USDA Roundtable with Under Secretary Moffitt
Zoom meeting recording of the USDA roundtable discussion with Vice Chancellor Mike Boehm, RPN Director Mary Emery, Under Secretary Jennifer Moffitt, and additional partners of the $25M Regional Food Business Center grant.
icon search Searchable Transcript
Toggle between list and paragraph view.
[00:01:38.460]Welcome, who do we have online?
[00:01:47.903]I'm not hearing anybody yet.
[00:01:49.200]Oh, hi, Mary, good morning.
[00:01:50.760]This is Jamie.
[00:01:52.560]Hi, how are you?
[00:01:54.030]Good, how are you?
[00:01:58.200]Hey Mary, this is Rodney Holcomb from Oklahoma State.
[00:02:01.710]Oh, great to see you.
[00:02:03.090]Sorry about the late notice.
[00:02:06.173]It's the thing with reply all, sometimes it,
[00:02:09.030]it's your worst enemy,.
[00:02:10.583]I get that.
[00:02:12.546]We can hear you pretty well and sounds like you can hear us.
[00:02:20.550]And David Red of the car center.
[00:02:25.643]We're just kind of doing coffee and welcome right now,
[00:02:29.670]but we're hoping we'll start at 10:30.
[00:02:35.693]If you need anything, let us know.
[00:02:38.370]just a reminder that USDA is concerned about having
[00:02:42.780]so many speakers, so they want us to be brief.
[00:25:14.330](people chattering indistinctly)
[00:27:49.920]So welcome everyone, it's wonderful to see everybody here.
[00:27:53.820]They said, oh, with a short notice,
[00:27:55.920]we're not gonna get that many people
[00:27:57.450]and no, no, no, no (laughs).
[00:27:59.820]So thank you all for coming and I wanna welcome
[00:28:04.501]undersecretary Jenny Moffitt and Deputy undersecretary
[00:28:07.110]Katie zinc to the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:28:11.220]I'm Mary Emory.
[00:28:16.530]I'm Mary Emory,
[00:28:17.363]the director of Rural Prosperity Nebraska.
[00:28:20.433]Rural Prosperity Nebraska's a hub here at IANR
[00:28:23.173]and the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:28:26.220]And we work on bringing the resources of the university to
[00:28:30.360]foster and improve community wellbeing in rural Nebraska.
[00:28:34.980]So we're here today to, because earlier this month,
[00:28:40.110]USDA announced plans to establish 12 regional
[00:28:45.690]food business centers and
[00:28:48.217]we're fortunate to be one of those.
[00:28:50.400]So here at UNL,
[00:28:54.900]we're thrilled to serve as a hub for this important
[00:28:58.290]initiative to strengthen our regional food system,
[00:29:01.260]to create new markets and opportunities for farmers,
[00:29:04.800]and for local and regional food processing businesses
[00:29:08.880]in order to also increase food security,
[00:29:12.330]our Heartland Food Center Business Center
[00:29:18.360]will serve five states,
[00:29:21.223]so it's Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
[00:29:25.590]As you all know, across
[00:29:26.970]the country, food systems are very complex.
[00:29:29.310]They include a number of different players.
[00:29:32.190]Double Up Food Bucks and farmer's markets
[00:29:34.860]and revolving loan funds and all kinds of actors.
[00:29:40.230]All of these with other players in the regional food system
[00:29:44.550]are like puzzle pieces.
[00:29:47.010]The Heartlands Regional Food Business Center will help put
[00:29:50.160]those puzzle pieces together and in this process,
[00:29:54.600]we'll see more clearly where the system is strong,
[00:29:57.863]where there's room for improvement,
[00:30:00.270]and where there are opportunities
[00:30:01.710]to collaborate and try new ways to increase access
[00:30:05.130]to fresh, healthy, local and regional foods.
[00:30:08.190]This is a big undertaking and we're blessed
[00:30:10.740]to have over 33 partners help us in this work.
[00:30:15.240]Many of those partners are here today,
[00:30:16.813]either joining us in person or on Zoom.
[00:30:20.670]And I'm just gonna name them real quickly.
[00:30:24.030]Katie Nixon from New Growth Community Development
[00:30:26.430]Corporation, Rachel McGinnis Milsap
[00:30:29.100]from Kansas City Healthy Kids.
[00:30:32.220]Krista Harsta from Farm Food
[00:30:34.163]and Enterprise at Iowa State University.
[00:30:38.340]Leah Venton from Community Dad Maya.
[00:30:42.960]Thank you (laughs)
[00:30:44.760]Nancy Williams from No More Empty Pods,
[00:30:47.070]Bill McKelvey from University of Missouri Extension.
[00:30:50.220]Bill Crooks from the Food Conservancy
[00:30:52.710]and Meg Jackson from Center for Rural Affairs.
[00:30:55.503]Joining us online we have Tom Bowler from Kansas Rural
[00:30:59.430]Center, Relle Carver from K State Research
[00:31:02.430]and Extension, David Red Hedges
[00:31:04.443]from the K Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
[00:31:07.890]Rodney Holcomb from the Robert M. Kerr Food
[00:31:10.653]and Agricultural Products Center at Ossu.
[00:31:13.853]And Jamie Kindsource from University Missouri Cares.
[00:31:18.540]We also have Derek McLean, Dean
[00:31:21.300]of IANR, Agricultural Research today.
[00:31:25.230]And Mike Bain, Nebraska University Vice Chancellor
[00:31:30.633]for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
[00:31:35.280]And Mike will get us started today, welcome Mike.
[00:31:44.040]I'm gonna sit down and Brian,
[00:31:46.530]would it be possible to actually do a gallery view
[00:31:50.490]so we could see all of our friends, no,
[00:31:52.260]it's not possible to do a gallery view.
[00:31:54.623]This crew got very used to seeing each other on Zoom.
[00:31:58.980]So that's how,
[00:32:00.720]that's how we all got to together in the beginning.
[00:32:03.480]And just Katie, especially Nixon, great to see you here.
[00:32:10.350]Thanks for your leadership.
[00:32:12.210]No question, Chief Visionary Officer,
[00:32:15.600]and you started this journey and really appreciate your
[00:32:20.190]openness to partnering with the Land grant universities
[00:32:23.190]and the University of Nebraska Lincoln in particular.
[00:32:27.030]And we're just proud to be a part of this collaborative.
[00:32:29.760]So welcome everyone, especially undersecretary Moffitt.
[00:32:34.980]Katie, deputy undersecretary.
[00:32:37.380]Thank you very much.
[00:32:39.210]My job is to just share a little bit about the institute.
[00:32:42.720]We really do think about the food, the fuel, the feed,
[00:32:46.230]and the fiber that the world needs and how farmers,
[00:32:50.880]ranchers, processors produce that food every day.,
[00:32:54.600]not only for Nebraska or the region,
[00:32:56.526]the heartland, but really for a growing world.
[00:32:59.910]And we think about the people
[00:33:01.723]who produce that food, who consume that food.
[00:33:05.790]And we think about the interconnectedness
[00:33:08.940]and how complex, as Mary said it is.
[00:33:12.840]We live in a world that's growing from seven and a half,
[00:33:15.960]7.8 billion, projected to 10.5 billion people.
[00:33:21.000]Already one out of every seven individuals,
[00:33:24.090]humans on the planet is water and food insecure,
[00:33:29.073]really in dire straits.
[00:33:31.080]Another billion though, get
[00:33:32.580]the wrong mix of calories, right Vanessa?
[00:33:36.720]So two out of every five,
[00:33:38.460]two out of every seven humans are already
[00:33:40.093]in kind of a tricky spot.
[00:33:43.694]Here in the US especially here,
[00:33:45.390]the states that are represented in this coalition
[00:33:48.030]in the heartland, you know, the US we rough estimate waste
[00:33:52.860]about 40% of the food that is produced.
[00:33:56.610]So when you think about the push that we make
[00:33:59.070]in at the institute in production agriculture,
[00:34:02.220]at land grant universities, that's important.
[00:34:05.370]The science and the engineering
[00:34:06.900]and the business models are all critical.
[00:34:09.030]But really this comes down to humans and it comes down
[00:34:11.730]to people and it's about meeting people where they are.
[00:34:16.050]And it's about doing better with these amazing resources
[00:34:20.430]that we have, and so I think collectively,
[00:34:23.520]the folks that have gathered really think about everything
[00:34:26.190]from production to ensuring people have access to safe
[00:34:30.540]nutritional food and reduce waste so that we ensure
[00:34:36.780]that this planet is here for the next seven generations.
[00:34:39.990]And that's learning from each other so..
[00:34:44.850]Well it's an honor to welcome you
[00:34:47.490]undersecretary Jenny, Lester Moffitt.
[00:34:50.880]I had the privilege of meeting her all
[00:34:52.800]about five minutes in December of 2022, Greg
[00:34:57.150]and Jesse Herman and I were walking into the Whitten
[00:35:01.110]building and undersecretary was walking out and we had a
[00:35:05.310]quick meet and greet.
[00:35:06.453]So it's great to see you here on our home turf.
[00:35:10.740]In addition to serving as USDA undersecretary
[00:35:13.001]for Marketing and Regulatory Programs,
[00:35:16.170]undersecretary Moffitt is a fifth generation California
[00:35:20.340]farmer who's passionate
[00:35:21.423]about supporting and sustaining agriculture,
[00:35:24.213]the environment, food systems and rural communities,
[00:35:27.833]much of what I said about this collaborative,
[00:35:31.920]it feels like we're kindred spirits.
[00:35:34.770]She has over 15 years of experience raising revenue
[00:35:37.650]and allocating resources for strategic initiatives.
[00:35:41.040]She believes in coalition building and active listening to
[00:35:44.370]solve complex problems and has led interagency initiatives
[00:35:48.870]to promote and protect agriculture and the environment.
[00:35:52.620]She also believes in taking care of the land and the people
[00:35:55.380]that farm it and the value that comes in fostering economic
[00:35:59.730]growth and wellbeing, in a word, rural prosperity,
[00:36:04.380]urban prosperity, people prosperity.
[00:36:07.650]She has a strong background in service
[00:36:09.183]to others, including as a proud 4H volunteer,
[00:36:13.590]a graduate of the California
[00:36:15.083]Agricultural Leadership Program.
[00:36:18.450]Would you please join me in providing a warm welcome
[00:36:21.780]to undersecretary Jenny Lester Moffitt.
[00:36:28.080]Well thank you so much Mike and to Katie and to Mary,
[00:36:32.893]thank you for your partnership and your leadership bringing
[00:36:37.140]this group together.
[00:36:39.030]I think as we were doing introductions,
[00:36:40.710]it was clear that people have come from far
[00:36:44.820]and near, but many people have come a long distance.
[00:36:47.610]So I wanna thank you all
[00:36:49.050]for coming, for traveling for the people who are also able
[00:36:53.070]to join online.
[00:36:53.940]Isn't that a great thing that we can now connect
[00:36:57.060]in more ways than we don't always have
[00:36:58.740]to travel, although it's nice to be able to connect
[00:37:01.140]in person, but to be able to also have these touchpoints.
[00:37:03.710]So it's great to be here.
[00:37:05.100]Thank you for the welcome to the campus.
[00:37:08.130]It is really a pleasure to be here on campus
[00:37:10.830]to see and to learn a little bit about the innovation.
[00:37:14.550]I know certainly in some
[00:37:15.780]of the past meetings that we've had,
[00:37:17.250]we've learned a little bit more about what University
[00:37:20.070]of Nebraska Lincoln is really all about and doing.
[00:37:23.490]And this regional food business center that is established
[00:37:26.730]here in the 12 regional food business centers
[00:37:28.573]that are established around the country are really critical
[00:37:32.820]to the work that we're doing
[00:37:34.560]at USDA, transforming the food system.
[00:37:38.520]We saw, all of us saw at the beginning of the pandemic,
[00:37:42.420]just some of the challenges that we have in the food system.
[00:37:44.610]We have an incredible food system
[00:37:47.203]that is efficient when it works,
[00:37:50.250]but when there are challenges and when it breaks down,
[00:37:53.310]we see what happens.
[00:37:54.450]We see that farmers lost places to bring their product to
[00:37:57.780]market, at the same time, food banks had incredible demand.
[00:38:02.340]I was at the State Department of Agriculture
[00:38:04.110]when that happened and we were really working on trying
[00:38:06.153]to help connect those dots just like USDA was as well.
