults face the threat of hunger. These consequences disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic older adults and older adults who have low income. This session will explore the underlying drivers of food security among older adults compared to the nation as a whole, and identify evidence-based solutions being piloted across the region to ensure nutritional security for our older family members and neighbors.

Presenters: Kimberly Perry, AARP Foundation; Eliza Cohen, Rhode Island Public Health Institute/Food on the Move

Food Apartheid in the Black Community — Fairmount Suite B
Tags: Equity and Racial Justice

The Black Community has always practiced Urban Agriculture not as a hobby but as a means to feed our families and beautify our neighborhoods, it has only taken on a life of its own outside of our communities, when white people saw and started to practice it benefits. But in recent years the displacement of Black farmers, the era of integration, the foreclosure on Black owned Farm Land and the invention of fast foods restaurants the Black community has to now reconnect with the land and our roots (SANKOFA). Along with this new era of thinking many Black People equate gardening, farming and any soil activities with slavery, this myth must be dispelled.  

Presenters: Vikki Ayanna Jones, Sankofa Village Projects/Sankofa Village Community Garden   

Building Community Power and Leadership in the Food System: Lessons from D.C. — Royal Board Room
Tags: Baltimore and the Chesapeake Region, Equity and Racial Justice

Produce Plus, a D.C. program where residents who receive federal benefits can get up to $20 a week to spend on produce at farmers’ markets, serves over 7,000 customers each summer. DC Greens’ Market Champion program employs Produce Plus customers to help create the vibrant and inclusive neighborhood farmers’ markets that customers deserve. DC Greens’ Community Advocates program develops a community of residents who have the tools they need to effectively push for the changes they want to see in the local food system, with the goal of building a city where changes to food policy are led by those most impacted by food injustice. This session will discuss the challenges and successes of these two programs, and D.C. Greens’ efforts to shift power to community members and build community leadership into our program and policy work.

Presenters: Asha Carter, DC Greens; Beatrice Evans, DC Greens

Digging in the Farm Bill: Using a Racial Equity Lens in the Farm Bill — International
Tags: Policy and Advocacy, Equity and Racial Justice

​This session will encourage participants to apply a racial equity lens to the Farm Bill. What are some of the racial inequities built into the Farm Bill? What are some of the challenges and opportunities for the sustainable agriculture movement and advocates - both POC and white - to advance racial equity in the upcoming Farm Bill? Utilizing this lens, how can we connect our advocacy efforts within our region to federal policy?

Presenters: Marla Karina Larrave, NSAC; Qiana Mickie, Just Food 

BLOCK E: SATURDAY 10:00-11:15 AM 

Farm to Fork Communications — Charles Suite
Tags: Policy and Advocacy

In an increasingly noisy and polarized climate, how can farmers, sustainable agriculture advocates, and everyday citizens get their messages to resonate with the right stakeholders? How can they effect change? It is possible to reach and influence varying social and political groups, but it takes the right skills and a commitment to stepping up your communications game. Effective advocacy communications starts with effective storytelling. In this session, we’ll discuss the power of storytelling at the local, state and federal levels of policy-making and current “tools of the trade” to optimize and amplify your message. We’ll also touch on working with and messaging to a diverse array of stakeholders in order to become an all-star advocate for the programs and policies you care about, whether you’re on the farm, in the state house or on Capitol Hill.

Presenters: Andrew Jerome, National Farmers Union; Sonia Keiner, Chesapeake Foodshed Network; Spencer Moss, West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition

Developments on the Impacts of Pesticide Use — Lafayette Suite
A panel of experts will address 1) the impact of pesticides used in agriculture on climate change, and  human and bay -related health, 2) the role GMO crop production plays in increasing farmers’ use of pesticides, 3) impact of pesticides on pollinators and consequent produce crop production, 4) the need for regional technical assistance on safer practices and products, 5) the benefits of disclosure and scientific analysis of pesticide use, 6) advocating for Maryland pesticide-related policies and laws that support small scale sustainable agriculture.

