NSAC is comprised of a core staff based in Washington, DC and in several other US locations that works to advance the shared priorities of the grassroots organizations that make up our membership. The coalition works through a series of committees and councils, described below:
The Organizational Council governs the affairs of NSAC. Along with the NSAC Coalition Director, the Organizational Council establishes the NSAC mission, oversees strategic planning and development, evaluates NSAC’s effectiveness, and provides financial oversight and approval of the annual budget. The Organizational Council also approves membership applications to NSAC. Nominated and elected by both Represented and Participating Members, members of the Organizational Council serve two-year terms and meet at least bi-monthly.
The Grassroots Council
The Grassroots Council is responsible for NSAC’s grassroots communications and advocacy coordination functions. Members of the Grassroots Council are responsible for developing strategies for grassroots advocacy campaigns, capacity building, NSAC member training, and leadership development. The Council also undertakes coordination of action alerts, media messaging, and promoting diversity throughout NSAC’s work with outreach, training, and other activities. The Grassroots Council meets frequently by conference call.
Racial Justice Committee (part of the Grassroots Council)
The Diversity Committee incorporates and assesses social justice and diversity as operational elements of NSAC’s activities, including in the Organizational Council, Policy Council, Issue Committees, any ad hoc committees, and other operations of NSAC. Additionally, the Diversity Committee works to incorporate and assess social justice and diversity concerns within NSAC’s policy priorities, advocacy strategies, communications, and all other NSAC approved or supported activities, by making recommendations to appropriate council or committee.
The Policy Council
Along with the NSAC Policy Director, the Policy Council is responsible for shaping NSAC policies and setting NSAC’s policy priorities. Annually, usually at the NSAC Winter meeting, the Policy Council approves NSAC’s policy positions and priorities. The Policy Council receives recommendations on NSAC priorities from each NSAC Issue Committee. The Policy Council may also approve the formation of new Issue Committees, or revisions or refinements to NSAC priorities or policies on an ongoing basis. Each Represented Member must designate one representative to serve on the Policy Council.
The Issue Committees are responsible for focused work on specific NSAC policy recommendations put forward annually to the Policy Council. The Issue Committees also develop strategies to advance the priorities and coordinate group to group and region to region. Committee members undertake policy research and development, draft position papers, initiate rulemaking comment campaigns, and work with federal agencies to advance NSAC policies and programs. Issue Committee participants may be representatives of Represented Members, Participating Members, or Affiliated Regional Programs. Representatives of non-members may participate if approved by the Committee Chair or Co-Chairs. The Issue Committees have monthly conference calls and meet at both of NSAC’s annual face-to-face gatherings.
The current Policy Issue Committees are:
Research, Education, and Extension
Marketing, Food Systems, and Rural Development
Conservation, Energy, and Environment
Farming Opportunities and Fair Competition
Food System Integrity