By Kathleen Merrigan, executive director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University We’re thrilled to share that on Wednesday, Dec, 4, the brand-new Whole Foods Market Tempe store’s 5% Community Giving Day will benefit the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems. The funds will support our inaugural food policy and sustainability leadership class tour across Arizona. The 20 ASU graduate students touring Arizona farms and ranches are rising stars, committed to shaping food and farm policy in the public interest. They come from 13 states, and hail from the business, nonprofit, and academia sectors, modeling the engaged community necessary for food system transformation. For one week, the students will put aside their books to jump on a bus to learn about food and agriculture from those who know it best: farmers and ranchers. Along the way, students will hear from local tribal leaders, policymakers, restauranteurs, food processors and advocates for the hungry. We’re so grateful for the 5% Day funding that enables us to connect the food policy students with our local practitioners so they may understand firsthand what it means to run a dairy, grow alfalfa, raise beef cattle and produce vegetables in Yuma County, known as “America’s Winter Salad Bowl.” Please join us on December 4th at the Whole Foods Market Tempe Store and show your support of the Swette Center. I’ll be at the store with my food policy students ready to answer your questions about our degree programs, the Swette Center, and policy issues that matter. See you there! Pictured above: Kathleen Yetman, one of our Food Policy and Sustainability Leaders, working at the Prescott Farmers Market where she serves as Executive Director.