The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that young farmers have the creativity, passion, and knowledge to keep our communities fed amidst a global crisis. It’s this lived- and proven-experience that we can translate to powerful advocacy for the support that we need as young farmers: bold racial justice policy, access to affordable farmland, swift action to address climate change, accessible healthcare, and student loan debt relief.
Join us in a virtual BIPOC-majority space to learn how to translate your knowledge of the field into policy advocacy.
Organized by Arizona State University’s Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition, this 10-hour course will feature accomplished advocates such as former USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Malik Yakini, and Debra Eschmeyer. You will discuss topics like structural racism in the farm and food system and think through questions such as ‘How do ideas develop and make their way into the policy debate?’ and ‘How did the issue of local food emerge from a niche issue to a national discussion?’ The format includes time for learning but also a space for exchange with peers.
Dates: Over four Tuesdays – 1/12, 1/19, 1/26, and 2/2
Time: 12 PDT / 1 MDT / 2 CDT / 3pm EDT
Register by December 4th.
Course 1: Understanding Structural Issues in the Farm and Food System
Course 2: Setting the Agenda
Course 3: Knowing the Players
Course 4: Strategies to Achieve Food System Policy Transformation
Along with the virtual classroom time, you will select a break-out group of peers according to your specific interests and geography. These breakouts will be a space for you to discuss, with course leaders and other farmers, the course content and its practical applications.
About ASU’s Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems
As one of the largest and most innovative universities in the world, ASU brings together faculty committed to sustainability solutions like no other. ASU ranks top in the US and 5th globally among universities in the pursuit of UN Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving sustainable food systems requires problem-solving teams who are infused with a diversity of expertise, eager collaboration and innovative spirit. Swette Center food system experts come from every corner of the university, including from the pool of more than 550 sustainability scientists and scholars who are dedicated to pursuing solutions, engagement, education and research for a sustainable future. Under the leadership of Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, former US Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the USDA and internationally renowned expert on food systems and sustainability, we work on cutting edge science and policy. Swette Center faculty recognize that one-dimensional metrics, like yield per hectare, are important but blind us to many opportunities if not considered within a broader food systems approach. Food system analysis can help policymakers and others understand potential trade-offs of proposed interventions, technologies, and policies by taking into account the many aspects of food and agriculture typically studied — agricultural land, inputs, fisheries, infrastructure, labor, and the like — and placing these component parts within an integrated social and environmental context. The Center’s envisions a world where all communities enjoy nutritious food produced from thriving, equitable and environmentally sustainable food systems.