[00:38:10.380]And so many State Departments Of Agriculture work.
[00:38:13.050]And what we saw is the opportunity
[00:38:16.260]to really to add a yes and,
[00:38:18.990]to say we need to really build, yes we need
[00:38:21.570]this incredibly efficient food system that is feeding our
[00:38:24.690]nation, feeding our world.
[00:38:26.250]We also need a really strong local and regional food system.
[00:38:30.270]One that is bringing and adding more economic value
[00:38:34.260]to farmers and ranchers in our communities.
[00:38:36.780]It's also making sure that,
[00:38:38.490]as you've mentioned also that we're providing great
[00:38:41.130]nutritious food to our own communities,
[00:38:44.400]is strengthening our local and regional markets.
[00:38:47.370]It's also making sure that we're strengthening our rural
[00:38:50.373]communities by bringing in driving jobs
[00:38:53.400]into communities across the country.
[00:38:56.430]And certainly here in the heartland region is no exception.
[00:38:59.760]So there's so many different components
[00:39:02.730]and reasons why local and regional food systems are
[00:39:05.970]so important to all of us here in the room
[00:39:08.123]and to all of us across the fabric of America.
[00:39:12.330]And we've invested our,
[00:39:14.370]the funds from the American Rescue Plan
[00:39:16.860]and a bunch of different programs across USDA
[00:39:19.770]that I think that you mentioned some,
[00:39:21.840]I've talked to some folks here who've been involved
[00:39:23.790]in others as well, they're all very important.
[00:39:27.690]The regional food business centers is really the cornerstone
[00:39:31.590]of that effort, it is, what I'll say is it's,
[00:39:34.440]it is the place that may, that people can come to be able
[00:39:37.920]to access those resources, to know about those resources.
[00:39:41.760]But really it's about connecting the dots because
[00:39:43.830]the food supply chain is a chain and it's a complex chain
[00:39:47.243]as you mentioned, it's a very complicated chain.
[00:39:50.370]I know coming from agriculture,
[00:39:51.990]coming from someone who tried to find new markets
[00:39:54.870]for our product,
[00:39:56.220]that it can be very complicated very quickly if you don't
[00:39:59.100]have someone who can partner with you
[00:40:02.040]to navigate that and to birddog the different issues
[00:40:04.883]or things that you don't even know what come up.
[00:40:07.980]And so that is what you all are here to do is to serve as
[00:40:12.750]that connector, to serve as the partners across this region.
[00:40:17.940]And then also to partner with other regions
[00:40:19.950]as well as we identify as issues, I was, yesterday, I was
[00:40:24.000]in Michigan and Michigan State University is
[00:40:26.940]the lead for the Great Lakes Regional Food Business Center.
[00:40:30.960]And they were talking about, oh we're, you know,
[00:40:33.060]we're looking at commercial kitchens
[00:40:34.560]and design of commercial kitchens, I bet you all are too.
[00:40:38.130]And so there's an opportunity as well
[00:40:40.013]to connect the dots there, and so I think there's,
[00:40:44.160]I'm looking forward to hearing what you have
[00:40:45.690]to say here, but we're very excited
[00:40:48.090]about these regional food business centers.
[00:40:50.220]We're really excited about the partners on the ground.
[00:40:53.220]I believe very strongly in locally led solutions
[00:40:56.520]that we do more when people who are trusted
[00:40:59.463]in the region, who know
[00:41:01.050]the region, who already have the partnerships in
[00:41:02.727]the region are empowered and have the funding to be able
[00:41:07.530]to come together and to overcome complex challenges
[00:41:11.310]and really find creative solutions,
[00:41:16.033]so congratulations on a successful application.
[00:41:19.140]We're really excited to partner
[00:41:20.213]with you and we're really excited to really advance,
[00:41:24.840]I think the regional food business centers across
[00:41:27.060]the country together in a way that we really transform
[00:41:30.383]and we have lasting change in the food system.
[00:41:33.450]So I'll stop here and I'd love
[00:41:34.943]to hear from the folks around the table,
[00:41:37.650]or Mary, do you have a, do you want me to just pass it
[00:41:41.580]around or what do we wanna do?
[00:41:49.860]Of course, and then of course you mentioned Mike,
[00:41:51.953]that we have Katie Zinc here, but I, you know, without,
[00:41:55.740]and Katie, I dunno if you wanna say a few words,
[00:41:57.450]but Katie Zinc is our deputy undersecretary
[00:41:59.843]for marketing and regulatory programs, she hails
[00:42:02.700]from Minnesota and so, you know,
[00:42:06.210]but certainly has incredible background and has been a great
[00:42:11.100]partner in building out in all of the different programs
[00:42:14.490]that we've been have doing through the transforming
[00:42:17.363]the food system as well, so Katie.
[00:42:21.248]I'll just add very briefly that one,
[00:42:22.860]it's always great to be back in the Midwest
[00:42:26.520]and also just the, just wanna note the partnership
[00:42:30.030]across a variety of universities that were listed here.
[00:42:33.463]Love being here at UNL but also knowing just the reach
[00:42:40.423]that group of universities has across
[00:42:42.960]the region feels like a really special and important thing.
[00:42:45.900]So just really wanna acknowledge that partnership.
[00:42:49.290]And I will be go UNL up until we get to football season
[00:42:55.320]and I've got three other big 10 teams
[00:42:58.023]that I've unfortunately paid tuition toward.
[00:43:00.630]But you all can be number four, you can be number four.
[00:43:04.740]So all right, I'll pass this by.
[00:43:06.843]Maybe Katie Nixon, do you mind kicking us off?
[00:43:10.650]That would be terrific.
[00:43:12.060]And then I'll give Nancy the mic after Kate.
[00:43:14.940]All right, thanks for hosting this.
[00:43:18.390]I know it's a big feat and thank you to all the staff
[00:43:21.653]that I'm sure put in a lot of time to try to pull this off.
[00:43:24.113]Really appreciate that, the last minute.
[00:43:27.270]And I spent a nice five hour drive,
[00:43:29.790]three of which was with my colleagues.
[00:43:30.737]It was fantastic to talk to them on the way up here.
[00:43:34.200]And I'm with New Growth Development Corporation,
[00:43:37.200]we saw the call for proposals and we're like, okay,
[00:43:42.840]how are our states gonna be represented?
[00:43:44.940]We want our farmers to be supported and you know,
[00:43:48.990]that's who I'm in the game for, is for the farmers.
[00:43:51.420]I'm a farmer myself,
[00:43:52.530]but I also see how hard all the other farmers around me are
[00:43:55.230]working and struggling and trying to get access to those
[00:43:58.380]markets that are sometimes elusive and hard to catch.
[00:44:01.530]And so we really believe strongly
[00:44:03.090]in helping to develop that supply value chain
[00:44:05.203]'cause it's not just about supply and demand,
[00:44:07.860]it's also about the value and the ability for the farmers to
[00:44:11.490]have dignity in the work and for the consumers to feel like
[00:44:14.303]they're also contributing to a healthy food system.
[00:44:17.520]So that's why I'm here and I'm really excited
[00:44:20.280]to be a co-director for the center along with Mary.
[00:44:23.640]Our job will be to really sort of help coordinate how we
[00:44:27.210]work across 'cause it's one thing to just say, oh yeah,
[00:44:29.520]let's all work together,
[00:44:30.390]but like what does that look like and how are we gonna talk
[00:44:33.270]to each other and how are these business builder grants
[00:44:35.400]going to work because
[00:44:36.360]that is what the farmers wanna know immediately.
[00:44:39.150]So we're tr gonna try to figure all that stuff out and it'll
[00:44:41.760]be sort of my role to help lead up those conversations.
[00:44:45.570]So that's where our organization fits.
[00:44:47.353]We also have a women's business center and we help people,
[00:44:50.910]not only women but men too get access to being bankable.
[00:44:55.350]So helping build their credit,
[00:44:56.760]helping understand what it means to have a business plan
[00:44:59.220]and do micro loans as well.
[00:45:01.290]So we'll have business TA as in addition to the food value
[00:45:04.500]chain work, so that's kind of how we're working.
[00:45:06.313]And I know we have a limited time here,
[00:45:08.130]so I'm gonna stop there and we'll pass it back
[00:45:10.410]over to Nancy.
[00:45:11.243]Okay, got it.
[00:45:12.150]Thank it's, then we'll go.
[00:45:12.983]Thank you very much.
[00:45:14.460]My name is Nancy Williams.
[00:45:15.660]I serve as co-founder and CEO for No More Empty Pots.
[00:45:18.720]We are a nonprofit organization in Omaha, Nebraska.
[00:45:21.690]Our mission is to connect individuals
[00:45:23.610]and groups to improve self-sufficiency,
[00:45:26.250]regional food security and economic resilience in both urban
[00:45:30.000]and rural communities through advocacy and action.
[00:45:32.490]So I'm absolutely thrilled to be a part of this right now.
[00:45:36.030]Our core values are education,
[00:45:37.950]stewardship and sustainability.
[00:45:39.780]And our core focus is to remove structural inequities.
[00:45:43.200]And when Katie asked if we would be a part
[00:45:47.160]of this, I said yes without hesitation because
[00:45:50.670]from the time that I have known her,
[00:45:52.500]she has had this unwavering focus towards supporting farmers
[00:45:58.230]and ensuring that everybody that was a part of,
[00:46:01.003]could be treated with dignity and respect.
[00:46:03.063]So thank you for the invitation and for helping us
[00:46:05.850]to more fully realize this vision by being here.
[00:46:09.120]I will say that we do work throughout the food system
[00:46:13.140]because our intention is that we help folks connect to where
[00:46:18.180]they are as vice chancellor Bain said that we try to meet
[00:46:21.563]people where they are but also connect them to resources
[00:46:24.570]so that they can realize their dreams for themselves
[00:46:28.590]and their families on their own terms and they know what's
[00:46:31.320]possible for them.
[00:46:33.480]I will say that our space that we built finished in 2019 to
[00:46:38.280]help realize this vision, when you walk in to the food hub,
[00:46:42.300]you can see production process and distribution,
[00:46:45.120]consumption and recycling all in one place.
[00:46:48.330]It's like our mini place to test and figure out how do we
[00:46:52.830]extract waste and reintroduce it as a value added product
[00:46:56.670]in the system, so I'm thrilled to be here.
[00:46:58.753]There's way more to learn and I'm excited
[00:47:00.913]to be on this journey with you.
[00:47:05.340]Hi everybody, my name is Bill McKelvey,
[00:47:07.170]I'm with University of Missouri Extension,
[00:47:09.618]very honored to be a part of this project.
[00:47:12.460]In terms of thinking about MU extension
[00:47:14.520]and some initiatives we have ongoing
[00:47:16.253]that match up really well with this,
[00:47:19.230]I'm thinking about some
[00:47:20.280]of our value added production initiatives.
[00:47:23.280]We have some things going on
[00:47:24.660]with urban agriculture, community development,
[00:47:28.710]entrepreneurship in general.
[00:47:32.230]So I think it's a really great opportunity.
[00:47:35.520]Good morning everyone, my name is Krista Harsta.
[00:47:38.040]I manage the Farm Food and Enterprise Development unit
[00:47:41.940]at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
[00:47:45.120]As the name might suggest,
[00:47:47.280]we take producers from the farm into a local food business
[00:47:52.620]and then really scaling that to a business level enterprise.
[00:47:56.730]So we try to meet them where they are at
[00:47:58.620]in the system and then guide them to that next level.
[00:48:02.070]Super excited to be part
[00:48:03.540]of this initiative and this outreach.
[00:48:06.480]Like others in the Midwest,
[00:48:09.180]we are seeing an increase in food deserts in Iowa and food
[00:48:13.830]that is available isn't always necessarily healthy.
[00:48:17.820]So we are trying to really build
[00:48:19.590]that infrastructure and that supply chain for our producers
[00:48:22.583]to meet everyone throughout the system.
[00:48:28.110]My name is Bill Crooks and I'm here
[00:48:30.413]with the Food Conservancy, I'm a board member.
[00:48:33.810]I'm going to try to speak for Diana,
[00:48:35.700]but those of you know Diana is, I can't do her justice.
[00:48:39.090]But anyway, we are in the activities.
