Yale Food Systems Symposium has ended

Yale Food Systems Symposium: Feeding a Growing World – Perspectives in 2016

The Yale Food Systems Symposium (YFSS) is a student-led, interdisciplinary conference initiated by students at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. This year, we also welcome the enthusiastic support of students from Yale Divinity School and Yale School of Management.


The conference has emerged from a school that prioritizes both research and non-academic professional development. The aim of the YFSS is to provide a space where researchers, practitioners, theorists, and eaters can come together to work towards the creation of a just, sustainable food system. An effort by students, for students (in a broad sense of the word), the YFSS privileges new ideas that push the conventional boundaries of food systems thinking. As such, it seeks to highlight emerging researchers, innovative projects, truly interdisciplinary thinking, and non-traditional collaboration.


The 2016 Yale Food Systems Symposium will bring diverse scholars and practitioners to work together in action-oriented sessions that address the complex ecological and socio-economic dynamics of feeding a growing world.


YFSS 2016 Co-Chairs:

Andrew Beck, MEM ’18,  MBA ‘18
Rebecca Gildiner, MEM ‘17
Brianna Lloyd, MDiv ‘17
Daniel Moccia-Field, MEM ‘18
Britain Richardson, MEM ‘17
Sarah Sax, MEM ‘17
Abigail Smith, MEM ‘18
Hannah Walchak, MEM ‘17

Friday, September 30

8:00am PDT

Breakfast & Registration

Friday September 30, 2016 8:00am - 8:45am PDT
Kroon Hall, 3rd Floor 195 Prospect

8:45am PDT

Welcome & Opening Remarks
avatar for Rebecca Gildiner

Rebecca Gildiner

Master of Environmental Management Candidate, '17, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
avatar for Sarah Sax

Sarah Sax

Student, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science
I am co-chairing this year's Yale Food System Symposium. I am especially interested in agro-diversity and political and economic structures that foster democratic and sustainable land use practices.

Friday September 30, 2016 8:45am - 9:00am PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

9:00am PDT

Keynote: Ann Tutwiler

Introduction by Alark Saxena, Associate Research Scientist, Lecturer and Program Director, Yale Himalaya Initiative

Agriculture is key to attaining the UN Sustainable Goals of eradicating hunger and securing food for an increasing world population. Agriculture also sustains the direct livelihoods of 2.5 billion smallholder farmers who manage an estimated 500 million small farms around the world. These smallholder farmers produce an estimated 80% of the food supply in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Current agricultural intensification practices are the biggest threat to sustainability and a major force behind breaching multiple planetary boundaries. Agriculture contributes to between 19 and 29% of total GHG emissions, uses of 69% of freshwater resources, and 34% of the terrestrial, ice-free surface of the planet accounting for 31% of wild biodiversity loss. It is the primary driver for the substantial breach of the planetary boundary for phosphorous and nitrogen. The foods we produce from these systems struggle to nourish a growing global population where nearly 2 billion suffer from nutrient deficiencies, and nearly 2 billion people are overweight or obese.

In as much as agricultural practices are important parts of the problem, they are likely to be our best bet for novel solutions addressing both human and environmental health. 

Using case studies from around the world, Ann Tutwiler will show how agricultural biodiversity can nourish people and sustain the planet.  She will give evidence of how the increased and improved use of agricultural biodiversity has the capacity to provide both food and nutritional security, and at the same time provide the core ecosystem services that underpin sustainable agricultural intensification, such as pollination and pest control.

avatar for Ann Tutwiler

Ann Tutwiler

Ann Tutwiler is the Director General of Bioversity International, an international research for development organization that is a member of the CGIAR Consortium.As the Director General, Tutwiler is responsible for leading Bioversity International, forging effective research partnerships... Read More →

Friday September 30, 2016 9:00am - 10:00am PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

