Initiatives for Policy Innovation and Action

Convening Series: In fall 2016, AGree brought together diverse interests for dialogue and problem-solving around priority food and agriculture policy issues.

  • Immigration Reform: In September, AGree hosted a panel discussion on the implications of immigration policy for the agriculture sector: What Does the Future Hold for Foreign-born Labor in U.S. Agriculture and How Do We Get There? Please see the event agenda and presentation slides for additional details.
  • Gene Editing: In October, AGree convened experts and leaders from diverse sectors, including non-government organizations, the public sector, academia, and private companies, to discuss Emerging Gene Editing Technologies in Agriculture and key questions that may impact the trajectory of the technologies’ applications to food and agriculture. Read about the full discussion in the meeting summary. Additional background information is available from the October 10, 2016, AGree Gene Editing Technologies 101 webinar that features overview presentations by Neal Gutterson, Vice President of Research and Development at DuPont, and Jennifer Kuzma, Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Caroline State University.

Hover on sections of the infographic below to learn more about AGree’s integrated Initiatives.

Since 2011, we have brought diverse thought leaders together and through constructive and informed dialogue achieved consensus on roadmaps for change in the food and ag system.
Who we are, by the numbers:
  • 2,000: We have met with or convened more than 2,000 people across food and agriculture, nutrition, health, and rural and international development.
  • 48: Four Co-Chairs + 44 Advisors found common ground and developed consensus recommendations.
  • 8: We are now hard at work with our Advisors and partners to take action in the eight integrated areas shown below.
Learn more below
AGree takes an integrated approach to driving positive change in the food and ag system. Our work addresses issues from the top down, bottom up, and across siloes. We believe this is the only way to create enduring change. With unlikely partners, we advocate for change in the public and private sectors and elevate successful on-the-ground approaches.
Immigration Reform: Creating a Stable, Legal Workforce
What we care about:
  1. Reforming U.S. immigration policy in a comprehensive way that is fair to both producers and farmworkers.
What we are doing:
  • Advocating for immigration reform with an array of partner organizations to support the ag sector.
Read more here.
Food & Nutrition: Cultivating Healthy Communities
What we care about:
  1. Combatting diet-related disease and hunger and improving health through food and nutrition interventions.
  2. Elevating and replicating successful efforts that improve health and nutrition while reducing costs through coordination among actors in food, nutrition, agriculture, health and healthcare.
  3. Investing in basic and behavioral research that builds the evidence base for practices that encourage nutritious diets and ultimately improve health.
What we are doing:
  • Engaging hospitals to scale up innovative, effective programs that empower families to establish healthy eating and physical activity habits, reduce childhood obesity and hunger, and improve health.
Read more here.
Working Landscapes: Achieving Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Outcomes
What we care about:
  1. Driving broader adoption of conservation practices that improve soil health, water quality and quantity, environmental outcomes, and producer profitability.
  2. Replicating a model for producer-led, watershed-scale cooperative conservation involving collaboration with the supply chain, regulators, and scientists.
What we are doing:
  • Developing and supporting a Working Lands Conservation Partnership pilot in Minnesota.
  • Supporting data analysis to determine correlations among soil type, conservation practices, environmental indicators, and yield. Learn more about this work here
  • Advocating for changes to the federal crop insurance program that would facilitate producers’ adoption of conservation practices.
Read more here.
International Development: Promoting Development through Food and Agriculture
What we care about:
  1. Establishing food security as an enduring goal of U.S. foreign development programs.
  2. Enacting federal legislation that recognizes the importance of food and ag systems development to economic, social, and environmental sustainability worldwide.
What we are doing:
  • Educating people across the food and ag system – including production agriculture – about the role agricultural development plays in food security.
  • Developing long-term champions in the food and ag supply chain for ag development and food security programming.
  • Pressing for federal legislation that is aligned with our goals as part of a diverse advocacy group that includes the food and ag supply chain. Read our July 2015 letter to Congress here.
Read more here.
Research & Innovation: Strengthening Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension
What we care about:
  1. Strengthening the system through reforms, innovative models, and increases in overall funding.
  2. Increasing Congressional oversight of the food and ag research enterprise by conducting a top-to-bottom review of research by USDA and other federal agencies.
What we are doing:
  • Building and supporting a diverse coalition to advocate for:
    • A Comprehensive Congressional review of programmatic effectiveness in the food and ag research enterprise.
    • Near- and long-term reforms, such as expanding incentives to participate in competitive grants, updating the research priority-setting process, and improving grant tracking and monitoring systems.
Read more here.
Local Food: Revitalizing Community-based Food Systems
What we care about:
  1. Adapting federal policy and programs to serve local and regional food systems.
  2. Supporting diverse agricultural systems that contribute to environmental sustainability, community economic development, and improved nutrition, health, education, food access, and equity.
What we are doing:
  • Advocating for policy and regulatory change that strengthens and revitalizes local and regional food systems.
Read more here.
Risk Management: Protecting Farmers, Conserving Resources
What we care about:
  1. Creating a durable safety net for producers that makes wise use of taxpayer resources and contributes to environmental conservation.
What we are doing:
  • Supporting analysis and exploring creative approaches that provide risk protection to producers while conserving the environment.
Read more here.
Next Generation: Attracting Young People to Food and Agriculture
What we care about:
  1. Cultivating a pipeline of young people to fill careers in agriculture, food, natural resources, and related fields by:
    1. Supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
    2. Strengthening K-12 food and ag education.
What we are doing:
  • Working with New Entry Sustainable Farming Project to create a nationwide network of beginning farmer and rancher programs that will strengthen existing programs and create new ways to better attract and support new entrants.
Read more here.

Since 2011, AGree has met with and convened more than two thousand leaders in food and agriculture and related sectors to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the food and ag system in the U.S. and around the world. We also have commissioned research and papers to enhance understanding and promote dialogue.

Through rich discussions with an unusually diverse group of leaders, AGree has forged both a common vision for the future of food and agriculture as well as consensus-based recommendations to help guide us – collectively – towards that vision.

AGree has developed consensus recommendations on:

AGree is taking action to implement its recommendations. Strategies include coalition building, advocacy, and projects that demonstrate the potential for its consensus recommendations to improve food and ag systems in the areas listed above. In addition, AGree is continuing its work in one additional area: Risk Management. A compilation of all 6 Consensus Recommendations is available to download here.

AGree is an Initiative-focused and partner-driven effort. Each Initiative will engage diverse partners to advance a key dimension of the food and ag system and tackle specific areas of concern. AGree’s consensus recommendations will serve as roadmaps for action, which may include advocating for policy change, promoting private sector action, or catalyzing demonstration projects. To learn more about working with AGree as a partner, we invite you to explore the Initiative-specific information at the links provided above. Click here to send us an email about your specific interest in partnering with AGree.

In addition to in-depth engagement on several Initiatives, AGree is providing a trusted platform for dialogue and problem-solving among diverse interests in advance of the 2018 Farm Bill. AGree plans to hold approximately six convenings in 2016 and 2017 on priority food and agriculture issues, including but not limited to those relevant to the 2018 Farm Bill. More information about our Convening Series is available here.