[00:48:43.470]I mean we are in the business of creating new markets
[00:48:46.230]and activity for not only farmers
[00:48:48.810]and producers but for healthcare as well.
[00:48:52.740]And we are going to focus on two or three special
[00:48:56.970]initiatives, and Katie, thank you for having us here.
[00:49:00.180]I could go into that a little bit deeper,
[00:49:02.580]but Diana again is the brains behind the operation and I'm
[00:49:07.620]here to thank everybody and to welcome reconnections.
[00:49:12.240]I think I've touched almost everybody in this room
[00:49:14.370]at some point, so anyway, thank you.
[00:49:19.913]Hi everyone, good morning Leah Ventin.
[00:49:22.260]I am the director of strategic partnerships
[00:49:24.630]at (speaking in foreign language)
[00:49:26.430]I'm here with my colleagues Tomi and Lisandra.
[00:49:29.280]I am mostly speaking because of a ease of language,
[00:49:33.660]so I'm honored to represent the Kanahu Maya community.
[00:49:36.900]We are based in South Omaha.
[00:49:40.023](speaking in foreign language) is an organization
[00:49:41.730]that was founded by Khan Hoba Maya,
[00:49:44.040]who migrated to Omaha starting
[00:49:45.663]in the late eighties, early nineties.
[00:49:48.720]It's a very grassroots organization that has experienced a
[00:49:51.180]lot of growth in two years, which we're very excited about.
[00:49:54.660]It's a very focused on the community wellbeing and health
[00:49:57.000]of the community and the implementation of the rights
[00:49:59.640]of indigenous peoples as outlined in the
[00:50:03.333]UN declaration For The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples.
[00:50:06.000]We are very honored to be a part of this project.
[00:50:09.240]Maya people, as you probably know,
[00:50:11.550]have a long history of agriculture being
[00:50:14.563]the people that brought us what we use today
[00:50:17.340]as corn, chocolate, many other products that, you know,
[00:50:21.270]enrich all of our lives and feed us and our economy.
[00:50:25.110]So we're so excited to bring
[00:50:26.803]the perspective of the Maya people to this project.
[00:50:31.590]It's probably not a surprise to anyone,
[00:50:33.270]but there are a lot of Maya underrepresented in Nebraska.
[00:50:37.620]We estimate at least 15,000 Kanahu Maya
[00:50:41.040]live in Nebraska.
[00:50:42.300]A lot of folks are working in meat packing plants
[00:50:45.030]and we would like to give these folks more
[00:50:46.613]of an opportunity to have access
[00:50:48.390]to land, provide them with new farmer programs
[00:50:51.870]and really be that link, there's so many people
[00:50:54.573]that would be farmers, could be farmers, you know,
[00:50:57.450]have that spiritual and cultural connection,
[00:51:00.000]but it's really a lack of access of land capital,
[00:51:03.960]that cultural liaison that we hope to serve.
[00:51:06.690]And so we just are very appreciative.
[00:51:08.357]I know I wanna say Dr. Bain,
[00:51:10.140]we've we're so honored to be partnering
[00:51:12.150]with UNL in so many capacities.
[00:51:14.760]I'll just close by saying that we actually are linking up
[00:51:17.940]with UNL also on a different project that's focused
[00:51:21.203]on financial empowerment and we're launching it in Skyler.
[00:51:25.590]And if anyone's been to Skyler,
[00:51:27.120]I think that's very emblematic
[00:51:28.573]of what's happening in rural Nebraska.
[00:51:31.170]It's 60% Latino,
[00:51:32.640]it has a very significant Maya community and we are excited
[00:51:36.750]to be that voice and be that connection
[00:51:37.963]to services for people, so thank you so much.
[00:51:43.380]Hi, good morning.
[00:51:44.213]My name's Rachel McGinnis Milsap
[00:51:45.450]I work with KCLD Kids and programs and policy.
[00:51:49.350]KCLD Kids connects communities to close health gaps
[00:51:51.690]and we're right on the state line in Kansas and Missouri.
[00:51:54.090]So we're able to work
[00:51:54.923]from a regional perspective, statewide perspective.
[00:51:57.720]And we do this by boosting community driven initiatives
[00:52:01.170]in five focus areas, for this grant, we'll focus
[00:52:03.810]on two, our good food policy and local food programming.
[00:52:07.470]We help farmers grow thriving businesses and teach kids
[00:52:10.320]and families the value of growing their own food
[00:52:12.450]and purchasing local grown food.
[00:52:14.160]We wanna create local food eaters
[00:52:15.673]for life and we wanna create more farmers.
[00:52:17.910]So we really tie into a lot
[00:52:19.193]of the institutions in that messaging.
[00:52:22.020]We connect advocates and decision makers
[00:52:23.910]to promote policies that put healthy food within reach.
[00:52:26.430]We believe that even though there's a difference
[00:52:28.710]in life expectancy from one mile to the other
[00:52:30.673]and some of our communities in Kansas City and Missouri,
[00:52:34.050]that they should have access to healthy food and other
[00:52:36.210]services that make that not as big of a discrepancy.
[00:52:40.380]We teach kids how they're surroundings shape their health
[00:52:42.960]and how to speak out for change.
[00:52:44.700]So not only do we work with, you know,
[00:52:46.710]adult and leadership and teachers
[00:52:48.480]and stakeholders across the institutions,
[00:52:50.550]we're wanting our kids to come right up beside us and keep
[00:52:53.460]advocating for the stuff that we're all advocating for.
[00:52:56.303]We rally advocates to support policies and plans that make
[00:52:59.850]it easier and safer for everybody to live, learn, work,
[00:53:02.970]and play throughout our region.
[00:53:04.830]And since 2005 KCLD Kids has focused on community education,
[00:53:09.090]local and regional advocacy and direct support
[00:53:11.910]that's impacted the lives of thousands
[00:53:13.380]of kids in Kansas City, we're really excited to be here.
[00:53:16.230]Thanks Katie for bringing us all to the table.
[00:53:18.030]We've had multiple projects together,
[00:53:19.740]many familiar faces and we're really,
[00:53:21.840]we're a small but mighty organization
[00:53:23.370]and since we crossed the side of the state line,
[00:53:25.890]we're representing two states and it's good stuff.
[00:53:31.320]It's such good stuff.
[00:53:32.340]This is such a like what a dynamic group to be with folks.
[00:53:35.820]I'm Meg Jackson with the Center for Rule Affairs.
[00:53:39.150]We are celebrating our 50 years 50th anniversary this fall
[00:53:44.790]as an organization working in rural spaces doing food
[00:53:48.930]and farm work.
[00:53:50.100]And we have about a long
[00:53:52.740]of a history, about 30 years in the lending
[00:53:57.210]and food, small business lending, we've been a CDFI.
[00:54:00.263]Also have a women's small business women's center
[00:54:05.550]supporting business training and getting folks credit ready,
[00:54:12.630]accessing financial financing
[00:54:15.750]where that isn't, where it isn't available.
[00:54:19.710]And strengthening food businesses and entrepreneurs
[00:54:25.770]and getting into home ownership.
[00:54:28.320]And then we were also recently awarded one of
[00:54:31.080]the meat and poultry intermediary lending programs.
[00:54:35.670]So we are administering,
[00:54:37.560]we're getting into food financing space in a big way.
[00:54:42.003]And how this can is going to connect in a couple
[00:54:47.670]of years and grow with this initiative is really exciting.
[00:54:52.620]We advise and train rural food businesses
[00:54:55.260]for business and market development,
[00:54:57.623]including Latino and Native American owned businesses.
[00:55:01.800]We've been in this world,
[00:55:07.020]both in Nebraska but regionally and the Midwest.
[00:55:11.010]So that's where our reach is gonna be providing business
[00:55:14.580]training and advising and technical assistance
[00:55:19.113]for this project outreach and such, so thanks.
[00:55:26.100]So we're gonna go to Zoom now, Tom and then y'all.
[00:55:31.113]Hi everybody, glad to be able to join you virtually.
[00:55:34.590]Hopefully you can hear me, my name's Tom Buller.
[00:55:37.110]I'm the executive director
[00:55:38.220]of the Kansas Rural Center, since 1979,
[00:55:42.060]the Rural Center has worked to promote the long-term health
[00:55:44.640]of the land and its people through research, education,
[00:55:47.970]advocacy to promote an economically viable ecologically
[00:55:52.020]sound and socially just food and farming system.
[00:55:55.680]We're really excited to be a partner on the Heartland
[00:55:59.340]Regional Food Business Center and what we're really excited
[00:56:03.180]to work on is something that's personal to me.
[00:56:05.580]I have a small farm,
[00:56:06.900]I guess I'm a first generation farmer and getting
[00:56:10.873]into growing things, you know, I love growing things,
[00:56:13.950]but the business skills were really a challenge for me.
[00:56:17.460]So we're looking forward to helping other people maybe
[00:56:20.580]in that same situation, beginning farmers,
[00:56:22.650]especially across the state of Kansas,
[00:56:25.560]hone their business skills, develop their businesses,
[00:56:28.830]and contribute to the local food and farming system.
[00:56:32.520]So really appreciate the opportunity to be here.
[00:56:35.400]And I guess I'll join in the course of thanking Katie Nixon
[00:56:39.120]for helping get us to the table.
[00:56:46.470]Hey everyone, I'll jump in next.
[00:56:49.110]My name is Relle Carver.
[00:56:51.060]I am the program leader for the Rural Grocery Initiative,
[00:56:54.180]which is a program housed
[00:56:55.650]within K State Research And Extension.
[00:56:58.830]I'm actually joining you today from Phillipsburg, Kansas,
[00:57:02.123]where our office is hosting a business transition workshop
[00:57:07.020]with a focus on cooperatives.
[00:57:12.150]But I'm glad I was able to join this conversation and share
[00:57:16.080]a little bit about how K State Research And Extension
[00:57:19.380]is involved in the Heartland Regional Business
[00:57:22.373]Food Business Center.
[00:57:25.290]We are connected,
[00:57:27.090]I'm connected through my role as a co-leader for K State
[00:57:30.180]Research And Extensions, local foods transdisciplinary team.
[00:57:34.890]And so participating in this project will allow
[00:57:39.360]K State Research And Extension to leverage some
[00:57:41.880]of our existing local and regional food systems efforts,
[00:57:45.930]including the Rural Grocery Initiative,
[00:57:48.930]the Kansas Value Added Foods Lab,
[00:57:51.750]the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative,
[00:57:53.490]a healthy food financing program, Douglas County Core,
[00:57:57.873]which is a pilot extension program
[00:57:59.923]that brings together resources and facilitates connections
[00:58:03.570]for entrepreneurs and much more.
[00:58:07.560]To date, these programs have existed
[00:58:09.903]in kind of disparate parts of our system,
[00:58:13.590]but bringing them together under the Heartland Regional Food
[00:58:16.890]Business Center umbrella,
[00:58:19.170]I think will allow us to elevate our assistance
[00:58:22.710]for food-based entrepreneurs in the state and the region.
[00:58:26.190]So thank you so much for having,
[00:58:28.110]for having us joined by Zoom.
[00:58:30.313]Appreciate the opportunity and I'm really excited
[00:58:32.940]to dig into this project.
[00:58:37.680]And David and Rodney and Jamie.
[00:58:44.610]David Redich, I'm president of the
[00:58:45.783]Care Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
[00:58:47.910]We've been working in Oklahoma under that name since 1984.
[00:58:52.950]Our goal here is we do a lot of education
[00:58:56.193]and outreach with producers, a lot of farm tours.
[00:59:00.150]We have a ranch where we do sustainable ag practices,
[00:59:02.850]both in vegetable crops, fruit crops and livestock.
[00:59:06.960]And we focus on sustainability production,
[00:59:11.280]value added is important.
[00:59:13.650]And then education of various groups.
[00:59:15.870]We have adults that are looking at second careers
[00:59:18.840]in agriculture, kids coming out of college.
[00:59:21.450]And the one I really enjoy is when we get young kids
[00:59:24.360]that are in grade school coming in to see the production
[00:59:27.240]and actually see where their food comes from.
[00:59:29.850]And I think that's an important aspect.
[00:59:31.470]I'm thrilled to be with this project to try and increase
[00:59:35.280]the value added and the local food system within the region.
[00:59:42.673]My name is Rodney Holcomb.