10:15am PDT

Feeding Cities

Gathering Baltimore’s Bounty: Characterizations of Urban Foraging Behaviors, Motivations, and Barriers
Colleen Synk, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Practiced by an estimated one-sixth of the population, foraging is the collection of plants or fungi not deliberately cultivated for human use. As a component of urban food systems, foraging may promote cardiovascular health (via physical activity), mental health (via contact with nature), nutritional health (by supplementing diets with no-cost, fresh, micronutrient-dense foods and ingredients) and other positive economic, cultural, and ecological outcomes. The behaviors, motivations, and barriers to urban foraging remain under-characterized despite emerging literature on the subject.
We conducted in-person surveys among foragers in the Baltimore metropolitan area, gathering information about species, quantity, seasonality, and preparation of harvested materials; frequency and locations of foraging activities; foraging experience; motivations for and barriers to foraging; and contributions of foraged materials to diets.

Our sample of 105 urban foragers had a median of five years of experience, and gathered from over 175 distinct taxa. Foraged materials accounted for a median of 3 percent of diets overall, and over 10 percent of diets for one-fifth of participants. Respondents harvested a median of nearly 20 liters of edible material annually. The most common motivations for foraging were enjoyment and economic benefits, with time constraints and lack of knowledge as the most frequent barriers.

Our findings provide a foundation for future work exploring the relationships among foraging, public health, and urban ecosystems, and could also play key roles in informing policy regarding the use and management of edible urban landscapes. This research broadens the conversation about urban food systems to recognize foraging as a contributing practice.

Where do you begin, when thinking about feeding a city?  
Joy Johannes, Food Systems Policy Director, City of New Haven

Food systems and policy is becoming a topic at the forefront of city conversations throughout the United States.  It is imperative to look at where to begin, when thinking about feeding a city. Currently there are only 20 cities throughout the United States have a government employee specifically assigned to food systems and policy work. This discussion will highlight a processes for feeding a city from a government perspective: public driven plans, access to food/healthy food, minimizing waste, and the importance of information sharing. The foundation of information gathering is imperative in order to move towards a productive functioning system. The current process assessment, gap analysis, establishment of standardization, information sharing, and connecting regionally are keys to developing a successful system which will enable all to have access to food and healthy food options. Finally connecting the dots within city government in order to see the large view of neighborhoods block by block: food, employment, access, mobility, services, vendors, and where to disperse finances in order to make the largest impact.

Urban Food Planning: Seeds of Transition in the Global North
Rositsa Ilieva, Parsons School of Design at The New School  

Today, community food systems are no longer a complete stranger to the field of urban planning in industrialized countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands. Yet, our understanding of the emerging middle ground between food and urban planning is still fragmented at best. What kind of expert practice is urban food planning and what role can it play in reshaping the places and processes of urban food supply? Can it reduce the current agri-food system’s impacts on human health and the environment and, if so, on what terms? To begin to address these critical questions, in this investigation, I use theories of sociotechnical transition and examine, through primary and secondary data, prominent innovations at the interface of food systems and urban planning advanced in Global North cities over the past decade. I shed light on how food-sensitive approaches to land use management, regulation of the built environment, and large-scale institutional procurement, have opened up a new ground for food system innovation for both productivist- (e.g., hydroponic rooftop greenhouses) and distributionist-minded (e.g., urban food waste prevention and reuse/recycling, nutrition education, accessible and affordable local food outlets) stakeholders in the urban food system.

One of the main findings of the research is that urban food planning cannot be deemed as a standalone area of expertise as yet. Rather, I contend that urban food planning today is best viewed as a bundle of loosely interconnected expert and social practices aimed at reclaiming, analysing, redesigning, and reorganizing the nexus between cities, food, and the environment. After systematically examining each of these sub-spheres of urban food planning activity, I conclude with a discussion of some of the limitations and strategic levers for normalizing food systems planning in scholarly research, local government bureaucracies, and professional city planning practice.

