AGree names food research committee members

AGree, a new initiative to transform food and agricultural policy, today unveiled the members of its research committee. Members will provide expert advice on research and analysis needed to better understand food and agriculture systems in order to help AGree develop effective policy solutions.

The research committee includes diverse individuals and perspectives from the academic community who offer a wealth of scientific food and agriculture knowledge, as well as a working understanding of federal policy and markets. Committee members will select and guide analytical studies and thought pieces addressing AGree’s issues. They also will participate in and facilitate informative panels that lead to enhanced understanding across academic and policy fields.

AGree’s mission is to transform food and agriculture policy to address the tremendous challenges facing the United States and world. Among those challenges, feeding a growing population, enhancing environmental sustainability and ensuring U.S. farmers and rural communities have a bright future. “The research committee is a core component of AGree’s strategy to improve our food and agriculture systems through policy changes that incorporate some of the brightest thinking and best data available,” the group said in a news release.

“The research committee will consider what research and thinking are needed to inform new developments in the food and agriculture sphere, providing valuable insight into our problems and solutions,” says Mil Duncan, AGree’s research director. “We’re fortunate that thinkers of such stature – and with such busy schedules – are excited about this opportunity and have been able to commit their time to AGree.”

The committee members were hand picked through a highly selective process, with each strongly recommended by their peers.

“Each member of the committee has a reputation for being a rigorous researcher with a penchant for seeking to answer tough questions and a commitment to integrative work,” says Deborah Atwood, AGree’s executive director.

The members of the research committee are:

· Bruce Babcock - Professor of Economics and Director for the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University;

· Chris Barrett - Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management and International Professor of Agriculture at Cornell University;

· Ken Cassman - Systems Agronomist at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and chair of the Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research;

· Douglas Jackson-Smith - Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology at Utah State University;

· John Reganold - Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology at Washington State University;

· Beatrice (Bea) Rogers - Professor of Economics and Food Policy and Director of the Food Policy and Applied Nutrition Program at Tufts University;

· Katherine (Kitty) Smith - Chief Economist and Vice President for Programs at American Farmland Trust;

· Tom Tomich - Professor and founding Director of the University of California-Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute; and

· Parke Wilde - Associate Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

The full biographies and photos of committee members are online.

AGree’s co-chairs are Dan Glickman, former USDA Secretary under President Bill Clinton and a former congressman from Kansas for 18 years; Gary Hirshberg, chairman, president and “CE-Yo” of Stonyfield Farm; Jim Moseley, former USDA deputy secretary under President George W. Bush and Indiana farmer for more than 40 years; and, Emmy Simmons, former assistant administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade at the U.S. Agency for International Development and a board member for several organizations engaged in international agriculture and global development.

AGree is funded by Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The Walton Family Foundation.

Source: AGree