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2022 SAFSF Policy Convening: Commit to Action

Funding Base-Building, Narrative Shift, and Policymaker Education and Advocacy for the Farm Bill—2023 and Beyond

February 7, 2022 @ 1:00 pm February 9, 2022 @ 5:30 pm Hosted Virtually

The 2022 SAFSF Policy Convening: Commit to Action will bring funders together to build shared understanding and mobilize a commitment to action to drive equitable federal agriculture and food policy change in the farm bill. Together we will explore three high-impact fundable strategies: geographic power and base building; narrative shift; and policymaker education and advocacy. In addition, March 7-9 we will work together to conduct virtual Congressional and USDA meetings for those who are interested (more details coming soon!).

This convening will challenge participants to coordinate their 2022-2023 funding to leverage policy change that drives us towards resilient, sustainable, and equitable food systems—while at the same time, providing the opportunity to build strategic partnerships so that no one organization is going it alone.

New Speakers Confirmed!

Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh was appointed the 16th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2018 by Governor Ralph Northam. She previously served as the Virginia State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and then-U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, in July 2015. Prior to her FSA appointment, she served as Dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University (VSU) with oversight of Extension, Research and Academic Programs. Previously she was the Associate Administrator for Extension Programs and a 4-H Extension Specialist.

In spring 2019, Dr. Bronaugh launched the Virginia Farmer Stress Task Force to raise awareness and coordinate resources to address farmer stress and mental health challenges in Virginia. In the fall of 2020, she helped establish the Virginia Food Access Investment Fund and Program, the first statewide program of its kind to address food access within historically marginalized communities.

Dr. Bronaugh received her Ph.D. in Career and Technical Education from Virginia Tech. She is passionate about the advancement of youth leadership in agriculture. Dr. Bronaugh is from Petersburg, Virginia. She is married to Cleavon, a retired United States Army Veteran.

Senator Corey Booker, U.S. Senator (D-NJ), was born in 1969 in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Harrington Park, New Jersey. He attended Stanford University on a varsity football scholarship, receiving a B.A. in 1991 and an M.A. in 1992. Booker was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he earned a graduate degree in history in 1994. He then attended Yale Law School, graduating with a J.D. in 1997. After completing his education, Booker moved into a public housing project in Newark, New Jersey, became a tenant organizer, and founded a nonprofit that provided legal assistance to low-income families. He was elected to the Newark City Council in 1998 and served there until 2002, when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor. The same year, he became a partner at Booker, Rabinowitz, Trenk, Lubetkin, Tully, DiPasquale & Webster. In 2006, Booker ran again for mayor of Newark and was elected with 72% of the vote. He served as mayor until 2013.On October 16, 2013, Booker won a special election to the U.S. Senate after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). Booker was re-elected to the U.S. Senate on November 4, 2014.

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger is proud to represent Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District, which is comprised of ten counties throughout Central Virginia.

Representative Spanberger began her career in public service, first serving as a federal agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigating money laundering and narcotics cases, and then serving as a case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As a CIA officer, she worked at home and abroad to collect vital intelligence, keep our country safe, and work in furtherance of our national security priorities. In the private sector, Representative Spanberger worked with colleges and universities to help them diversify their student bodies and increase graduation rates.

Representative Spanberger serves on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture and the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. On the House Agriculture Committee, she serves as Chair of the Conservation & Forestry Subcommittee and as a member of the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee. And on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Spanberger serves as Vice-Chair of the Europe, Energy, the Environment, & Cyber Subcommittee and as a member of the Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, & Nonproliferation Subcommittee.

Representative Spanberger grew up in Henrico County. She earned her B.A. at the University of Virginia and her MBA at a dual degree program between Purdue University’s Krannert School and the GISMA Business School in Hanover, Germany. Representative Spanberger resides in Glen Allen, Henrico County, Virginia with her husband, Adam, and their three children.

Reverend Dr. Heber Brown, Founder of Black Church Food Security Network, is a community organizer, beginner farmer, social entrepreneur and Senior Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. For nearly two decades, Dr. Brown has demonstrated a deep commitment to and advocacy on a myriad of social justice concerns at every level of government, business, and at the grassroots level as well. He is a catalyst for social change who believes that systemic problems need systemic solutions. Toward that end, in 2015 in the midst of the Baltimore Uprising which sparked after the death of Freddie Gray, he launched the Black Church Food Security Network which combats food apartheid by providing seed funding and support to help congregations begin growing food on church-owned land. The Network also works to partner Black Churches and Black Farmers in the Mid-Atlantic region in an effort to create a community-controlled, alternative food system based on self-sufficiency and Black food and land sovereignty. He earned his B.S. degree in Psychology from Morgan State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.

Jonathan Coppess, Assistant Professor, and Director, Gardner Agriculture Policy Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, author of The Fault Lines of Farm Policy: A Legislative and Political History of the Farm Bill.  Previously, he served as Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Administrator of the Farm Service Agency at USDA, and Legislative Assistant to Senator Ben Nelson.  Jonathan grew up on his family’s farm in Western Ohio, earned his Bachelors from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC.


SAFSF amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable food and agriculture systems, and the SAFSF Policy Convenings are the only national gatherings for and by funders supporting just and sustainable food systems policy change. SAFSF Policy Convenings are developed with and for funders who are committed to leveraging broad and systemic change through public policy advocacy. As a participant, you will engage in strategic conversations and commit to actions that strengthen the field and broaden our collective impact.


Funders are considered those organizations using grantmaking, lending, or investing as a core strategy to fulfill their mission. This includes individual donors, executive and program staff,​ and members of the board of grantmaking organizations (family foundations, individual donors, corporate foundations, government, community foundations, etc.), as well as representatives of non-profit or for-profit investment enterprises. Development or fundraising staff are not permitted to participate in SAFSF events.

2022 SAFSF Policy Convening Advisory Committee

  • Stacey Barbas – Kresge Foundation
  • Rudy Espinoza – Inclusive Action for the City
  • Noah Fulmer – Fair Food Network
  • Paul Wolfe – Walton Family Foundation
  • Ann Mills – Agua Fund
  • Tenzin Dolkar – McKnight Foundation

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