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Making Excellence Accessible

July 12, 2021

The Swette Center team has had the privilege to work and learn from Deb Eschmeyer, known as ‘the human exclamation point’ for a reason. Her high energy and enthusiasm have propelled and inspired our work. We are sad to see her leave us, of course, but excited to see all she will accomplish at Original Strategies. I will miss our daily interactions my lifelong friend! - Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director 

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Swette Center report sets organic food agenda for US

July 2, 2021

The ASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems recently released a report to help President Joe Biden set a new agriculture agenda based to organic foods. "The Critical To-Do List for Organic Agriculture: Recommendations for the President" is outlined with 46 recommendations for the current administration and Congress to use as a framework for food development and safety as well as its impacts on climate change, research, supply chain, animal welfare standards, racial justice, social equity and enforcement.

"In our report, we establish a baseline of support that USDA should provide the organic sector — 6% of whatever dollars are being distributed," said Kathleen Merrigan, Swette Center executive director and Kelly and Brian Swette Professor of Practice in Sustainable Food Systems. "We chose this number because 6% of food purchased in the U.S. today is organic. We argue that support for the organic sector should, at minimum, be commensurate with its market share."

Learn more about the center's approach to developing these recommendations and some information behind the numbers in this exclusive interview with Merrigan on ASU News.

Making better decisions about the food we produce and eat

June 30, 2021

By Mauricio Bellon, Research Professor

One of the great achievements of the last century has been substantial increases in the supply of food with concomitant reductions in its price. This achievement has been associated with major changes in our food systems, particularly with the development of industrialized agriculture, changes in dietary patterns and increased availability of cheaper foods. However, we as consumers, producers and society in general are beginning to realize that these achievements can be costlier that we may have thought, in many different ways.

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New Report: The Critical To-Do List for Organic Agriculture

June 16, 2021

Report cover

The Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems is pleased to announce the release of our report: The Critical To-Do List of Organic Agriculture: 46 Recommendations for the President.  

Thirty years ago, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) as part of the 1990 Farm Bill. The law established strict national standards for organic food and a public-private enforcement program to ensure compliance with the law. Today, the organic industry still faces a number of challenges. This report seeks to address some of these and to provide policy recommendations to better support the growing organic industry and its positive impacts on human health, on the economy, and on climate. Organic agriculture protects consumers and farmworkers from dangerous pesticides. It also provides opportunities for young farmers and for a vibrant local economy. Lastly, organic agriculture is a critical component of a successful climate strategy, as it promotes healthy soil, protects biodiversity and reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

 

Kudos to the Student Worker Team

April 29, 2021

As the 2020-21 school year comes to an end we want to appreciate and celebrate the contributions that our team of student workers has made to the Swette Center. The Swette Center has been made stronger thanks to each of their contributions, creativity, and good humor. We’ll miss them in our weekly team meetings, and wish them the best on what comes next in their academic careers! 

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A Firsthand Look into Ranching on Tribal Lands with Santana Nez

April 2, 2021

By Mackenize Martinez, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders. 

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Innovating Organic Agriculture

March 23, 2021

This blog post was written by Arizona State University doctoral candidate and Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems Research Associate Estève Giraud.

Arizona State University held the world’s largest scientific meeting for the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) from February 8 through 11, 2021 where the theme of the meeting focused on understanding dynamic ecosystems. Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, executive director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at ASU, and Estève Giraud gave a presentation on Innovating Organic Agriculture for the occasion. The content of this talk is summarized below.

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Food Systems Career Panel on April 2

March 22, 2021

Wondering what you can do with a Sustainable Food Systems degree? Join the ASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems for our first career panel on Friday, April 2nd, from 1-2pm AZ via Zoom. This event will give students a better understanding of their career options after graduation and how to achieve their career goals. This panel will be especially beneficial for current or prospective students who are interested in pursuing a career within food systems, sustainability, or agribusiness. We are honored to have panelists with experience in private, non-profit, and government organizations. The speakers will share stories of how they built their job paths and offer insights into current trends in the field. For more information on the panelists, read their biographies below. 

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Cattle Ranching and Conservation 

March 20, 2021

By Mary Rochelle, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders. 

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Duncan Family Farms' commitment to sustainable agriculture

March 14, 2021

Photo of basil growing in greenhouseBy Claire Robertson, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders. 

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Meet affiliated faculty Mick Dalrymple

March 9, 2021

The Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems focuses on innovative ideas and solutions to the many challenges of current food systems. In this series, we’re sitting down with the Swette Center affiliated faculty to catch up on food systems, innovation, and what makes a good meal.

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Remembering to Use Our Racial Equity Lens

February 24, 2021

By Kana Miller, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders.

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Storytelling Fundamentals with Frank Sesno

February 24, 2021

By Stu Lourey, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders.

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Conservation Districts: Arizona's Best Kept Secret!

February 17, 2021

By Eric Hemphill, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders.

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Baking bread during the pandemic? Time to try heritage flour

February 10, 2021

By Dory Cooper, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders. 

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Arizona Food Bank Network and their fight against food insecurity

February 4, 2021

By Marcus Miller, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

This blog is part of a series from the December Arizona Immersive program of the Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. Students virtually toured the state, meeting with farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, government staff and non-profit leaders. 

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