The Farm Bill & Federal Ag Policy...What’s Happening & Why Care?
We're pleased to announce that the 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit will feature a Federal Policy Plenary on Friday, April 7th. This session will be the opening plenary on the second full day of the #F2ISummit in Leominster, Massachusetts.
National agriculture policy is a topic that many do not fully understand, yet it has a significant impact on the work that we do to support farm to institution and regional food systems development. The objective of this Federal Policy Plenary is for all attendees to better understand the relevance federal policy has on our work in New England and head home more informed and ready to take action!
Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, a leader in promoting local foods at the national level, will be joining us on Friday, April 7th, at the summit to share her thoughts on the importance of a strong regional food system that supports farm to institution in our region. Her own experience and commitment to local food carry through to her many efforts in Congress.
Wes King, Policy Specialist for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, will be moderating this session. He will also be co-leading a session on Friday afternoon with more detail about advocating for what you care about in the Farm Bill.
Tricia Kovacs, Local and Regional Food Systems Policy Advisor for the USDA, will share some insight about the USDA programs that benefit and support farm to institution efforts and the successes that have resulted from those programs.
Following those national perspectives, we will bring it home to New England and share stories from organizations that have directly benefited from federal funding and policy. John Waite, the Executive Director of Franklin County Community Development Corporation and the Western Mass Processing Center and Katherine Sims, the Founder and Development Director of Green Mountain Farm to School, will explain how their programs and organizations have utilized federal funding programs that are part of the Farm Bill.
Following the speakers, we will have some Q&A time and a chance to point you to some easy ways that you can take action to support farm to institution in the next Farm Bill!