February 23, 2010
Last week, Ferd Hoefner, NSAC’s Policy Director, addressed an audience at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum 2010 with an assessment of the policy opportunities and barriers to strengthening local and regional food systems.
The USDA’s increasing focus on connecting farmers with local and regional markets for their products is evident in cross-cutting initiatives like Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food and the recently proposed Rural Regional Innovation Initiative, which would include food systems development as part of a broader attempt to promote innovative regional planning.
Hoefner applauded these efforts and emphasized NSAC’s continued commitment to bringing the voice of grassroots organizations around the country into the policy discussion and providing feedback and suggestions to make programs work better on the ground.
Finally, he urged the audience to remember that efforts to rebuild economically, socially and environmentally sustainable food systems must also address the fundamental frameworks and policy mechanisms that have undermined local and regional economies over the past 50 years.
To view Ferd’s full comments, click here (PDF).
To read NSAC staffer, Ariane Lotti’s take on the Outlook Forum, click here.