Where Do You Begin When Thinking About Feeding a City?
Joy Johannes, City of New Haven 


Samara Brock

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


Rositsa Ilieva

The New School, Parsons School of Design

Joy Johannes

City of New Haven
avatar for Colleen Synk

Colleen Synk

Research Assistant, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
Johns Hopkins University

Friday September 30, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am PDT
Sage 24 205 Prospect Street

10:15am PDT

Food, Faith and Ethics

Food and Faith: How Religious Communities can be a Source for Change
Victoria Strang, Yale Divinity School

We often forget about the important role that religion plays in communities throughout our country and around our world. Today, 75% of Americans identify as Christian and 5% identify with non-Christian religions. In looking towards building greater awareness around food and sustainability we must interact with these groups. As one of the last forms of organized community in our society, working with people of faith can influence large numbers of people at once. Whether by working with religious leaders (pastors, rabbis, imams) or religious associations (state Council of Churches, denominational associations, etc.) education and outreach on food issues can reach a wide audience attuned to practices of social justice. Many religious traditions hold textual and historic recommendations around food and diet (communion, fasting, dietary restrictions) as well as environmental stewardship. Tapping into these spiritual commandments can help to reach audiences often overlooked by the environmental and food movement. Understanding the beliefs and practices of different religious communities creates a common language in which the conviction to protect the Earth becomes a vital part of our relationship to each other and to our spiritual wellbeing. 

Having served as the Strategic Initiatives Manager for Faith Outreach at The Humane Society of the United States I have worked with religious leaders and their communities throughout the country to change policy surrounding food production as well as raise awareness on sustainability and environmental responsibility. In serving as the Sustainability Coordinator for Yale Divinity School I have worked to educate future faith leaders on the call to care for creation as well as faculty to include these discussions in their classes on religious text and Christian ethics and theology.

When working with secular environmental groups I have often seen hesitation at the prospect of using religious language or conducting religious outreach. My presentation will serve as an introduction not only to the need for such outreach but how to begin the process. It will include information on the religious landscape of the United States, statements from varying faith groups and leaders on environmental action/food, as well as existing faith-based non-profits that are working on these issues. My hope is to show the importance of creating partnerships in religious communities as a way to move forward on these issues as well as provide information on how to start these conversations. This can apply to non-profits, academics, policy, and the growing food tech industry.

My Body Is The Lord's: The Interconnections of Food & Eating, the Black Church, and Body Image Within the Lives of Black Women
Crystal Rook, Carolina Christian College

In this paper I will unpack the ideologies of food and faith, the Black Church, body image, and eating disorders and how each are interconnected in the lives of Black women. I will analyze and critique the signification of Black women’s identities when they are cooking, serving, and eating within their communities and how food is the nourishment of both the bodies and souls of the African-American community. The church, in particular, has major influence in how one thinks God sees their bodies, hearts, and souls. How does God view an overweight or underweight body? How does food bring one into communion and relationship with God? I will discuss the beauty and the complexities of cooking, serving, and eating of meals in the Black church and how these meals bring families together to be fed both naturally and spiritually. I argue that a part of a Black woman’s identity is tied to her dishes because it is a signification of her role, identity, and place within the church and community at large.
The rigid theologies and restrictions placed on human bodies by pulpit preachers and church teachers as well as American society has caused oppressed bodies to search for ways to experience freedom. Thus, individuals search and find relief in eating of food, which can lead to overeating. I argue that food is not only a nourishment of both the body and soul, but it can be used as a weapon to destroy the body. Food can be used as a means of an escape from the ills, stresses, and even emptiness that one may experience on a daily basis. Thus, an individual would try to fill those voids with food, which can lead to unhealthy activities of binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, and overeating. I will explore the tension between the American society’s celebration of thinness as beauty and African and African American ideals of “plumpness” that signifies, in some African cultures, beauty and wealthiness. I will explore the the struggles of Black women with eating disorders and how & why Black women could suffer from overeating, anorexia, and bulimia. How much blame can one place on the Black Church for unhealthy eating when certain foods are apart of tradition and cultural identity?