[00:59:43.980]I'm an agricultural economist at Oklahoma State University
[00:59:47.010]and the Economist with the Robert M Kirk
[00:59:49.860]Food and Agricultural Product Center,
[00:59:51.630]which is the building you see
[00:59:53.370]in the background in the picture here.
[00:59:56.070]The Food and Ag Product Center here is a mix of faculty
[00:59:59.640]and staff from a variety of different backgrounds,
[01:00:03.403]so I'm the lone economist,
[01:00:04.860]but working with a business and marketing team.
[01:00:07.560]But we have everyone else
[01:00:08.670]from food microbiologists to food process engineers.
[01:00:12.030]And our goal is to develop value added industries
[01:00:16.303]in the state of Oklahoma.
[01:00:18.600]So we make sure that more than half of our efforts
[01:00:22.380]are focused on small business development.
[01:00:26.130]And in the 26 years the center's been
[01:00:28.560]in operation, we've worked with a variety
[01:00:31.260]of operations, different types of food industry.
[01:00:35.070]And right now we have in the facilities,
[01:00:37.830]we have a USG inspected meat processing plant.
[01:00:41.250]We also have FDa inspected non-meat processing.
[01:00:44.010]We even have a winery
[01:00:45.390]in the building, which is the only door
[01:00:47.100]that's ever, always locked on a university campus.
[01:00:51.210]We, right now some of the programs we do
[01:00:53.083]undersecretary Moffitt mentioned incubator kitchens.
[01:00:57.090]We have some spreadsheet decision aids and equipment lists
[01:01:01.020]and basic designs for incubator kitchens that we've used
[01:01:04.980]for operations around state of Oklahoma, but behind me
[01:01:08.400]in the building right now,
[01:01:09.720]we have a five week program going on for people that wanna
[01:01:12.093]learn how to be meat cutters for small meat business
[01:01:14.970]development since we've had so much effort put
[01:01:17.940]into small meat plants.
[01:01:19.800]So they'll spend five weeks learning how to be Meat Masters
[01:01:23.793]is what we call it.
[01:01:25.410]So we do a little bit
[01:01:26.243]of all of that third party verification,
[01:01:29.790]global food safety initiative training and Food Safety
[01:01:33.060]Modernization Act training so people can get those products
[01:01:35.640]in the retail stores and we work a lot with
[01:01:38.133]the retail outlets, the Oklahoma Grocers Association,
[01:01:39.960]National Grocers Association as well.
[01:01:42.540]So try to do as many things as we can into one room.
[01:01:48.183]Hello, Jamie Klein.
[01:01:50.070]I'm from the Center for Applied Research
[01:01:51.413]and Engagement Systems, part of the University of Missouri.
[01:01:55.560]Our center is a nationally recognized data mapping
[01:01:58.740]and visualization organization.
[01:02:01.170]We've been collecting and mapping environmental,
[01:02:03.630]agriculture, economic and health related data since 1992.
[01:02:08.730]Our vast database hosts
[01:02:10.140]over 30,000 mappable data layers currently.
[01:02:13.530]And our assessment tools really aim to empower communities
[01:02:16.770]and increase the use of data for planning, decision making,
[01:02:20.580]and collective action.
[01:02:22.200]We're very excited to be part of this project and we'll be
[01:02:25.200]working to provide food and business related data
[01:02:28.380]to our partners, facilitating the collection of data
[01:02:31.830]about the food and environment across the Heartland region
[01:02:35.293]and really supporting project evaluation effort.
[01:02:39.060]So thanks so much for having us.
[01:02:43.950]Thank you everyone.
[01:02:48.900]Yeah, thank you, this is such,
[01:02:50.550]I mean you really have pulled together I think a broad
[01:02:54.600]diverse group of folks who have long and this,
[01:02:58.710]as we were talking last year and designing and developing
[01:03:03.090]what we thought would be, you know, the right mix of people.
[01:03:05.880]This is truly the right mix of people that we envisioned.
[01:03:09.570]So congratulations on really pulling that together.
[01:03:12.270]People who have deep roots within the,
[01:03:14.940]your respective communities who have expertise.
[01:03:18.930]And then of course, and then also the capacity to,
[01:03:22.350]and folks have talked about some of the different programs
[01:03:24.600]and funding sources that we have at USDA.
[01:03:29.100]We have meat and poultry processing funds that have already
[01:03:32.610]gone out the door and we've invested in hundreds of projects
[01:03:35.160]around the country and will continue to invest in more.
[01:03:38.550]We also announced at the same time we announced our 12
[01:03:41.280]finalists for the regional food business centers,
[01:03:44.100]we announced 420 million in funding for what we call
[01:03:48.870]for the resilient food system infrastructure,
[01:03:50.850]which is the non-meat and poultry processing component.
[01:03:53.520]And that is gonna be administered
[01:03:54.353]through the State Departments Of Agriculture.
[01:03:56.970]And so that is another a key part of this as well.
[01:04:02.220]And the business builder award that these centers have are
[01:04:05.490]so important, it's something,
[01:04:07.140]as we were designing the program
[01:04:08.430]and listening to stakeholders,
[01:04:10.320]we heard how important that is that sometimes people just
[01:04:13.553]need, you mentioned you've got a list
[01:04:15.233]of equipment for your commercial kitchen.
[01:04:17.100]Sometimes people just need a piece of equipment that's 10,
[01:04:20.073]$15,000 and to apply for a federal loan for something like
[01:04:25.140]that, it's just, it's virtually impossible.
[01:04:27.330]It's, it costs, you know,
[01:04:28.740]a lot of time and money to be able to do that.
[01:04:31.410]So to empower this regional food business center you all to
[01:04:36.870]be able to invest in business builders and if people want
[01:04:39.693]to grow and need more money, then they have,
[01:04:42.300]they can go to their state departments
[01:04:43.440]of agriculture to get additional funding
[01:04:45.570]through the Resilient Food System infrastructure fund.
[01:04:48.330]Really looking at how we bring all these things together,
[01:04:51.113]the revolving loan funds,
[01:04:52.950]all of the different components that we have at USDA
[01:04:57.150]to really make this work value added Producer grant,
[01:05:00.600]the local agricultural marketing program,
[01:05:02.910]but it's the regional Food Business centers and it's you all
[01:05:07.200]together really helping to bring those resources
[01:05:11.663]to life for your own communities.
[01:05:14.550]So we're really excited about what that means.
[01:05:17.970]I don't know how much more time we have, but
[01:05:19.290]I certainly have questions
[01:05:21.510]or Katie, I don't know if you have additional thoughts
[01:05:24.273]that you wanna share too,
[01:05:25.560]but it sounds like as you were pulling together this really
[01:05:30.240]incredible team, you really were, what was the state,
[01:05:33.990]the puzzle pieces like you were really putting together
[01:05:36.510]the puzzle pieces of what makes this a recipe
[01:05:39.393]for success for this region, so I'd love your thinking
[01:05:42.750]on that or we can also just dive into some questions.
[01:05:46.320]Yeah, I'll just say a couple of things about that and well,
[01:05:50.130]you know, I think like I can't ever do anything by myself.
[01:05:56.070]Like I don't wanna go out.
[01:05:57.227]I mean I farm by myself and that's fine, you know,
[01:05:59.850]but I'm never by myself, I look up and the hawks are like,
[01:06:02.160]Hey, what are you doing down there?
[01:06:03.240]Actually they're not paying any attention
[01:06:04.380]to me, but I when the work has
[01:06:07.500]to get done, you have bring people who are doing the work.
[01:06:10.953]And so I really appreciate USDA's approach to trying
[01:06:15.660]to blanket the food system with all of these puzzle pieces
[01:06:18.390]and funding pieces that are not having to be matched.
[01:06:22.920]Cause it's so hard, like all struggle
[01:06:24.856]to get our (indistinct)
[01:06:33.180]I think it's just so important that we can do our work
[01:06:37.890]without having to worry
[01:06:38.723]about where that if everybody was given an
[01:06:42.360]unlimited budget in this room, we
[01:06:44.250]would transform the world I mean, no doubt, right?
[01:06:47.040]Like, (laughs) because they wouldn't sit
[01:06:49.770]around like, oh I got my money, I'm just gonna sit back
[01:06:52.320]and no, these people are all doers.
[01:06:53.933]Which is why I wanted them all in the room.
[01:06:56.790]And there were plenty of other partners
[01:06:57.673]that we couldn't necessarily bring in 'cause you know,
[01:07:01.260]the budget went pretty quickly when we brought all kinds
[01:07:03.540]of partners in the room, you know, so,
[01:07:06.030]but I'm really excited to hear more about the resilient
[01:07:08.430]food systems infrastructure because like we all need
[01:07:11.490]those hard pieces.
[01:07:12.443]Like the food system is incredibly broken for small farmers
[01:07:16.980]and I understand why it's aggregated the way it has
[01:07:19.853]'cause that's what capitalism has driven it towards.
[01:07:22.710]But it left so many people behind and it's
[01:07:25.710]so hard to struggle back up to get anywhere near solvency
[01:07:29.040]as a small business and they really are
[01:07:30.843]the backbone of our rural communities.
[01:07:33.113]And then we need to bridge that with our urban partners too.
[01:07:36.810]I believe we have a really strong urban and rural connection
[01:07:39.840]with all of our partners and I'm really excited to see
[01:07:42.563]where we go with this and how we can all work together.
[01:07:47.940]That's great, and yeah, I mean I think it is, it's
[01:07:53.310]for small and for mid-size businesses,
[01:07:57.878]it can be really challenging to navigate
[01:08:00.313]the system and to be able to know even,
[01:08:03.930]I mean I know when I was at running my family's operation,
[01:08:07.050]I didn't even know some of the resources
[01:08:08.790]that would've been available to me if,
[01:08:12.256]and so I think that's part
[01:08:13.513]of what the Regional Food Business Center is.
[01:08:15.690]It's just to help people know that there are resources
[01:08:18.810]that they can tap into and navigate those resources.
[01:08:22.140]The one-on-one technical assistance
[01:08:24.270]that I imagine all of you are gonna be providing
[01:08:28.233]is so important because it's knowing
[01:08:30.533]the resources, being able to apply
[01:08:32.610]for the resources, get the funding for it,
[01:08:35.190]but then also just all of the pieces along the way.
[01:08:38.580]What does food safety certification look like?
[01:08:40.350]What does labeling look like?
[01:08:42.000]What all of the different questions that people have
[01:08:45.360]I think are really important.
[01:08:46.860]Their resilient food system infrastructure fund
[01:08:49.800]is money that we are partnering
[01:08:51.863]with State Departments Of Agriculture.
[01:08:54.960]So 420 million a across 54 state and territory
[01:08:59.610]Departments Of Agriculture, so, but it is important,
[01:09:03.720]what it will do is the business builders can fund up to a
[01:09:06.990]hundred thousand dollars and then what the Resilient Food
[01:09:10.410]System Infrastructure fund does is it begins at that a
[01:09:12.660]hundred thousand dollars and it can do the projects that are
[01:09:15.390]a hundred thousand to in the multiple million dollar range.
[01:09:18.810]And so that is a very important part because everyone has
[01:09:22.590]different scales in which they're operating.
[01:09:25.020]And so we are making sure that
[01:09:26.940]we're looking at all the different scales
[01:09:29.310]that we can be able to fund.
[01:09:31.800]The technical assistance is really important.
[01:09:35.700]Resources and the infrastructure that you talked
[01:09:38.520]about are really important too.
[01:09:39.660]So this funding for resilient food system infrastructure
[01:09:43.500]funds processing, it also can fund distribution,
[01:09:46.113]it also can fund aggregation and food hubs.
[01:09:49.710]It can fund and
[01:09:51.060]it's flexible enough to be able to fund those linkages
[01:09:54.090]in the middle of the food supply chain
[01:09:56.280]that are needed and identified in a community.
[01:09:58.800]And that's why I think it's really important
[01:10:00.330]that we're partnering with state departments
[01:10:02.173]of agriculture to do it because we know enough,
[01:10:07.080]but the states really know what's happening in their states
[01:10:11.070]to be able to say here's where our identified needs are.
[01:10:14.280]And so that's I think a really key part
[01:10:15.900]of the resilient food system infrastructure fund.
[01:10:19.080]And then of course we have meat
[01:10:20.973]and poultry processing dollars, we have farm to school,
[01:10:23.613]we have all sorts of really incredible programs at USDA
[01:10:29.363]that I think woven together each plays a very unique
[01:10:34.470]need and fills a very unique role.
