I suspected as much, based on the struggle that our community food systems here still have in front of them to reach any decent economic plateau. And, of course, this is another easy way to track where large swaths of institutional racism are still at work.
This is one of the surveys we are using with the shopper/farmer survey project along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Sorry-only review copies are available at this point-all of the surveys will be published with the final report in 2014.
(Found on http://www.helpingpublicmarketsgrow.com under surveys/evaluation if link does not work.)
One of the activities that the group has done at the Sustainability Conference in Cleveland is to tell the story of both personal and municipal transformation through moments lived and remembered. This is the earliest time period (1969-1989) on the personal transformation wall. This is another idea that food organizers may want to use when working with communities. How wonderful to ask them to think about how and and when healthy regional food became important to them.
As a food system organizer and researcher, I try to find events to attend that draw together many different sectors and initiatives. Last year, this sustainability conference focused on Local Foods and was held in conjunction with the Projects For Public Spaces International Public Market Conference. I attended the PPS conference and as a result, saw a few of Cleveland’s excellent food initiatives and met the local folks working on the same things that many PPS attendees are working on in their areas. This year, I am going back to follow up on what I saw in that food system work in Northeast Ohio and also to sit and work with the folks who are at this conference to hear about their 2013 focus: their renewable energy and climate change work.
Cleveland’s “conscious capitalism” and renewable industries strategy is impressive and needs a deeper look. As someone who did consumer and environmental campaigns in that area in the 1980s and early 1990s, I want to see what has changed since my organizing days and how the food system work really fits in.
Together, We’re Building a Thriving Green City on a Blue Lake
The 5th Annual Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit will be October 3-4 at Cleveland Public Auditorium in Downtown Cleveland. As we approach the halfway milestone of this ten-year initiative, we are charged with taking stock of our accomplishments and outcomes, gauging our progress, honoring the work of many, and charting the course for the next five years.
Summit 2013 will focus on the Year of Advanced and Renewable Energy and implementing Cleveland’s Climate Action Plan.
Keynote Speakers: The City of Cleveland is pleased to announce two dynamic keynote presenters during the Summit on the topics of Advanced and Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Conscious Capitalism.
John Montgomery, Author of Great from the Start, is a frequent speaker on sustainable business, benefit corporations and venture capital at such forums as the Future Salon, TEDx, and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. John transforms public and private corporations for success in the new economic paradigm where corporations not only optimize profits for shareholders but also provide a material positive impact on society and the environment.
Chuck Kutscher, National Renewable Energy Lab, is a Principal Engineer and Group Manager in the Center for Electricity, Resources, and Building Systems Integration. His projects have included the design and construction of a solar cooling test laboratory; production of NREL’s solar industrial process heat design handbook; modeling of advanced power cycles and cooling systems for geothermal power plants; and development of transpired solar air collectors, which won an R&D 100 Award and a Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award. He is editor of the 200-page ASES report, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S., and writes a monthly column on climate change for SOLAR TODAY magazine. He recently received the 2008 Colorado Governor’s Excellence in Renewable Energy Individual Award.
Although this is a vital article on the breadth of the problems and issues that face the fight for the farm bill, I hesitate to wrap the entire alternative food and farming movement inside of a crisis, even one that is so monumental like public health.
In my mind, our work is powered by the most diverse set of ideas and goals captured by the simple exchange of food regionally grown, caught or made by hand. Rural, peri-urban and urban uses of land, water issues, transportation systems, safeguarding import-replacing production, creation and preservation of public space and stewardship of private land for farming and social activities, anti-hunger campaigns, appropriate technology, hands-on education for children, democratic distribution, encouraging multi-generational understanding, fighting corporate control of food, unique approaches to wealth creation, celebrating current culture and reviving food history, job creation, worker rights, immigrant issues, disaster mitigation, attacking institutional and individual racism, supporting personal health goals, sharing intellectual ideas without need of institutions to shepherd it, expanding civic activity, ….
In other words, remember that we are pirate ships and not an armada.
Original piece on the pirate ship metaphor here
I know that many will say that all or most of the items above can be encapsulated within public health, but to me, the diversity of how each of us approach this is our greatest strength.
I agree with Michael on the end goal, but I prefer to say it like this: we sail alone, but need to anchor together at times like this for this historic farm bill fight. So, when some or most of these good ideas can be brought into a single campaign by folks like the public health sector, we need to welcome them and maybe even let them lead for a while.
This is a new Vietnamese-led growers initiative in New Orleans. I hope we begin to see more production cooperatives among farmers, especially urban and peri-urban farmers.
As my readers know, I’m sort of obsessed with researching evaluation techniques and indicators to find ways to replicate successful farm and food enterprises.
Whole Measures is one of the grandaddies of food system measures and should be considered especially when anyone is building multi-stakeholder evaluation. Whole Measures takes a long view of success, looking at system change and multiple impacts. I urge people to take a look at it especially if you have a chance to actually take a workshop from evaluation and training expert Jeanette Abi-Nader.
This came up on a listserve today. Thankfully by opening that email I was reminded of this page’s existence and reassured by the possibility of a stray elected official doing something right for all Americans.
Posted by Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, on April 29, 2013
“A study released today by USDA’s Economics Research Service, Characteristics of Women Farm Operators and Their Farms found that the number of women-operated farms more than doubled between 1982 and 2007. When all women involved with farming are added up – including primary and secondary operators – they are nearly one million strong and account for 30% of U.S. farmers.”
“Undoing racism in the food system requires more than good intentions. We must act, employing thoughtful strategies to attack polices and practices that uphold systemic racism. Additionally, and equally importantly, ridding ourselves of the internalized thinking associated with racism is a lifelong and intergenerational work. It requires a systematic process for learning about the social construct we call race, its history and various manifestations. Organizations in the food movement should hold mandatory, frequent, on-going anti-racism trainings. There are many good anti-racist trainers throughout the United States including DR Works, The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and Crossroads.
Finally, food movement organizations must do things differently. All organizations planning food security, food justice and food sovereignty conferences should include a track that addresses racism in the food system. Major national conferences should have several workshop offerings in the track.”