From kitchen to community: DC Central Kitchen uses food to change lives

Sustainable Food Students Stories

From kitchen to community: DC Central Kitchen uses food to change lives

In May 2023, DC Central Kitchen welcomed our cohort from the ASU Sustainable Food Systems graduate program to their facility for a tour of their operation.

Advising and Addressing USDA Rule-makers

In the spring of 2023, my cohort and I had the pleasure of traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with various policy experts as part of our Food Policy Immersive course. To kick off the week, we first met with Andrew Perry and Steve O’Neill from the USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA) via Zoom. They shared valuable insights with us, from where comments go when discussing topics, how addressing rulemaking can be effective (in its passage or not), and self-implementing agencies.

Insight into the Policy Views of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack

When I learned that my graduate cohort would be meeting with USDA Secretary Vilsack during our food policy immersion course in Washington, D.C., the gears immediately started turning in my head.

Advancing sustainability in agriculture: Insights from OCS leaders

In May 2023, my ASU Sustainable Food Systems cohort and I made our way to Washington, D.C., for our Policy Immersive course. We had the extreme privilege of meeting with countless individuals who work at the USDA and other government agencies. Two of the folks we met with during our trip were Dr. Deirdra Chester and Dr. Richard Derkson, who work at USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist.

The Senate Ag Staff: Behind the scenes in support of agriculture and rural communities

 Have you ever wondered how the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee carry out their mandate to guide and shape agricultural policies that maintain the welfare of farmers, ranchers, and consumers?

The problem with land fractionation and heirs’ property and why it matters 

During our DC Immersive, my Sustainable Food Systems MS cohort had the pleasure of sitting down and listening to General Counsel Janie Hipp. Janie Hipp is the General Counsel in USDA’s Office of the General Counsel and was appointed by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate.

Presenting the 2023 ASU Graduate cohort transforming food systems

We are thrilled to introduce Arizona State University’s 2023 cohort in the Food Policy & Sustainability Leadership graduate certificate program and Sustainable Food Systems MS program. This marks our 5th cohort of students, and by far the largest and most diverse.

The increasing and ever-evolving role of trade in American agriculture

During our immersive week in Washington, D.C., my graduate school cohort had the privilege to meet with Alexis Taylor, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA), and her chief of staff, Jamal Habibi. Under Secretary Taylor is only the second official to hold this position.  No stranger to USDA, Under Secretary Taylor served at the department from 2013 – 2017 in a variety of different roles, with the last being delegated the duties of the Under Secretary for the then Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services mission area. Taylor then went on to become the Director of Agriculture for the State of Oregon until 2022.

An inside look at efforts at USDA to build a resilient food system

The halls of the USDA Whitten Building in Washington, D.C. were filled with chatter as our group of Sustainable Food Systems graduate students headed to hear from the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP), Jennifer Lester Moffitt, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator, Bruce Summers, and AMS Associate Administrator, Melissa Bailey. USDA has eight mission areas overseen by Under Secretaries, one of which is Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

Strategies for successful policy making: Building and sustaining relationships

Graduate students from the ASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems got a taste of policy in action this spring as part of a weeklong immersive experience in Washington, D.C., focused on food policy.  Among the tools and tactics shared by experts, ranging from rulemaking to media and advocacy, a common theme shared throughout the week was the importance of networks and relationships.