[01:10:37.200]And woven together is a system
[01:10:38.853]of programs that supports the food system.
[01:10:42.540]So I'm really curious in this collective impact model
[01:10:46.530]that you're developing and implementing
[01:10:49.920]how the different players and the folks in this room,
[01:10:53.700]plus I would imagine for each one who's here at the table,
[01:10:57.900]you are working with a handful of other organizations
[01:11:00.863]in your community and in your, whether it's
[01:11:04.050]in your community, in a location, community or whether it's
[01:11:06.593]in your community, in the work in which you're working,
[01:11:10.650]how do you build on
[01:11:13.080]and I'm assuming that's what that collective impact model
[01:11:15.990]is like we're building on each other
[01:11:18.510]to really meet the need, and so I'm curious how you see
[01:11:22.710]that role and maybe we could pass it around
[01:11:24.810]or if someone wants to first start and then we can hear
[01:11:27.330]from you all about how you feel
[01:11:28.863]that role is and that collective impact.
[01:11:33.060]Well the collective impact model
[01:11:35.850]is designed to be data driven.
[01:11:37.680]So that's Jamie's role is that with the asset mapping gap
[01:11:41.460]analysis to create baseline
[01:11:43.680]and then what do we wanna see change on that baseline?
[01:11:48.090]How are we together gonna work closely
[01:11:51.510]and address those gaps to move the needle on new startups,
[01:11:55.500]on bankability, on increasing and expanding existing
[01:12:01.560]businesses and really trying
[01:12:03.270]to strengthen the connection between farming
[01:12:05.923]and processing at the local and regional level.
[01:12:09.480]And then what people tell us is I can figure
[01:12:12.630]that out but then if I'm in western Nebraska,
[01:12:15.810]how do I get it to the market in Omaha?
[01:12:18.000]So that's the another piece
[01:12:19.263]that we'll be working on together.
[01:12:22.560]Any anyone else wanna comment on how you see us working
[01:12:25.680]together on this issue?
[01:12:31.110]There she goes.
[01:12:32.910]I can talk a lot so I'll set a timer so I don't monopolize
[01:12:37.740]the time, but yeah, as Katie said,
[01:12:40.410]none of us does great work alone so it takes a lot
[01:12:44.520]of partners to do what we do.
[01:12:46.863]And for No More Empty Pots,
[01:12:49.140]I would say local foods is the number one thing
[01:12:51.120]that we do in working with over 40 different farmers
[01:12:54.990]in Iowa and Nebraska and we've been doing a year round CSA
[01:12:59.940]since 2019 and it takes a lot to get that done.
[01:13:03.360]But the second thing that we do the most is collaborate.
[01:13:06.493]We've had over a hundred different collaborations
[01:13:10.650]and partnerships since we,
[01:13:13.680]since year three because the system is complex
[01:13:20.503]and no one owns any one thing and nor should we,
[01:13:24.180]but we try to work to our strengths,
[01:13:27.090]recognize where the gaps are, and then find partners
[01:13:30.000]who are also really good at what they do.
[01:13:32.400]And if we are all leaning on each other to do our best work,
[01:13:35.940]then the people that we're serving with get
[01:13:38.400]the best of what's available
[01:13:40.290]and then we can all level up because as you mentioned,
[01:13:42.960]we are learning from each other in the process.
[01:13:46.703]And hopefully as we do that,
[01:13:48.769]we are also setting those goals and outcomes,
[01:13:51.360]we're reaching them and what used to be a problem is no
[01:13:53.940]longer a problem, but then it usually reveals another issue
[01:13:56.763]that we need to work on, but as we continue to do that,
[01:14:00.593]hopefully we're moving further upstream so we have fewer
[01:14:04.680]people who need us in a crisis and that they are able to
[01:14:08.280]realize those goals and dreams for themselves and then we
[01:14:11.760]are providing resources to help them do that in a way
[01:14:16.470]that they can get to that point of self-sufficiency
[01:14:19.560]and economic resilience before they land in a crisis point.
[01:14:23.730]And we know we're not gonna get everybody right away
[01:14:26.190]because we didn't get here instantly.
[01:14:29.070]But what I see from what was proposed and the folks
[01:14:32.183]in this room and doing this work and what's happening
[01:14:35.970]in our communities that we work in with the partners
[01:14:38.203]that we work with, we see glimmers of progress
[01:14:42.480]and things that we should stop doing
[01:14:44.243]and things that we should do more of.
[01:14:46.650]And now it's just to have the courage
[01:14:48.533]and the resources to continue to do those things.
[01:14:59.550]Okay, so quick follow up.
[01:15:00.560]So you said your own CSA,
[01:15:02.370]which is really impressive for this part of the country.
[01:15:05.850]So I'm curious how that works,
[01:15:07.500]but specifically just from a tactical perspective,
[01:15:10.193]but also I'm guessing those are maybe crops
[01:15:12.573]that folks hadn't always grown and
[01:15:15.330]or storage or infrastructure that hasn't always existed.
[01:15:19.440]So I'm just curious how some of that came to be.
[01:15:23.853]Thanks, well one,
[01:15:25.050]we have really good partners and we have a really good
[01:15:29.910]person named Taylor who I,
[01:15:32.670]she's does our logistics and procurement and working across
[01:15:38.910]Nebraska and Iowa with folks who have greenhouses and they
[01:15:42.660]have high tunnels so we can continue to get local greens
[01:15:47.040]throughout the season and then farmers
[01:15:50.070]who have different products available at different times,
[01:15:52.650]which is why it takes about 40 of them to continue
[01:15:56.190]to get the different types of produce that we have.
[01:15:59.730]But we also include pulses, we have,
[01:16:02.310]we grow popcorn and Nebraska so we sometimes include that as
[01:16:06.690]a grain and then we will include things like organic quinoa
[01:16:12.690]or brown rice where we're using a local farm
[01:16:18.060]and I'm blanking but they do grain, somebody help me,
[01:16:20.970]I can't think of.
[01:16:24.133]That's one, but they're farther west.
[01:16:26.840]Thank you grain place.
[01:16:28.080]We get a lot of grains from them that are either sourced
[01:16:32.700]locally because if we can't get it local then we make sure
[01:16:35.550]that it aligns with the values that we have.
[01:16:38.460]But we have over,
[01:16:41.070]since 2019, 85% of our purchases have been sourced
[01:16:46.920]locally, so we have really good producers,
[01:16:50.303]that is how that's done.
[01:16:52.290]And Taylor does a really good job of choosing the right mix
[01:16:56.160]of things over time so that we have fresh things and we have
[01:17:01.020]dry things that also help people learn
[01:17:03.750]how to eat more whole foods
[01:17:06.899]throughout the season and not expect strawberries
[01:17:10.050]in November 'cause that ain't happening.
[01:17:12.420]But when we do get them in June that they get a chance
[01:17:15.960]to get some of those, does that help?
[01:17:21.420]Hi Rachel again with KCLD Kids,
[01:17:23.430]I wanted to speak to the opportunities
[01:17:25.320]within Food Policy Councils with at the state level
[01:17:27.393]and then also at the county level.
[01:17:30.030]We are a nonprofit
[01:17:31.440]and our programmatic stuff is really just around
[01:17:33.510]greater Kansas City but our policy work really is statewide.
[01:17:36.690]And just to give a shout out to one,
[01:17:38.220]I'm just one of the ones from KCLD kids that will be here.
[01:17:41.790]We have amazing staff that work
[01:17:44.460]with policy specific stuff at a statewide partnerships.
[01:17:48.660]There's Food and Farm Council
[01:17:50.490]in Kansas, there's the Kansas Food Action Network and they,
[01:17:53.610]while there mostly is called for action for policy stuff,
[01:17:56.580]it goes both ways with resources that are needed from those
[01:17:58.950]stakeholders in the community, both in rural and urban.
[01:18:02.130]So I know there's over 30 count countywide food policy
[01:18:05.823]councils that connect and amplify their stuff
[01:18:08.310]on the way up on the side of Kansas.
[01:18:10.980]And then in Greater KC there's
[01:18:12.113]within the Food Policy Coalition,
[01:18:14.430]multiple stakeholders and institutions that have been a part
[01:18:16.980]of this work for a long time.
[01:18:18.420]So I really look at that being
[01:18:19.590]as an opportunity, not just in Kansas
[01:18:20.813]and Missouri, which are what we represent,
[01:18:22.680]but looking to those relationships and partnerships
[01:18:26.880]in the other states that maybe aren't coming
[01:18:28.103]to the table with that, but that's a great opportunity.
[01:18:35.220]Yeah, thank you so much for mentioning that.
[01:18:37.080]And I had the opportunity to get out to Kansas slash I
[01:18:41.250]think late summer, early fall as we announced
[01:18:43.613]the local food purchase assistance,
[01:18:45.780]which I is also I think a really important driver
[01:18:48.960]in the work that's being done.
[01:18:50.850]And hopefully the regional food business centers are
[01:18:52.590]connecting there too because this is also
[01:18:54.637]about how do we drive demand to schools and to food banks
[01:18:58.950]from local and regional producers.
[01:19:00.930]And what I heard is just the thriving Food Policy Councils
[01:19:04.380]in Kansas and that was just fantastic to hear.
[01:19:07.440]I mean we hear about them across the country.
[01:19:09.990]To hear about them
[01:19:10.830]in specific regions and specific states is fantastic.
[01:19:15.240]When I was at my family's farm,
[01:19:16.470]I was part of our county one and I know just
[01:19:19.590]how important they can be in really bringing everyone
[01:19:22.410]to the table to identify or try to work through solutions.
[01:19:28.050]It takes a while sometimes,
[01:19:28.883]I think the Food Policy Council I was part
[01:19:30.960]of is just now getting some funding for a food hub a
[01:19:34.693]dozen years later.
[01:19:36.900]But it happens in time, you know, with perseverance.
[01:19:38.833]And so that, thank you for highlighting that.
[01:19:42.030]I am really interested in this collaboration,
[01:19:47.880]right, we have, you have your expertise,
[01:19:50.610]you have your expertise and you have the world
[01:19:52.440]in which you're working and then this whole region,
[01:19:55.320]the Heartland Regional Food Business Center,
[01:19:57.263]we'll be working in collaborating very closely
[01:19:59.723]together as well.
[01:20:01.680]I'm curious to see not only the vision
[01:20:03.783]for how that works, but also I'm really interested in
[01:20:08.550]and certainly we don't need any answers now unless you know
[01:20:12.090]of them, but I'm really interested in like just
[01:20:14.483]what I heard yesterday, oh we have,
[01:20:16.680]we're trying to solve for commercial kitchens
[01:20:18.360]or we're trying to solve for this and how,
[01:20:20.610]where are their opportunities for USDA as you're working
[01:20:25.950]in your region to help connect the dots between regions
[01:20:29.550]as well, are there topical areas or how might that work?
[01:20:34.413]We have Lacey here with AMS who's with our local and
[01:20:38.160]regional food systems group at AMS and we're building out
[01:20:41.970]a team who's really gonna be supporting the regional food
[01:20:45.180]business centers and thinking about and hearing from you
[01:20:49.050]all about where are some challenges that you're facing that
[01:20:52.620]I'm sure other regions are facing as well and how can we
[01:20:56.220]facilitate and foster connecting those dots as well.
[01:20:59.403]Yeah, I'll jump in.
[01:21:00.510]I'll jump in there, just one,
[01:21:01.813]I did want to call out Tiffany Hangmoss in the back.
[01:21:05.970]Tiffany's the dean of our College of Agricultural Sciences
[01:21:08.850]and natural resources, Sherry Jones,
[01:21:10.890]the dean of our College of Education and Human Sciences
[01:21:13.620]couldn't be with us today but that's an important platform
[01:21:17.130]around nutrition and health science.
[01:21:19.440]Charlie Staltino is the dean of Nebraska Extension.
[01:21:23.370]Next to Charlie Terry Howell.
[01:21:26.640]Terry and Rodney, you there should be a meetup there.
[01:21:31.860]Terry is the executive director of our Nebraska Food
[01:21:36.330]Processing Center and there's a lot of partnerships
[01:21:39.930]and a lot of, I think similarity to what Rodney said.
[01:21:42.750]So kind of anchoring the heartland in the north and
[01:21:46.080]the south when the early genesis of the dialogue started.