Presenters: Carys Mitchelmore, PhD, Maryland Center for Environmental Science; Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Friends of the Earth; Ruth Berlin, Maryland Pesticide Education Network; Bonnie Raindrop, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association; Cleo Braver, Cottingham Farm / Eastern Shore Food Hub; Holly Budd, Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association

Youth Exposing Food Apartheid in the Black Community — Hanover A
Tags: Youth, Equity and Racial Justice

We are the Urban Garden Apprentices of the Sankofa Village Community Garden in Pittsburgh, PA (aka Steel City). After the decline of industrial manufacturing, communities began to deteriorate from the lack of jobs and available resources, and food apartheid policies only made things worse. Our agricultural interventions seek to develop a sustainable, healthy, food system through an inclusive focus on agricultural heritage and a recognition of systemic inequality while simultaneously improving employment opportunities, entrepreneurship skills, and health education. We will explain how food apartheid impacts our neighborhoods and our efforts to educate ourselves and fight for change.

Presenters: Ayanna Nugzi, Sankofa Village Community Garden; Tatyona Patterson, Sankofa Village Community Garden; Jameel Butler, Sankofa Village Community Garden

Levers for large-scale food systems change: lessons from the Mid-Atlantic and beyond — Caswell Suite
Tags: Poultry, Policy and Advocacy

How can we shift entire agricultural systems towards health, justice and sustainability? What tools are effective and what results are being achieved? This session looks at these questions through the lens of work on large poultry production and processing operations. From litigation and policy to corporate engagement and grassroots community organizing, we examine a spectrum of strategies, the promise and limitations different approaches hold and how they are being used locally, regionally and nationally.

Presenters: Betsy Nicholas, Fair Farms; Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastal Trust; Dr. Sacoby Wilson, University of Maryland; Alex Galimberti, Oxfam Lives on the Line

Designing for Food Equity — Royal Conference Foyer
Tags: Youth, Equity and Racial Justice, Baltimore and the Chesapeake Region

How might we design a sustainable model for addressing food deserts through greater access to food education? Learn how you can connect an art & design background into addressing food and racial equity. Kinetic Kitchen is a mobile food education program based in Baltimore City that focuses on providing cooking skills and information about healthy food choices. 

Presenters: Valeria Fuentes, Kinetic Kitchen; Amy Zheng, Johns Hopkins University

Dairy Policies: Public and Private Initiatives of the Northeast — Fairmount Suite A
Tags: Policy and Advocacy

Panelists will present an overview of the status of dairy farming in the NESAWG 12 state area. We will look at changes in numbers of farms, production levels, processing plants and dairy consumption. Panelists will approach dairy issues from a variety of perspectives including public and private policies that impact farmer sustainability, the role of international trade and opportunities for on-farm processing of dairy products.  

Presenters: Sarah Gardner, Ph.D, Williams College; Lauren Melodia, Center For Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship; Lorette Piciano, Rural Coalition/ Coalicion Rural; Lorraine Lewandrowski, New York State Advisory Board 

Faith, Culture, and Social Action — Fairmount Suite B
Increasingly, food production is included as a realm in which faith and culture are creating innovations. In the Greater Baltimore region, faith and cultural groups are at the helm of constructing positive food system alternatives. This workshop will highlight actions taken by Baltimore area religious and cultural groups to address the needs of their respective communities, while protecting the Earth at large. The workshop will explore the nature of the food innovations, and the convictions and motivations that led the panelist to take social actions towards food. Included in the panel will be leaders from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, each practitioners of creative projects that include growing and sharing.  

Presenters: Rev. Heber Brown, NESAWG Board Member and Black Church Food Security Network; Rev. Darriel Harris, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future's Baltimore Food and Faith Project; Elder CW Harris, Newborn Communiy Church; Rosemary Flickinger, Kadampa Meditation Center; Jen Halima Willett

Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast: Many New Findings — Royal Board Room
EFSNE team members will present many new findings about the state of the Northeast food system. Our interdisciplinary project has explored the role and potential of an enhanced regional food system to improve food security at the regional level, and in low-income urban and rural communities. We’ll share six years of research and other findings including an in-depth exploration of food access, and supply chain studies of the EFSNE Market Basket foods, along with innovative outreach and education activities.

Presenters: Kathryn Ruhf, EFSNE; Clare Hinrichs, Penn State University; Kate Clancy, Center for a Livable Future John Hopkins University School of Public Health; Linda Berlin, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture

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