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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
2:00 pm EDT
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Co-sponsored by: Grantmakers In Health and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders


Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 1:00 p.m. Central / 12:00 p.m. Mountain / 11:00 a.m. Pacific


  • Scott Cullen, GRACE Communications Foundation
  • Kate Fitzgerald, Global Strategic Partners, LLC.
  • David Wallinga, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
  • Faith Mitchell, Grantmakers In Health


The Farm Bill conversations presented a very real opportunity for the wider philanthropic community–including health funders–to help shape our national food system. During our conversation, we explored the important connections between our food, farming and health policies.

Our speakers helped to illuminate the ways in which farm policy issues such as commodity payments, crop insurance, and on-farm research are linked to health outcomes including healthy food production and access, and the current crises of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. We learned about the ties that bind health and farming/food policy issues starting with the ‘big picture’–What is the Farm Bill?–plus a recap of public health involvement over time in the Farm Bill debates. The discussion also outlined some of the challenges and opportunities in the Farm Bill including budget constraints and a faster timeline as a result of the deficit reduction Super Committee; the issue of poverty alleviation vs. healthy food consumption and supply; the likely elimination of commodity payments; and whether there is a ‘home’ for health in the Farm Bill.

This webinar provided an opportunity to nurture the translation process (in language and thinking) that needs to occur between the health and agriculture communities as we work to find greater grounds for collaboration. Webinar participants learned about Creating Common Ground, a joint project of SAFSF, GIH, and the national Convergence Partners, and ways they can get involved in ongoing work.


Scott Cullen, GRACE Communications Foundation, New York (funding partner of GIH and member of SAFSF). GRACE works to promote and develop community-based production and consumption of food, water, and energy.


Kate Fitzgerald, a consultant on sustainable food agriculture and economic policy, and Senior Counselor at Global Strategic Partners, LLC., Washington, DC.

David Wallinga, M.D., M.P.A., senior advisor for Science, Food and Health at the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Faith Mitchell, PhD., Vice President for Program and Strategy at GIH.

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