[01:21:50.760]One way to amplify through USDA,
[01:21:54.330]certainly the land grant universities and colleges.
[01:21:57.720]So we're blessed in the region not only to have 1860 twos
[01:22:02.550]but 1890s and 1994 tribal serving and Hispanic serving
[01:22:07.950]institutions, so I think through the deans calling them out,
[01:22:13.050]they're all friends with the deans
[01:22:15.323]at the other schools in the region.
[01:22:18.900]But even with that, you know,
[01:22:20.550]we don't talk enough across state lines enough.
[01:22:24.030]So I think the reason that we are here
[01:22:29.073]at the University of Nebraska Lincoln,
[01:22:31.920]the leadership sitting down at that end
[01:22:33.660]of the table and the partners in the room.
[01:22:35.760]But we do some things well and we can do,
[01:22:39.480]we can leverage that and that was really the offer on the
[01:22:42.210]table was to be kind of that structural frame behind
[01:22:46.830]upon which the programming could thrive.
[01:22:50.730]But I do think the Land Grant universities just like USDA
[01:22:55.173]playing across the different parts,
[01:22:57.090]we have a real important role in this and that starts today
[01:23:01.350]and I appreciate my colleagues coming on all levels.
[01:23:04.830]So that's one way we can collaborate
[01:23:06.883]in partnership with USDA.
[01:23:15.720]In the design of the project,
[01:23:17.190]we also talked about the partners having sort of
[01:23:20.643]meetings of the minds so that like, you know,
[01:23:24.120]you're working in this sector, everybody who is part
[01:23:26.460]of the partnership, let's have, you know,
[01:23:28.553]a monthly standing meeting where we can talk
[01:23:30.420]through some of our issues
[01:23:32.583]and really just because we're working on high level,
[01:23:35.790]you know, just looking at it from a higher level,
[01:23:37.680]sometimes it's hard to know like what you don't know.
[01:23:40.587]And so when you can talk to colleagues who are doing similar
[01:23:43.110]work, you can see, oh yeah, I didn't think
[01:23:44.863]about that, but now it makes total sense.
[01:23:47.640]And so when you can work amongst your peers
[01:23:49.830]and have that conversation.
[01:23:50.910]So I think across even the different regional food business
[01:23:54.090]centers, if there's like affinity groups, you know,
[01:23:57.000]within there that you can kind of bring them together
[01:23:59.430]and play that organizing role.
[01:24:01.140]Cause it takes time to figure out when you're gonna meet
[01:24:03.180]and you know somebody to host it
[01:24:04.503]and to prompt questions and stuff.
[01:24:06.270]I think that would be really helpful
[01:24:07.860]to learning about the different issues everybody's facing
[01:24:10.563]and how they're gonna tackle those.
[01:24:15.450]Great, do folks online have anything else to share?
[01:24:20.100]Any answers to some of the questions we had or?
[01:24:26.993]They're all waiting for each other to chime in.
[01:24:32.070]I can't see names this far away, so.
[01:24:40.950]Just a quick comment here locally,
[01:24:42.960]I think one thing that we've really appreciated is like
[01:24:45.840]your increased focus on urban ag and BIPOC communities
[01:24:49.233]at the USDA, we were very excited to be a part of one
[01:24:52.320]of the land access grant funding opportunities.
[01:24:55.560]So I mean that was a historic opportunity
[01:24:57.360]to apply for funding to purchase farmland,
[01:24:59.250]which as we know is a major barrier, and then locally,
[01:25:02.310]honestly the NRCS folks have been really good,
[01:25:05.013]I have them on like speed dial.
[01:25:08.340]We actually hosted an NRCS kind of meet and greet just
[01:25:11.100]on Friday at the Maya Community Center in Omaha.
[01:25:14.070]One of Nancy's team members was there and a bunch
[01:25:16.860]of the Omaha urban ag organizations just to learn more
[01:25:19.830]about really what USDA can offer to urban ag organizations
[01:25:22.923]at a local level.
[01:25:24.633]You know, getting into the nitty gritty about signing up
[01:25:27.120]for an FSA number and just these really tangible things
[01:25:31.043]that beforehand, you know, we wouldn't have even known
[01:25:33.510]were an opportunity for us.
[01:25:35.310]So I think I've been really happy to collaborate
[01:25:38.190]with them and be part of spreading that information
[01:25:41.183]throughout Omaha because I think it's an untapped resource.
[01:25:45.480]So they've been great to work with.
[01:25:51.450]Yeah, and the work that's being done
[01:25:54.240]at NRCS on urban ag and is it truly is remarkable just
[01:25:58.410]to see the work that they're doing
[01:26:00.870]to foster because they're very unique difference.
[01:26:03.870]Like there's very unique is issues.
[01:26:05.700]You talked about getting, you know,
[01:26:07.260]even just like an FSA number.
[01:26:09.450]We had the same thing
[01:26:10.283]when we were, when I was in California, there was yeah,
[01:26:12.290]an urban farmer and they were like,
[01:26:13.560]well I have these different plots and they don't actually
[01:26:15.900]tie to, there's no FSA numbers, so how do I even begin?
[01:26:19.643]That I think is important.
[01:26:21.033]The regional food business centers can also be able
[01:26:24.840]to support, it will support urban agriculture
[01:26:27.043]in many ways, of course in accessing markets,
[01:26:29.850]but also birddogging some of
[01:26:32.430]the issues as well, so, and we talked about this yesterday
[01:26:35.100]when we were in Michigan as well.
[01:26:37.080]Some of the challenges are, you know, urban planning
[01:26:40.380]and you know, best practices for urban planning.
[01:26:42.510]And so that was another one.
[01:26:43.350]And that might be another affinity group
[01:26:44.910]that I know, you know, certainly in Detroit they're thinking
[01:26:47.670]about and probably in Omaha as well.
[01:26:49.887]And so there's an opportunity there of how can the regional
[01:26:52.590]food business centers, you know, look at planning guides,
[01:26:56.850]not advocacy 'cause they can't find that,
[01:26:58.920]but planning guides and other things to be able
[01:27:02.710]to support urban agriculture so we can have
[01:27:05.423]thriving urban farmers.
[01:27:13.080]I had an example I wanted to share with you about,
[01:27:15.930]because you had also asked about year round growing.
[01:27:19.440]The KC Food Hub is also a sub-award under our grant and I'm
[01:27:22.530]also the president of the board, full transparency there.
[01:27:24.750]But we have been working to build our supply chain
[01:27:29.250]to schools and schools wanna buy local food,
[01:27:31.800]but it's doesn't match with our production season,
[01:27:34.973]especially in Nebraska, you guys are even further north.
[01:27:37.980]And so it has taken us almost three years
[01:27:41.280]to get to the point we're at now,
[01:27:43.380]which is pretty good sales with schools in terms of lettuce.
[01:27:47.580]So we had a demand from the schools, they wanted, you know,
[01:27:50.550]600 pounds a week and they thought, oh,
[01:27:51.960]because we can't supply all
[01:27:53.100]of it, then they'll get none of it.
[01:27:54.553]But with through negotiations and conversations
[01:27:57.713]and working with our farmers and going back to the schools
[01:28:00.313]and like, now we're up to 400 pounds a week in the winter,
[01:28:04.080]and that means those farmers invested their high
[01:28:08.280]quality, you know,
[01:28:09.270]highly productive land in their high tunnels and dedicated
[01:28:12.353]to growing that food 'cause they knew that market was gonna
[01:28:15.180]secure and they could actually get a price
[01:28:16.950]that was affordable for them, so that took three years
[01:28:19.380]to develop, you know, that relationship back and forth.
[01:28:21.720]And that was the food value chain coordinator's job.
[01:28:24.900]And that's what we wanna do is create
[01:28:26.760]many more of those market opportunities
[01:28:28.643]and hopefully through local Food for Schools program,
[01:28:32.213]which we're also helping to organize, you know,
[01:28:34.200]the application process for our Missouri schools.
[01:28:36.690]They can get access to those funds to get a start
[01:28:38.610]in buying local food and hopefully they'll continue even
[01:28:40.993]when the money runs out.
[01:28:44.820]Yeah, that's the hope, right?
[01:28:45.960]We solve for the problems and so that they,
[01:28:49.080]the problems are resolved and they can continue even after
[01:28:51.923]the money runs out, and the schools are still,
[01:28:54.510]of course buying food, but now they'll have access
[01:28:56.700]to lettuce year round, and yeah, I mean, talking about,
[01:28:59.580]and this is very much a whole
[01:29:01.230]of USDA, a whole of government approach.
[01:29:04.170]These, the regional food business centers are really
[01:29:05.880]the glue across USDA, so we talked about
[01:29:08.023]of course, NCS urban Ag, we talked about, you know,
[01:29:10.950]NCS and the work they do on funding high tunnels.
[01:29:13.650]Like all of this is important as we pull together
[01:29:16.243]what we need to be able to navigate that.
[01:29:21.540]Kind of a question more than a solution.
[01:29:25.950]Speaking of creating new markets,
[01:29:28.230]if you were going to create new markets and urban
[01:29:32.160]and rural healthcare by sort of breaking down the barriers
[01:29:36.600]between HHS and USDA in terms of Medicaid reimbursement
[01:29:42.090]for programs would be something that I think
[01:29:44.073]that could really stimulate not only in a regional,
[01:29:48.450]but in a national kind of fashion.
[01:29:51.090]So how do we get to the point to where you can break down
[01:29:53.880]those barriers between Medicaid reimbursement,
[01:29:57.390]HHS and USDA?
[01:30:00.960]I know that's a.
[01:30:02.806]No, it's a great question.
[01:30:04.830]And again, (indistinct)
[01:30:08.760]So last fall, the White House hosted a conference
[01:30:16.500]with that, the president put out
[01:30:18.870]a kind of his recommendations on different things
[01:30:21.750]and food as medicine is a key part of that.
[01:30:24.030]And there is a whole initiative that is happening
[01:30:27.330]between USDA and HHS to really identify
[01:30:31.230]and drive food as medicine, identify where, you know,
[01:30:34.410]where are some things that we can,
[01:30:35.910]we can do now through our own administrative process
[01:30:39.480]to be able to drive food as medicine.
[01:30:41.400]And then, you know, there probably are,
[01:30:43.137]and I'm sure there's a lot that, you know,
[01:30:45.060]if Congress wanted to take up
[01:30:46.710]some legislative solutions as well, but really looking
[01:30:49.590]at how we can use our own funds,
[01:30:52.230]our own research dollars to be able
[01:30:54.780]to drive that food as medicine produce prescriptions
[01:30:59.190]for example, is I think one, you know,
[01:31:02.070]one area that there is a whole work group who's looking on,
[01:31:03.907]you know, just what does that look like and how can we,
[01:31:06.960]how can we really start to implement that and drive that.
[01:31:09.690]I think that is really key piece of that.
[01:31:15.270]Three year program just to create the,
[01:31:17.580]I'm sorry, to create the, you know,
[01:31:20.070]the infrastructure to the schools.
[01:31:21.900]So now you have this huge opportunity, a bigger market,
[01:31:26.400]and how do you tackle that, how, what is the question?
[01:31:28.980]So thank you.
[01:31:30.027]And there's the senior farmer's market nutrition program
[01:31:32.460]that we were talking about earlier, right?
[01:31:34.110]And there's the GUSNA program and there's all,
[01:31:36.900]there's in addition to Medicaid and looking at, you know,
[01:31:40.410]produce prescriptions and those sorts
[01:31:42.120]of things, which are absolutely important.
[01:31:44.550]There's also some programs that we have now that
[01:31:47.610]we've been able to do some plus ups with the American Rescue
[01:31:50.640]Plan dollars and then also there's, you know,
[01:31:54.480]the VA system is looking at how they're doing procurement
[01:31:57.413]through their hospitals
[01:31:59.153]and again, utilizing food as medicine techniques
[01:32:03.300]and bringing more fresh or, you know, just more, you know,
[01:32:08.640]vitamin driven food into the system.
[01:32:12.450]Many of the funds that we have through
[01:32:14.130]the local agricultural market program that we have here
[01:32:17.473]at USDA have been able to help foster that as well.
