Events calendar

Thursday, February 11, 2021
1:00 pm ET

Labor considerations in sustainable food purchasing

Farm and food chain workers face some of the most dangerous and exploitative conditions and lowest wages of any profession in the United States. In 2019, the Department of Labor found that 10 of the 25 lowest paying jobs were in food and agriculture, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that farmers, ranchers, ranch hands, agricultural workers, and fishers were among the jobs with the highest rates of fatal on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Abusive working conditions are rampant across the food system with people of color and women being disproportionately impacted. 

As large institutional purchasers, hospitals have a significant role to play in changing this story and promoting fair wages and better working conditions within the hospital walls and in the broader community and food system. This session will provide an overview of the current health and social challenges faced by farm and food chain workers in the United States and how shifting purchasing practices can help improve individual and public health outcomes. 

Spectrum Health will share some of their successes as a roadmap for others looking to implement similar programs. Grassroots organizers will share their perspectives on labor conditions and why it is important for hospitals to be involved in leading food system change. Health Care Without Harm staff will provide an overview of food label claims and certifications that include a fair labor component as a starting point for facilities that want to begin to place further emphasis on labor standards in their supply chains.

Register here: 

3:00 pm ET

Building Relationships Across Higher Education Institutions to Address Racism in the Food System

Building Relationships Across Higher Education Institutions to Address Racism in the Food System

February 11, 2021 

3:00 - 4:30 PM EST




Webinar description

The land grant system includes the 1862 (white-led), 1890 (historically Black) and 1994 (Tribal/Indigenous) colleges and universities. These land grants, as well as Hispanic Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities and other public/private higher education institutions all contribute to the advancement of a more sustainable and equitable food system.

This webinar will use a racial equity lens to provide an overview of the history and policy that developed these institutions and using that same lens, reimagine an asset-based pluralistic model of collaborative research and outreach across these institutions to advance food system sustainability and resiliency. 

Panelists from the land grant system and a Hispanic Serving Ag Institution will provide brief remarks followed by a facilitated discussion across panelists and with the webinar audience about how to create a more sustainable and equitable food system future.



  • Alex Racelis – University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
  • Mekko Tyner – College of Muscogee Nation
  • Lindsey Lunsford – Tuskegee University
  • Rich Pirog – MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
  • Renee Wallace – Doers Consulting


Registration is required to attend this webinar. There is no registration fee.