2019 Food Systems Development Practitioners Survey
We welcome your participation in this Food System Development Practitioner survey!
COMPLETE THE SURVEY HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NAFSN_201
Purpose and Survey Overview
One of the big questions relating to food system development is what are the challenges and training needs of current and prospective food system development practitioners? We believe that improved knowledge and skills of practitioners are likely to lead to more effective and efficient programs, and ultimately to more viable and sustainable food systems. This survey was conducted in 2012, and this new survey will provide trends in the professional development needs of food systems practitioners.
FEATURED ACTIVIST: Dr. Gail Myers
As co-founder of Farms to Grow, Inc., Air Force Veteran, filmmaker, cultural anthropologist, and NAFSN’s leadership circle chair, and a self-declared “activist for black farmers,” Dr. Gail Myers has been at the forefront of advocating and leading agricultural justice for underserved farmers. Dr. Myers received her Doctorate in Anthropology from The Ohio State University. Starting from her time in Ohio, she proactively worked to address the lack of narrative on Black farmers.
In 2001, while in her doctoral program, Dr. Myers organized Ohio’s very first statewide conference for African American farmers called “Sustaining Communities: Ohio’s Black Farmers at the Crossroads.” This conference raised the issue of the declining trend of Black farmers and provided an opportunity for farmers to network and brainstorm solutions.
In 2004, upon graduation, Dr. Myers continued her transformative work by co-founding Farms to Grow, Inc. in Oakland, California. Farms to Grow is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission of building the capacity of underserved farmers to sustain and establish viable farm operations.
Dr. Myers’ proactive leadership did not stop in here. Rather, she has continued to raise awareness in California. In 2005, she served as the conference coordinator for the 19th Small Farm Conference. In 2013, Farms to Grow, Inc.., started the Freedom Farmers’ Market in West Oakland. The Freedom Farmers’ Market continues to run between June and November to continue their mission of bringing foods from surrounding socially disadvantaged farmers into Oakland. Dr. Myers emphasizes that the Freedom Farmers’ Market was intentionally located to be an area experiencing food apartheid. She explains, “We [as an organization] were not interested in going uptown or downtown but the part of town where the people didn’t have resources. The organization is all about mending a particular gap, the gap in the story of who the farmers are and that have built this country.”
This evident communication gap has led Dr. Myers to work on producing a documentary film called “Rhythms of the Land.” In this film, Dr. Myers shares her Black interviews farmers, sharecroppers, gardeners, and a weaver, during her 2012 tour around 10 southern states. Her mission was to increase the visibility of the harsh realities governing underserved farmers.
Dr. Myers’ work has gained national attention and recognition. In 2015, the Root Magazine recognized Dr. Myers as one of seven US urban farmers you should know. In 2017, Dr. Myers was part of the leadership team that forwarded the Farmer Equity Act in California, the first state law that recognized and prioritized socially disadvantaged farmers. In 2018, Dr. Myers received the “Justie” award, also known as the Advocates for Social Justice in Sustainable Agriculture award, from the Ecological Farming Association. She continues to be recognized for her work. Most recently (as of March 2019), she was recognized in an elementary school in North Carolina for Black History Month.
For more information on Farms to Grow, Inc., check out our Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook listing: http://www.fssourcebook.org/index.php/farms-to-grow-inc.
FEATURED TOOL: Fellowships for Food Systems Professionals
Funding opportunities for professionals wishing to expand their horizons.
Applied Community & Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program, Illinois State University
The Applied Community & Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program at Illinois State University's Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development is a two-year fellowship program leading to a master's degree in Applied Economics, Political Science, or Sociology, each with an interdisciplinary sequence in Applied Community/Economic Development. Fellows complete one calendar year of on-campus study. During their professional practice internships in their second year, fellows receive community and economic development field experience in urban and rural communities. The ACED Fellows Program includes full tuition waivers, plus stipends for the graduate assistantship and internship.
BOOK REVIEW: Good Food, Strong Communities
Strong book on building community through food Review
by Amy Crone, Maryland Farmers Market Association
A Review of Good Food, Strong Communities: Promoting Social Justice through Local and Regional Food Systems, edited by Steve Ventura and Martin Bailkey. (2017).
Published by University of Iowa Press. Available as paperback and ebook; 304 pages. Publisher’s website: https://www.uipress.uiowa.edu/books/ 9781609385439/good-food-strong-communities
Good Food, Strong Communities: Promoting Social Justice through Local and Regional Food Systems is a book borne out of the Community and Regional Food Systems (CRFS) project, which began in response to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) request for proposals regarding food insecurity. Guided by Wisconsin-based academic institutions, the CRFS has program participants in seven cities (Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Boston; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago; Detroit; and Los Angeles). While the book contains examples from all seven cities, it is primarily focused on efforts in the Midwest. I have participated in a number of such regional efforts, including food policy councils, and have both responded to and reviewed USDA proposals focused on food insecurity.
Read full book review HERE.
NEW JOB OPP! Executive Director, Berkeley Food Institute
Executive Director, Berkeley Food Institute (BFI)
In consultation with the Faculty Director(s) of the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI), the Executive Director (ED) is charged with the development, administration, and management of an inter-departmental research Institute located on the UC Berkeley campus; The Berkeley Food Institute is an exciting program that connects seven academic units: College of Natural Resources, Graduate School of Journalism, Goldman School of Public Policy, School of Public Health, College of Environmental Design, Haas School of Business, and Berkeley Law.
For more information, visit the NAFSN job listing HERE.
New Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Major Announced at NC State University
Events and News From NAFSN's National Founding Partners
NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a new major program. The new Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems is a cross-departmental program offered through the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and Horticultural Science.