[01:32:20.160]So hospitals across the country,
[01:32:22.500]so many hospitals are looking
[01:32:23.943]at this and are advancing in this way
[01:32:27.090]and we're able to be able to fund
[01:32:29.520]some of the community connectivity to really look
[01:32:32.193]at what happened, what does that hospital system need
[01:32:34.783]in their region, and what food sources do they need
[01:32:38.280]and how do we get that food from farm to hospital to be able
[01:32:41.460]to achieve their nutrition goals that they're trying
[01:32:44.880]to do in their hospitals,.
[01:32:46.440]Thank you, I know that was kinda a broad question.
[01:32:50.640]we were on Matt Hammonds who oversees government affairs
[01:32:54.900]federal for the NU System.
[01:32:56.910]We were on a call last Thursday with the medical center
[01:32:59.940]in Omaha and the VA specifically looking at linkages.
[01:33:05.010]And this is the second time
[01:33:06.480]I guess in four days I've heard food is medicine.
[01:33:09.690]So a question, maybe a little bit of definition about that.
[01:33:14.730]My visceral response is that once you start saying medicine,
[01:33:18.360]then FDA comes in, and so,
[01:33:20.153]we tend to talk about food for health
[01:33:23.763]and nutrition and stay away from the medicine word.
[01:33:27.630]I get the concept, but the VA definitely is interested
[01:33:32.790]in food programs,
[01:33:34.830]they're interested in food entrepreneurship programs.
[01:33:38.250]So I think this is Bill, along your line,
[01:33:40.890]an opportunity to look at some of these programs
[01:33:43.620]and blur some lines, and it feels like
[01:33:47.100]the regional food business centers are really
[01:33:51.113]an opportune time, especially in this region where we have
[01:33:55.053]such a significant military presence.
[01:33:57.300]But if you could say something a little bit
[01:33:58.920]about the food for medicine bit,
[01:34:01.290]just so the rest of us are kind of up to speed
[01:34:03.083]on what that is, that'd be great.
[01:34:05.880]Well, I too need to get better up to speed on it. (laughs)
[01:34:10.317]And at this at USDA, this is.
[01:34:12.493]Sorry to put you on the spot.
[01:34:15.633]But this is being driven out of two of our mi two
[01:34:18.620]of our really critical mission areas.
[01:34:20.820]So the research education and economics missionary,
[01:34:23.790]so which you're of course very familiar
[01:34:25.800]with NIPA and ARS and driving what's the research,
[01:34:33.450]the food medicine research
[01:34:34.650]or the nutrition research that needs to be done to,
[01:34:37.980]or that's already out there that we just need
[01:34:40.350]to bring to policy makers and decision makers.
[01:34:43.473]And so that's part of it is on the research component.
[01:34:46.890]And then of course with our colleagues
[01:34:48.810]at Food Nutrition services as well, they work very closely
[01:34:52.890]on nutritional and dietary guidelines
[01:34:56.400]and all of those different things, but then,
[01:34:58.530]but this food is medicine I think even in,
[01:35:00.480]of course extends beyond that, not just dietary guidelines,
[01:35:03.240]but by health guidelines and you know,
[01:35:05.760]and even things like the work
[01:35:07.050]that's being done on Cancer Moonshot,
[01:35:08.790]what are the food components
[01:35:09.633]that really help achieve that too?
[01:35:12.133]My daughter this morning, she,
[01:35:13.593]my daughter had a concussion and this morning she just had a
[01:35:16.830]doctor's appointment and the doctor said she,
[01:35:18.780]to recover, she needs protein, she needs more protein.
[01:35:21.810]And so really just looking at
[01:35:24.553]and that's where I was gonna go too,
[01:35:26.190]especially here with so many different universities
[01:35:30.360]who are training medical students,
[01:35:31.783]there's an opportunity as we're training medical students
[01:35:35.190]also to be able to have doctors and a whole new generation
[01:35:38.940]of doctors and of course the existing doctors have
[01:35:41.640]the resources at their fingertips as well.
[01:35:44.730]So for ex my daughter's example to have the doctor say,
[01:35:48.150]'cause I could try to tell her she needs eat protein,
[01:35:50.130]but you know, have a doctor tell her that she needs
[01:35:54.950]to eat protein, she's gonna start eating protein.
[01:35:57.570]I'm sure she's already eating it at lunch right now, so.
[01:36:00.450]And so many patients are listening to their doctors
[01:36:03.750]as they're thinking about things and it doesn't just need
[01:36:05.820]to be a prescription of medication,
[01:36:08.910]but it can be complimented also by how we're eating.
[01:36:12.900]So I don't have a lot we can dive,
[01:36:14.940]I definitely need to dive into.
[01:36:16.440]Oh that's helpful.
[01:36:18.330]And I think Derek's ears probably perked up
[01:36:20.533]on the research.
[01:36:21.630]Where it gets a little tricky outside
[01:36:24.660]of the labeling and so forth is we have,
[01:36:28.253]we have a food for health center for example,
[01:36:31.410]and that Food for Health center is really focused on the gut
[01:36:34.110]microbiome and that Food for Health platform is working
[01:36:38.670]backwards with the breeders,
[01:36:40.800]looking at contemporary cropping systems,
[01:36:44.880]but also with the ponka tribe,
[01:36:46.380]for example, here in Nebraska, taking a look
[01:36:51.803]at ancient foods and understanding health benefits.
[01:36:56.550]But those kinds of platforms are then connected
[01:36:59.010]to our academic med centers where we're actually looking
[01:37:02.310]at say, inflammatory bowel disorders,
[01:37:04.833]which are partly due to an imbalance
[01:37:08.683]in microbial communities and how does food influence that,
[01:37:12.000]so there's a big tendril there that I think
[01:37:16.170]we are definitely interested in pursuing.
[01:37:18.840]Back over to Katie's question, do you have any firm idea
[01:37:24.053]of how the regional centers will talk with each other?
[01:37:29.460]Will there be a national collaborative
[01:37:32.160]or council, Mary, I didn't ask you this question,
[01:37:34.560]maybe you have all these answers,
[01:37:35.970]but I'd be curious about the crosstalk
[01:37:37.983]and these affinity groups, I really like that term Katie.
[01:37:44.573]Yeah, so we're in the process that's right now
[01:37:47.563]at USDA at hiring, basically we'll have,
[01:37:51.720]we'll have 1 AMS staff person per region
[01:37:55.053]that's gonna be assigned
[01:37:56.520]to the region, and I think the plan or what I'd like
[01:37:59.460]to see the plan is in addition of course to partnering
[01:38:01.710]with the region and whatever support,
[01:38:03.720]it's also hearing from you about what are
[01:38:06.113]some of the issues you're facing and your team,
[01:38:08.727]and the whole team here and the partnership is facing
[01:38:11.580]that likely are others are facing as well.
[01:38:15.240]We did this with the local food purchase assistance program,
[01:38:18.810]a little bit different but similar
[01:38:20.610]where we hosted weekly office hours.
[01:38:23.280]The intent was to be able to make sure that our state
[01:38:26.940]partners had a opportunity every week to be able
[01:38:30.193]to come and ask questions as they were putting
[01:38:32.400]together their application.
[01:38:34.470]But what the secondary intent was
[01:38:37.223]the opportunity and you know, they can call us
[01:38:39.930]at any time, but by having office hours,
[01:38:42.900]everyone was on there or had
[01:38:44.403]the opportunity to be on there together.
[01:38:47.340]And what happened was Wednesday would say, Hey,
[01:38:50.670]we're trying to figure out how to, you know,
[01:38:55.943]establish a food hub through this program and how do we,
[01:38:59.520]how do we pull together 20 different farmer's product to get
[01:39:02.790]to 20 different schools without all 20 farmers having
[01:39:05.220]to go to all 20 schools, right?
[01:39:06.343]You know, so solving for different challenges.
[01:39:08.623]And so those office hours ended up being,
[01:39:11.580]and I think they continue to really be a forum
[01:39:15.533]for everyone to talk together and to drive solutions.
[01:39:20.310]But I think there's,
[01:39:21.150]so we'll have staff people at AMS who will be,
[01:39:24.223]who'll be working with each of the regional food centers and
[01:39:26.970]then we'll have staff and those staff will also be able to,
[01:39:29.790]and they're gonna be a team within there are within AMS
[01:39:32.850]and they will also then be able to say, look, these,
[01:39:36.630]this region's looking at this challenge,
[01:39:38.700]what other regions are looking at this challenge too?
[01:39:41.010]When I was in California for the Southwest Regional Food
[01:39:43.950]Business Center a couple weeks ago,
[01:39:46.033]they're looking at and they, the, I visited a school,
[01:39:50.550]a commercial kitchen for schools and they have really
[01:39:54.153]brought together all these partners to come up with a way
[01:39:56.880]in which they can design their commercial kitchen
[01:39:59.550]so they can process more locally grown food
[01:40:02.100]for the school, the kids in the school system.
[01:40:04.633]That was incredible that I'm sure other school systems also
[01:40:09.480]would love to know where they started, how they began,
[01:40:12.990]you know, what that design looked like as well.
[01:40:14.820]And so there's,
[01:40:15.653]I think there's just so many different topical areas,
[01:40:18.330]affinity groups, topical areas
[01:40:20.773]that there can be cross-sharing and hopefully also not just
[01:40:24.750]by talking through, but then also visiting other, you know,
[01:40:28.320]other great examples throughout the region
[01:40:30.000]and hosting here, great examples as well.
[01:40:34.710]If I can jump onto that just a little bit.
[01:40:38.550]Having real-time feedback on what's,
[01:40:42.003]where there are holes where there's points of coordination
[01:40:44.730]as you shared, but also what's working really well.
[01:40:48.240]What are those opportunities that, you know,
[01:40:50.190]you put a toe in the water to try something and we're blown
[01:40:52.860]away by how well it worked because those are
[01:40:55.693]the kinda lessons learned we wanna share with other places.
[01:40:58.710]But the other thing is this is,
[01:41:00.570]this is kind of a new space for USDA, this is a new,
[01:41:03.900]new framework, a new idea, a new structure.
[01:41:07.590]It's something we're able
[01:41:08.940]to fund for five years at this point.
[01:41:12.240]And so looking at the longevity of this effort,
[01:41:16.680]there's gonna be a lot of opportunity
[01:41:17.753]to think about lessons learned, to think about, you know,
[01:41:21.870]we want as much feedback as we can
[01:41:25.410]on what impact programs are making or where there are gaps
[01:41:28.613]or where there are holes or where there are tweaks
[01:41:31.680]because you know,
[01:41:33.330]not that we're not that we've framed it as a pilot
[01:41:35.910]or called it as a pilot, the firm reality
[01:41:38.700]is we have a five-year window to try this and I think
[01:41:42.180]there's gonna be a lot of interest from folks
[01:41:44.070]to see what do we learn, what do we get from that period.
[01:41:59.100]A question about the, oh.
[01:42:00.960]I know there are talkers in the audience.
[01:42:04.200]And over to me.
[01:42:05.400]Hi, I'm Vanessa Linga,
[01:42:06.510]I work for University of Nebraska Lincoln and I am the
[01:42:09.660]state coordinator for our Double Up Food Bucks program.
[01:42:12.150]I'm a registered dietician.
[01:42:13.980]So I guess not really much of a question but more
[01:42:16.680]of a comment when you talk
[01:42:18.013]about food as medicine, this is something that dieticians,
[01:42:20.820]we live in this space always and constantly
[01:42:23.490]and so I just wanna give a little plug for RDs.
[01:42:25.680]Do we need to retrain doctors or do we need
[01:42:28.470]to elevate registered dieticians because we are that link
[01:42:31.140]between research and practice and we're already in a lot
[01:42:34.200]of community spaces and just the fact that a dietician is
[01:42:37.140]running our Double Up Food Bucks program is getting people
[01:42:40.320]out into those retail spaces and we do direct education
[01:42:42.960]on top of the incentives in here in Nebraska.
[01:42:45.450]So just a little plug for RDs.
[01:42:51.090]You know that, yes, thank you.
[01:42:54.240]And absolutely that is such an important thing
[01:42:57.180]and it reminds me,
[01:42:58.440]I'm just thinking back to a lot of our commodity
[01:43:01.320]organizations that we have at AMS have funded incredible
[01:43:04.770]dietary research as well.
[01:43:06.210]And so really making sure that we're bringing
[01:43:09.183]that into the fold as well.
