This program is subject to change. A final version will be provided to attendees.
Monday, February 7
Welcome | Traci Bruckner, Senior Public Policy Director, SAFSF
Opening Remarks and Dinner
Join your peers for dinner, conversation, and remarks from our guest speaker(s).
U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Dr. Jewel Bronaugh
Tuesday, February 8
Welcome and Keynote Address
Historic and current farm bill policy has been shaped by a succession of sometimes uneasy coalitions – divergent Southern, Midwestern and Great Plains agriculture interests in the 1930’s; agriculture interests and anti-hunger advocates in the 1960s; and a three-part coalition in the 1980s with addition of the environmental conservation movement. The budget pressures and increasing partisanship that marked the 2014 and 2018 farm bill debates revealed new vulnerabilities in the current coalition which has endured for the past three decades. Our keynote speakers, in their remarks and in discussion with each other, will explore this history, the outsized political influence of certain interests within the coalitions, the impact of farm policy in communities on the ground, and the prognosis for a new expansion or reordering of the coalition to make the farm bill more responsive to the needs of more Americans.
Jonathan Coppess, assistant professor, and director, Gardner Agriculture Policy Program, University of Illinois
Dr. Rev. Heber Brown, senior pastor, community organizer, and farmer, Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and Black Church Food Security Network
A-dae Romero-Briones, director of programs, Native Agriculture and Food Systems, First Nations Development Institute; member, SAFSF Policy Committee
The political landscape for the 2023 Farm Bill is still uncertain. Will there be more farm bill funding to address climate change through agriculture conservation? Will there be a change in Congressional leadership? Regardless, we know that advocacy around the 2023 Farm Bill will soon move into high gear. And we know that dislodging the status quo of farm bill funding will require a variety of strategies that include shaping the debate through the narrative shift; building and mobilizing power in key geographic regions of the country; and savvy policy advocacy and engagement.
Our speakers will discuss their experience using these strategies to advance change in the four focus areas for our convening: climate, water, and agriculture conservation; nutrition and local and regional food systems; access to capital and land; and rural communities and concentration in agriculture. Their comments will set the table for the afternoon’s conversations on funder strategy, engagement, and commitment.
Eric Deeble, policy director, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Martin Lemos, co-executive director, National Young Farmers Coalition
Lexie Holden, associate director of policy and government relations, Intertribal Agriculture Council
V. Quevedo, policy director, La Semilla Food Center
Sarah Miller, executive director, American Economic Liberties Project
Dãnia Davy, policy director, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
Ellyn Ferguson, reporter, CQ Roll Call
11:45 AM-12:55 PM
Lunch + Networking
Strategy Sessions: Deeper Dive with Plenary Speakers
Dive into deeper discussions with plenary panelists to explore key policy, narrative and base-building strategies that build momentum to drive policy change in our four focus areas.
Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Conservation
Facilitator: Mark Muller
Plenary Panelist: Eric Deeble
Local, Regional Food and Nutrition Systems
Facilitator: Kalila Booker-Cassano
Plenary Panelist: Lexie Holden and V Quevedo
Access to Capital and Land for Food, Farming, and Fiber Systems
Facilitator: Olivia Watkins
Plenary Panelists: Martin Lemos and Dãnia Davy
Rural Communities and Concentration in Agriculture
Facilitator: Jen Zuckerman
Plenary Panelist: Sarah Miller
Funder-Only Strategy Session
Continuing the discussion with your fellow funders, you will work to identify specific areas of opportunity for funding alignment and to develop an initial funding roadmap for the 2023 Farm Bill. You will leave this discussion with a clear understanding of actions you can take and how you can collaborate with your peers to support powerful policy change in the 2023 Farm Bill.
Topics are the same as 1:00 pm sessions.
Why it is important for funders to support public policy change, what is to be gained, how can we advance just and sustainable food, farming, and fiber systems through policy change that leverages the power of philanthropy.
Dinner on Your Own or with Peers
Wednesday, February 9
Strategy Session Report-outs
Hill & USDA Visits Orientation & Training
Learn from seasoned pros about ways to effectively communicate and build relationships with members of Congress, administration appointees, and their staff. Work to perfect your “elevator speech” and your “ask” as you prepare for your Capitol Hill or USDA visits. In addition, you will also get a refresher on the tools available to funders to support your grantees’ advocacy-related activities.
Sarah Hackney, coalition director, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Kate Fitzgerald, principal, Fitzgerald-Canepa, LLC
Abby Levine, director, Bolder Advocacy
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
We encourage you to divide up by those going to USDA and those going to Hill for meetings and continue the conversation.
Transportation to Hill and USDA
Meet in the lobby for group transportation to the respective sites.
Hill & USDA Meetings
Attendees will choose to either participate in congressional meetings or meetings with the USDA. More information to come about logistics of these group and individual meetings.
Reception | Drinks and hearty appetizers
Debrief from the day, network with your peers, make new connections, enjoy good conversation, and have a few laughs. Policy Convening attendees will be joined by SAFSF’s Board of Directors.