Affection and Place in Wendell Berry
John Compton, Vanderbilt University Medical Center 

The question of how to feed the world in a sustainable way requires us to lessen the distinction between population and planet. Engagement with places and communities formed by them imparts a way of knowing rooted in affection that forms our understanding of care and exposes the deceptive illusions of autonomy while illuminating the interdependent relationships within the membership of communities of care and place. This paper argues that Wendell Berry’s agrarian perspective offers a lens by which to consider the redemptive potential of affection for a particular place and the significance of such practices in the formation of communities of care. Acknowledging that places can also become a nexus of grief and suffering, there remains great potential for an ethics of care rooted in affection. Considering places as foundational can provide an ethical framework that is able to discern abundance within the limits of particular places and communities formed by them. It respects the ways in which the physical places, their care, and the care for human relationship is intimately bound in a mutually informing way. Feeding people and sustaining the planet are no longer separate concerns; rather, an ethic of care rooted in affection for communities and places calls for us to see them as mutually forming goals.


Matthew Riley

Yale Divinity School


John Compton

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Crystal Rook

Carolina Christian College

Victoria Strang

Yale Divinity School

Friday September 30, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am PDT
Kroon 319 195 Prospect Street

10:15am PDT

Navigating and Leveraging Food Policy

Clean Water, Safe Food, and Farms Within Ecosystems
Marnie Riddle, University of California Santa Cruz 

In order to protect water quality from agricultural nonpoint source pollution, farmers have been asked to engage in land stewardship practices that include cover cropping and intercropping, planting buffer strips, and modifying the way they apply fertilizer. In contrast, to protect consumers from foodborne pathogens, farmers have been asked to remove noncrop vegetation from their farms, discourage wildlife intrusion, and eschew manure. The two approaches embody starkly different philosophies about the role of farms in the landscape and local ecosystem. They also represent starkly different philosophies about the role of federal and local governments in regulating agricultural practice; the Clean Water Act serves as an example of the cooperative-federalism approach, giving states a greater role and wider choices in regulating land use to protect water quality, whereas the Food Safety Modernization Act proposes rules that will apply to all farms without regard to differences in local conditions or differences between farming styles. This paper will explore the potential for conflict between agricultural best management practices oriented toward protecting water quality and agricultural best management practices oriented toward food safety. It will also examine the differing considerations of efficacy, equity, and sovereignty that underlie one-size-fits-all food safety mandates and voluntary clean-water regulations.


Let them Cook: Overcoming regulatory hurdles to the growth of local food micro-ventures: A framework for legislators and advocates
James Faison, Milton’s Local 

From local community centers, to the halls of Congress, the future of America's food policy is taking center stage. Interestingly enough, many of the most impactful decisions about food consumption in America are not being made at the federal or state level, but by local city councils and boards of supervisors. Indeed, from government procurement practices that inject safe and healthy produce into local schools, to protectionist zoning policies that inhibit the growth of mobile food units, local regulatory and legislative policies play an integral role in determining what food products reach end consumers. As such, local officials and advocates must be properly equipped to legislate in an evolving global food landscape. This paper will attempt to help achieve this end by presenting to local leaders the issues and opportunities surrounding the creation of local food economies and giving them a policy framework that will enable them to catalyze local food ventures and thus the future food economy.

Part I will explain how the incubation of local food systems is necessary for the creation of local economic resiliencies which can maximize economic growth in times of plenty and withstand economic contraction in times of recession. These arguments will be based on the theory of Entrepreneurial Communities as posited by Drs. Gregg Lichtenstein and Thomas Lyons. We will posit that the building of Entrepreneurial Communities should be an economic and social goal of legislators and that the building of local food systems achieves that end. Moreover, Part I will encourage a new-found focus on the distribution-side of the food-to-table pipeline as an important means to build these food systems. Finally, it will address the major objections to these food systems and explain how their long-term benefits greatly outweigh their apparent costs.

