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Local Hospitals Can Strengthen Our Local Food System

October 18, 2021

By Katie Poirier, M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems Graduate 

In the mid-20th century, Arizona was one of the most productive agricultural states. Warm temperatures contributed to plentiful harvests of crops such as cotton, alfalfa, and citrus. Arizona’s central cities and rural towns identified with agricultural production. This agricultural tradition is reflected in the Arizona state flag, and occupies 3 of 5 coveted C’s of Arizona (cotton, citrus, cattle, copper, and climate).

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Meet Senior Fellow Ricardo Salvador

October 1, 2021

In this series, we’re sitting down with the Swette Center senior fellows to catch up on food systems, innovation, and what makes a good meal. 

Read on for an interview with Ricardo Salvador, Director and Senior Scientist of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

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Spaces of Opportunity: Leading the Way for Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Phoenix

September 27, 2021

By Tucker Larson, Swette Center Student Worker

Located in South Phoenix at the northeast corner of Vineyard Road and 15th avenue is the Spaces of Opportunity Garden. The garden is a collaboration between four different nonprofit groups with the goal of transforming empty lots into a diverse agricultural and educational asset in the community. The four nonprofits involved are the Desert Botanical Garden, Unlimited Potential, TigerMountain Foundation, and Orchard Community Learning Center. Recently, John Wann–Ángeles, the director of the Orchard Community Learning Center, took some time to show us the urban agriculture collaboration.  

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Meet Senior Fellow Ferd Hoefner

September 8, 2021

In this series, we’re sitting down with the Swette Center senior fellows to catch up on food systems, innovation, and what makes a good meal. 

Read on for an interview with Ferd Hoefner, Former National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Policy Director, lead Washington representative, and Senior Strategic Advisor.

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History of the Child Nutrition Act and the Importance of Reauthorization

September 6, 2021

By Emma Rotner, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership student 

For the first time in 10 years, the Child Nutrition Act is up for reauthorization in the legislative session. The Child Nutrition Act was first passed in 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson. This piece of legislation was instrumental in creating the school meals programs that exist within our nation’s schools today. The program began by piloting serving breakfast in schools and establishing food service equipment within schools. Over the years, more programs and services have been added and amended when the bill has been up for reauthorization (Billings and Aussenberg, 2021). There are 5 major programs that are governed under the Child Nutrition Act; these include: National School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, Summer Food Services Programs, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Special Milk Program. There are also many other smaller programs and grants that fall under the umbrella of this program (FAS, 2019).

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Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership 2021/2022 Cohort

September 5, 2021

To create the inclusive, diverse and resilient food systems of the future, we need bold and knowledgeable change agents to transform public policy.

We are thrilled to announce Arizona State University’s Food Policy & Sustainability Leadership 2021-2022 class. With a commitment to shaping food and farm policy in the public interest, this cohort of leaders hail from across the country including Arizona, North Carolina, Kansas City, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Colorado, Minnesota, Vermont, Missouri, Ohio, and Montana.

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Meet Senior Fellow Catherine Greene

September 3, 2021

In this series, we’re sitting down with the Swette Center senior fellows to catch up on food systems, innovation, and what makes a good meal. 

Read on for an interview with Catherine Greene, Former Senior Agricultural Economist in USDA’s Economic Research Service.

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Swette Center Comments on USDA Meat Processing Investments

September 1, 2021

Secretary Vilsack,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit a comment regarding the investments and opportunities for meat and poultry processing infrastructure. We at the Swette Center for Sustainable Food

Systems at Arizona State University applaud the attention to meat processing as a key strategy to build back better.

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Meet Senior Fellow Malik Yakini

August 30, 2021

In this series, we’re sitting down with the Swette Center senior fellows to catch up on food systems, innovation, and what makes a good meal. 

Read on for an interview with Malik Yakini, Co-founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

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Meet Senior Fellow Pam Marrone

August 27, 2021

In this series, we’re sitting down with the Swette Center senior fellows to catch up on food systems, innovation, and what makes a good meal. 

Read on for an interview with Pam Marrone, Executive Chairperson and Partner of Primary BioAg Innovations and Global BioAg Linkages.

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Investing in the Nation's Youth by Investing in School Nutrition

August 25, 2021

By Emma Rotner, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership student 

In March of 2021, the Biden Administration put forth a proposal called the American Jobs Plan, a bill that focuses on revitalizing the American economy and job creation by investing in American infrastructure. The primary focus of the bill is to invest in roads and buildings and to update public transportation systems. Although school nutrition is not a primary focus, this bill could be an opportunity to push for updates within school kitchen facilities in order to improve the access to and quality of healthy, nutritious, and delicious school food for our nation’s children (The White House, 2021).

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Meet Senior Fellow Bob Nash

August 25, 2021

In this series, we’re sitting down with the Swette Center senior fellows to catch up on food systems, innovation, and what makes a good meal. 

Read on for an interview with Bob Nash, Former Under Secretary of Rural & Community Development at USDA.

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Further Insight from NGO Panel

August 22, 2021

By Isabel Yoder, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

On Wednesday morning, we changed things up by hearing from a panel of non-governmental organization leaders. The panel was headed by Ann Mills, the Executive Director at Agua Fund, Michael Fernandez, the founding director at AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (AAAS EPI Center), and Ferd Hoefner, who consults with multiple organizations on behalf of federal farm policy issues. After hearing from mostly government-affiliated leaders earlier on in the week, it was fascinating getting some insight on what work is getting done to advance agricultural policy goals and initiatives from the outside. 

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“On the Record”

August 20, 2021

By Wesley Conner, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

As Swette Center certificate students, we have the pleasure of receiving The Hagstrom Report in our email inbox daily to stay up-to-date on the inside scoop of DC Agricultural politics and news. The man behind the newsletters, Jerry Hagstrom, joined us with Helena Bottemiller Evich, an accomplished agriculture and food journalist from Politico, on a panel to discuss the role of journalism in promoting and informing policymaking. Later we had Matt Herrick, the Senior Vice President/ Executive Director of IDFA Foundation at the International Dairy Foods Association, join in on the conversation as well.

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Advancing Global Food Security with Jocelyn Brown Hall

August 19, 2021

By Claire Robertson, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

Jocelyn Brown Hall—Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Liaison Office for North America—joined the ASU Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Cohort for a wide-ranging discussion about advancing sustainable, resilient agriculture and food systems around the world to achieve food security. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations celebrated its 75th anniversary last year with over 194 member states working in over 130 countries worldwide to end hunger through technical assistance, research, and policy guidance. At ease in the classroom, Ms. Brown Hall rapidly began connecting the work of the FAO and global food security challenges with the experiences and expertise of cohort members around the room, from conflict to climate change to indigenous cultivation practices.

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Food and Agriculture Industry Insights

August 17, 2021

By Stu Lourey, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student

During a Wednesday panel of our D.C. immersive, we had the privilege of hearing from food industry executives, all of whom have significant experience in government. Interestingly, none of them spoke exclusively about the positive work their companies are doing at present. Instead, what seemed to motivate them was the need for change – both at their companies and in the food and agriculture sector more broadly. It was clear that they saw the opportunity to lead through that change from their role in the private sector. 

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Changing the Landscape of Casual Dining with Wellfound Foods

August 16, 2021

By Fran Alvarado, Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership Certificate student 

On a beautiful sunny day during ASU’s Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership immersive week, the founder and CEO of Wellfound Foods, Sarah Frimpong, joined us to talk about their local business and how they are transforming the food world in DC. There was a need for better packed food in a small café on Capitol Hill and they wanted to create the difference. 

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