[01:43:11.400]And I know 'cause many of our commodity organizations
[01:43:14.670]have registered dieticians on staff and so yes, absolutely,
[01:43:19.290]I hear you on that, thank you.
[01:43:25.873]So I'm Matt Hammonds,
[01:43:26.820]I lead our federal relations efforts for the university
[01:43:28.980]system, I just wondered if you could comment a bit more,
[01:43:31.440]Mike mentioned (indistinct) Friday we were told 50%
[01:43:34.993]of veterans are food insecure.
[01:43:37.500]And also thinking about that as a population
[01:43:39.523]that I'm sure many of the folks in the room serve.
[01:43:43.473]I'm curious too about how do we get the data to match
[01:43:47.280]the needs and the producers that we're talking about
[01:43:49.620]with where the need is and there efforts within USDA
[01:43:52.890]to think about kind of that data challenge?
[01:43:55.290]We can start regionally
[01:43:56.340]and locally, but how do we really be able
[01:43:59.670]to address that from an informed perspective with data?
[01:44:06.300]Really great question.
[01:44:08.310]I mean we have data resources at USDA through
[01:44:11.583]that we collect through NA and through crop reports
[01:44:14.400]and all of these different things I don't know about like
[01:44:18.240]food system data collection and that might be something
[01:44:21.330]that I maybe the regional food business centers
[01:44:23.370]are thinking about.
[01:44:25.080]We also have funding and (indistinct)
[01:44:38.149](indistinct) microphone, (laughs).
[01:44:43.920]I like your question and we'll bring it back to the team.
[01:44:47.130]I think that is a really good question
[01:44:49.803]and the question that, you know,
[01:44:51.150]I'd love to see if the region, if you've thought
[01:44:53.160]about too, Mary has thought about it.
[01:44:57.270]Well Jamie can chime in,
[01:44:59.340]but that's been one of the things that we really wanted
[01:45:02.070]to do because one of the things I really am excited about
[01:45:05.700]working with all these partners is all of these partners are
[01:45:09.063]looking at how things are connected
[01:45:12.303]as opposed to we just wanna fix this little problem.
[01:45:15.870]So how do we take all these pieces of understanding of the
[01:45:20.070]system to build out a better understanding of the system
[01:45:24.510]and use the data we collect as baseline along with the
[01:45:29.130]Department of Ag data and some of the other data sources
[01:45:32.910]Jamie has so that we can start really kind of learning more
[01:45:37.980]about how the food system works and what kind of efforts
[01:45:44.640]have impact on making that food system more productive.
[01:45:48.270]So that's definitely part
[01:45:49.980]of the work that we wanna do and
[01:45:53.460]so we're able to answer your report questions effectively.
[01:45:59.910]Yeah, and I'll just chime in real quick
[01:46:01.410]and say that, you know, we're,
[01:46:02.790]we've had some great successes and crowdsourcing data
[01:46:05.670]and feel like as much as we can do that,
[01:46:09.240]especially with a partner network this vast
[01:46:11.910]and reliable, you know, that will be
[01:46:15.300]a great resource for us because we can, like Mary said,
[01:46:18.960]lean on some of the USDA data as that baseline.
[01:46:23.040]But what we have to do is make sure that we're building a
[01:46:25.620]data collection system that is sustainable that hopefully
[01:46:28.470]will last beyond the life of even this project
[01:46:31.560]so we can continue to track
[01:46:33.300]the growth or you know, sometimes retraction right
[01:46:37.080]of the food systems across our states.
[01:46:39.360]And really what we will be able to do is have a more
[01:46:43.260]on-the-ground view of that and I think that's really
[01:46:46.230]important and it's very possible to marry
[01:46:48.763]that with some of the other federally collected data
[01:46:52.800]and identify gaps and identify opportunities.
[01:46:56.400]And so we're really excited about that and do have
[01:46:59.850]some models already that we're using here
[01:47:01.950]in Missouri to collect some of that information.
[01:47:05.713]And I wanna say the other thing
[01:47:07.560]that we've really talked about is there are a lot
[01:47:10.653]of people with data sets.
[01:47:12.780]So do we need one more data set
[01:47:15.480]that people don't keep track of?
[01:47:17.730]No, we don't.
[01:47:18.990]So the advantage of working with Jamie and her group is that
[01:47:22.680]where we collect data that could build into source links
[01:47:26.940]data on, you know, who supplies business services,
[01:47:30.660]then we'll connect those data sets.
[01:47:32.700]So we'll be looking at how to connect data sets,
[01:47:35.580]not build our own little silo of data.
[01:47:43.763]On the data piece,
[01:47:44.850]I know that some of our local and regional food systems team
[01:47:49.080]have identified similar concerns
[01:47:50.463]and have things, those are some things that we've flagged.
[01:47:54.480]We a little over a year ago, time flies,
[01:47:58.590]USDA put out a Supply Chain Vulnerabilities Assessment
[01:48:02.700]and there's a section
[01:48:03.630]about local and regional food systems in there.
[01:48:05.610]And within that section there is actually a commentary
[01:48:08.040]on data and how
[01:48:09.390]it's really tricky because you've got lots of different data
[01:48:12.330]systems with slightly different definitions
[01:48:14.533]or slightly different parameters.
[01:48:17.130]And so I think what might be helpful too for us
[01:48:20.190]is to get even more granular of where are the gaps
[01:48:23.843]or where are the places where there's not coordination.
[01:48:28.020]'Cause I know that you can come at this problem
[01:48:29.940]a whole bunch of different ways,
[01:48:31.530]but I think it might be helpful for us to kind of think
[01:48:33.930]through as you're looking at the work the center's gonna do
[01:48:37.230]or the related work that folks have discussed
[01:48:40.500]today, what are those kind of key urgent gaps
[01:48:44.190]and kind of help us prioritize where some
[01:48:46.233]of those pieces are, cause I know it's a conversation,
[01:48:48.840]we have a few folks who have been having,
[01:48:51.330]and my guess is in the breadth of the department,
[01:48:53.933]there's probably some untapped data sets that exist,
[01:48:57.840]but we just haven't connected the dots necessarily too.
[01:49:01.363]And it looks like we have a comment online, David,
[01:49:04.290]do you wanna go ahead?
[01:49:06.623]I wanted to say one thing I like about this project
[01:49:09.000]is the regional nature because I think there's
[01:49:10.920]an opportunity to learn from of each of us successes
[01:49:14.503]and challenges in the various states in the region.
[01:49:17.160]So I like the regional nature of it and one
[01:49:19.913]of the things, I know I'm going back to what you talked
[01:49:22.043]about earlier on food prescriptions,
[01:49:24.390]but one of the things I think about
[01:49:26.880]is that it's great to talk about healthy food,
[01:49:30.300]but one thing that always sells people,
[01:49:31.980]and we can't answer it here, is convenience.
[01:49:35.220]How convenient is it to access that food?
[01:49:37.710]How convenient is to prepare that food?
[01:49:40.680]There's a huge potential there, but I,
[01:49:43.440]that's one of the challenges I think we faced
[01:49:45.600]with something like food prescriptions.
[01:49:50.273]Back on the data piece on with the VA.
[01:49:53.520]The VA is using a very,
[01:49:55.980]the secretary is using a very broad definition
[01:49:59.220]of veteran and military families.
[01:50:02.220]So there's a pretty tight definition for what a veteran is,
[01:50:08.580]but they're using a broader,
[01:50:10.560]so that's gonna, to the point definitions.
[01:50:14.010]But linking into things assets like feeding America
[01:50:18.540]with their visualization tool,
[01:50:20.250]Jamie or kids count the NEE Casey platform,
[01:50:25.440]I don't know Mary's the expert again
[01:50:28.103]on where the data comes from,
[01:50:29.910]but they were thinking more broadly about other platforms,
[01:50:34.320]kind of like you said, don't reinvent the wheel,
[01:50:36.750]leverage assets, so I would just, I guess my question
[01:50:39.750]is are there public-private partnerships with platforms like
[01:50:43.993]Feeding America that have a pretty powerful,
[01:50:47.910]I think tool that might be embellished
[01:50:51.300]by the work of the regional business food business centers.
[01:50:58.080]And opportunity right here
[01:51:00.930]and I, and because I don't remember who it was
[01:51:03.543]that said it, but how do we make sure that, how,
[01:51:06.810]like how can we take this energy here
[01:51:09.240]and the work of the regional food business centers,
[01:51:11.367]the work that's being happened across
[01:51:14.010]to look at how we can make sure all of our data sets are
[01:51:18.720]talking to each other and incorporate that into our data
[01:51:23.760]that we're putting out through USDA long term.
[01:51:27.090]So I would like,
[01:51:28.483]I'm now charging the regional food business centers
[01:51:31.770]along with our partnership at AMS and we will bring in
[01:51:34.770]our, all of our data teams, whether that's NAS or whomever,
[01:51:38.370]I think there's an opportunity to kind of bring together a
[01:51:41.100]task force to identify that and really
[01:51:45.450]hear from you and learn from you and then,
[01:51:48.330]and then see how we can make sure that we can
[01:51:52.603]continue with how USDA is pulling together and combining
[01:51:56.550]and aggregating data so they're all talking to each other.
[01:52:00.270]And so it is, you know,
[01:52:02.820]incorporated into the institution of USDA as well.
[01:52:08.250]We would love to have some of your data taskforce people
[01:52:11.220]in our design session when we get started
[01:52:14.100]for second week in July.
[01:52:23.730]We have to first create this data taskforce.
[01:52:27.180]But I think, yeah, I mean I'm really interested
[01:52:29.070]in this and so we'll go back to the team.
[01:52:32.400]We're just very much,
[01:52:34.590]just like the regional food business centers are
[01:52:36.570]just getting started,
[01:52:37.410]we're also just building out our team as well.
[01:52:39.780]So it might take a little bit more time than July,
[01:52:42.453]but I think it's something that we should definitely,
[01:52:46.980]you know, work, collaborate,
[01:52:49.110]work across the country with all
[01:52:50.700]the regions, with all the partners across the country.
[01:52:53.640]And then of course,
[01:52:54.473]particularly with our colleagues at USDA who do
[01:52:58.140]and gather a lot of data including AMS who gathers a lot
[01:53:01.170]of data as well.
[01:53:34.680]System program (indistinct)
[01:53:39.093]Organizations are gonna get access to that funding
[01:53:41.060]'cause it a really fantastic opportunity,
[01:53:43.333]do you know how the State Department of Ag
[01:53:47.070]are they each gonna do it differently or do they have like a
[01:53:49.290]specific thing they need to do and then they can put things
[01:53:51.420]on top of that in order to get that money out?
[01:53:55.350]Yes, we definitely have specific criteria
[01:53:57.933]for the State Departments Of Agriculture.
[01:53:59.760]That even includes like the range of funding
[01:54:01.890]and then of the types of projects that they could fund
[01:54:06.600]and then the types of crops, although we've,
[01:54:09.960]we follow more of an ex, it's very broad.
[01:54:12.240]So we say not meat and poultry because we're already funding
[01:54:15.000]processing through meat and poultry.
[01:54:17.133]So yes, we do have a lot of information we can make sure
[01:54:20.190]and that we get that out to all of our partners
[01:54:23.040]in the regional food business centers.
[01:54:24.960]We have sent information to the states.
[01:54:27.600]This is new for states, they just,
[01:54:28.943]I found out about this two weeks ago, so they're.
[01:54:33.313]They will need time there right now looking
[01:54:37.770]at the program criteria and you know,
[01:54:40.423]and sorting that all out and we'll get their proposals
[01:54:43.680]to us, I think we asked for them in, you know,
[01:54:48.180]I think it's July or August,
[01:54:51.120]so I think it's August that we asked
[01:54:52.233]for that back from them, so it's gonna take a little bit
[01:54:56.213]of time, but we'll we can,
[01:54:57.780]we can certainly get some information to you all so you have
[01:55:00.960]that and then we're still even working on gathering the
[01:55:04.200]point of contacts for states as well, so it takes some time.
[01:55:09.300]So maybe just to bring this home first congratulations
[01:55:12.450]to the team.
[01:55:14.160]Job well done.
[01:55:18.900]And thanks undersecretary Moffitt for making the trip,
[01:55:22.650]deputy undersecretary Katie for making the trip out.
[01:55:26.790]And with that we'll conclude and transfer over
[01:55:31.063]to the media who are eager to visit with you and lunch.
Log in to post comments