Part II will go a step further and offer a legislative framework and concrete policy recommendations to local officials. These suggested policies will allow local economies to take full advantage of the entrepreneurial spirit of their citizens, and of federal and state policies meant to spur economic growth. Specifically, this framework will allow for the growth of locally owned and operated food distribution ventures through food trucks, CSAs, food hubs, farmers markets, home-based food businesses, community gardens and farm-to-school/hospital programs.


What Can the History of Dietary Advice Tell us about Climate Change?
E. Melanie DuPuis, Pace University

On the surface, the histories of dietary advice and climate change seem to have little in common. However, one thing they both share is a historical narrative of decline: we used to eat better and now we eat badly, we used to have a good climate and now we are degrading it. Environmental decisionmakers – both in the industrialized and rapidly industrializing world -- are now facing global climate change issues that will involve the kinds of complex political decision making that states have until now avoided: motivating large scale changes in individual behavior. What can the history of dietary advice tell us about how to meet that challenge?


Adan Martinez

Yale Law School


Melanie Dupuis

Pace University

James Faison

Milton’s Local

Marnie Riddle

Marnie Riddle, UC Santa Cruz

Friday September 30, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

10:15am PDT

The Nexus of Indigenous Knowledge and Agroecology

Slaheddine el Amami and the Path Not Taken in Tunisian Rural Development
Max Ajl, Cornell University 

In the 1970s, an agronomist named Slaheddine el Amami was appointed to helm the Tunisian government’s CRGR – a center for agricultural research. While at that post, he penned a series of monographs and polemics laying out both an alternative model for mobilizing Tunisia’s water resources and an alternative program for agronomic research. Both were ignored.

Here I consider Amami’s ideas, especially about indigenous hydraulics, as a perspective onto the road not taken, the path turned away from, during the course of the country’s capitalist and centralized agricultural model. At the core of that model, alongside Green Revolution-style cereal production and olive oil processing for export, has been massive state investment in large dams, up to 50 percent of the capital investments in some years during the 1960s and 1970s. In a region in which water scarcity bears heavily on agricultural choices, hydraulic technology is a major lever for the structuring of agricultural systems. Correspondingly, if we understand by agro-ecology a low-entropy agriculture which (1) maximizes the energy returned on the energy invested; (2) minimizes disruptive entropic waste disposal on the non-human environment; (3) seeks to find an appropriate niche rather than a disruptive expansion of humans in the non-human environment through agriculture, and (4) seeks to incorporate scale-appropriate technologies into agricultural models, then hydrology is at the very center of agro-ecology in water-limited environments, such as Tunisia. Furthermore, in a country which is capital-scarce, a constant concern of Tunisian developmental planners in the 1960s and 1970s, the choice of capital-intense technologies in hydraulics can foreclose other developmental paths.

By considering Amami’s research into indigenous small-scale irrigation – a tradition which is now being resurrected world-wide as the perils of large dams become increasingly clear – I bring to light a hidden tradition of Tunisian agroecology. Moreover, by contextualizing the path not taken amidst the path taken in both hydraulics and more broadly, I also criticize the latter agricultural development trajectory – capital-intense, wasteful, entropic, developmentalist, disruptive. I also highlight a fundamental continuity, from the 1960s during the heyday of USAID-scaffolded “socialist” developmentalism to the 1980s-2000s period of World Bank-encouraged “liberalization.” I show there has been a constant capital-intense and centralizing dynamic throughout this process, with underlying political-developmental pacts and their accompanying technics remaining constant despite deceptive discursive shifts.

Offerings to the Food Field by the Kichwa-Lamistas in the Peruvian High Amazon: A Regenerative Paradigm
Frederique Apffel-Marglin, Smith College; Sachamama Center for Biocultural Regeneration 

I have been collaborating with indigenous communities in the province of Lamas, department of San Martin, in the Peruvian High Amazon for the past 22 years and in the past 7 years in the context of my non-profit organization “Sachamama Center for Biocultural Regeneration”. At SCBR we are regenerating the pre-Columbian Amazonian soil known as Terra Preta to respond to the request of indigenous farmers for an alternative to their current method of slash and burn agriculture which they know to no longer be sustainable. This anthropogenic pre-Columbian soil is considered to be the most sustainable and fertile soil in the world and a potent sink for green-house gas emissions. With our indigenous collaborators we are also regenerating and strengthening the practice of offering ceramic shards to the spirits of the chacra or food field. This paper briefly presents evidence for the view that nature, or the non-human world, has agency and consciousness. It argues that reciprocities between humans and earth beings amount to regenerative actions, offering us an alternative to the dominant extractivist paradigm.

The Contribution of Agroforestry to Sustainable Development Goal 2: End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition, and Promote Sustainable Agriculture
Florencia Montagnini, Yale Climate and Energy Institute

Worldwide there are about 1000 million hectares of agroforestry systems (AFS); the most frequent being shaded annual and perennial crops, silvopastoral systems, live fences and windbreaks. AFS such as homegardens provide households with food and fuelwood as well as with high value products that generate cash. Many indigenous communities who are descendants of local ethnic groups still today practice AFS using agroecological techniques that include residue management and ash deposition, enhancing nutrient recycling and soil fertility and conservation and maintaining high species diversity, which all promote agroecosystem sustainability. Many international entities, projects and programs, NGOs and others are conducting research for development with AFS geared to decreasing rural poverty and hunger while maintaining landscape integrity and ecosystem services. They are all trying to resolve similar issues: how to integrate the traditional knowledge of smallholders with scientific knowledge on environmental and agricultural strategies to promote the most suitable systems for each situation; what types of AFS products and markets are most suitable, and what interventions are most cost effective to realize these outcomes; how can smallholders access markets for AFS products, allowing them to capture more of their value, especially for people who are socially or economically marginalized; how can AFS be scaled out of particular situations and disseminated at larger scales regionally and internationally. This presentation focuses on these questions presenting case studies to illustrate practical solutions and remaining challenges.


Stephen Wood

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


Max Ajl

Cornell University

Frederique Apffel-Marglin

Smith College and Sachamama Center for Biocultural Regeneration

Florencia Montagnini

Yale Climate & Energy Institute

Friday September 30, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am PDT
Kroon G01 195 Prospect Street

11:45am PDT

Farmers and Small Business Roundtable

Sarah Buila, Southern Illinois University

The last 10 years have seen an increase of farmers markets and small farmers. This is part of a movement towards localizing food production and consumption. There has been greater concern about the nutritional value and availability of fresh produce, and the public is gradually becoming more aware of the problematic issues with our current food system. Buying locally grown produce is one way to optimize nutrition and the farmers market is the best place to purchase this produce because you can not only find the freshest possible food, you can speak to the person who grew it. This paper and photo presentation is about my experience growing and selling food in the Midwest. Our family travels to 2-4 markets per week in the spring, summer and fall, and 2-3 times a month during the winter. We grow over 225 different varieties of fruits and vegetables using organic and sustainable practices. Our farm is surrounded by farmers who raise corn and soybeans, and cattle. The contrast in our practices, along with a lens on government assistance for farmers, highlight the incongruence between mainstream agribusiness and what is needed in order to promote a localized food system.  I would like to give voice to small farmers about issues we struggle with. Topics included are: food prices, making a farm financially sustainable, farm labor, policies and programs.


Robert Maddox, Sun One Organic farm

Since 1898 my family has farmed in Bethlehem, CT on land that has been in agricultural production for over 200 years. However the federal agricultural policy of the 1970’s shifted production from small dairy farms to large scale dairy production. This ended thousands of small farms and placed my family’s farm in severe financial distress. Family health suffered, buildings collapsed, bills piled up. 

In 1998 I began diversifying the operation growing organic potatoes. (and for a while our potatoes found their way to Yale’s dining hall)  Today the farm grows intensively on five of the 65 acres, growing 50 different fruits & vegetables. We actively utilize Permaculture principals. Sales are local though a CSA, health food store, local restaurants and to the Newport Academy.

On earth day 2014, the farm became the first certified organic farm in Connecticut to be permanently protected under Connecticut’s PDR program. The farm has reached a point of breakeven and employs two full time and two seasonal employees.

Along the way, building community became the central strategy. While there is a romantic renaissance and interest in small scale agriculture, I will share real world challenges, rewards, opportunities, frustrations, joys, failures and success of establishing and growing an organic farm in Connecticut.

Jennifer Milikowsky, Walden Hill

Walden Hill is a New England based company selling sustainable, acorn-fed pork. Founder of Walden Hill, Jen Milikowsky (FES/SOM ’15), will discuss challenges and triumphs as a small-scale, sustainable meat business owner in Connecticut.



Sarah Buila

Southern Illinois University

Robert Maddox

Sun One Organic Farm

Jen Milikowsky

Walden Hill

Friday September 30, 2016 11:45am - 12:30pm PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

11:45am PDT

New Farmers Interactive Workshop

Please note: location moved to Kroon 319

First exhibited at the Commons, Spooner Hall, University of Kansas, October 16- December 14, New Farmers is a collaborative and transdisciplinary project that provides observations of new sustainable farmers in Kansas, but that exemplify the struggles and successes of new farmers the world over. There are up to 40 posters (published in newspaper format that can be taken apart) that include portraits of new farmers, landscapes, and quotations from interviews conducted concurrently with the photo shoots. (We will forward copies of the newspaper to the organizers).

In the context of the Yale Food Symposium’s themes, many of the farmers involved in this photography/sociology/design project talk about stewardship and the care of communities; those communities are spiritual, familial, neighborly, political, economic, ecological, and biological.

The emphasis on new farmers does not mean that they had to have started farming recently, but only that when they started their (often small) sustainable farm – it was a new venture to them. Thus while some of our subjects are both motivationally and temporally new to farming, some of them have been farming for quite some time. Some are simply new to sustainable farming having abandoned (by choice or otherwise) “conventional” agriculture.

We propose to exhibit the work, but also run a workshop focused on collaboration and the process of working together. We’ll present the work collaboratively, while also mediating a dialogue on collaboration. While not an ethnography per se, these observations in New Farmers draws inspiration from the collaborative work on rural life during the Great Depression like Dorothea Lange’s and Paul Taylor’s American Exodus or James Agee’s and Walker Evans’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men combined photography, geographic place and wider economic contexts to tell stories of heartbreak, loss and resilience.

Our intent will be to share the stories of new, sustainable farmers with an emphasis on collaboration, the process of working together, the changing practices of sustainable farmers, the role of religion and spirituality in local, sustainable agriculture as well as dialogue on gender in the new, sustainable farmers/alternative food movement(s).


Tim Hossler

University of Kansas

Paul Stock

University of Kansas

Friday September 30, 2016 11:45am - 12:30pm PDT
Kroon 319 195 Prospect Street

11:45am PDT

Principles of Biological Systems

Highlighting areas to further increase the inherent potential of our crops and pastures.  The idea of Limiting Factors in soil tests to cultural practices that negatively impact Genetic Potential.  Understanding the importance of Inoculation, mineral balancing, mulching, and maintaining hydration.  Introducing tools for in-field monitoring, and techniques of nutritional drenches and foliar sprays.  Discuss what is proper tillage, soil biology, and the importance of cover crops.  The concepts of what weeds tell us, plant visual diagnosis, and Epigenetics, making the connection between soil health, plant health, animal health, and human health.  The importance that life is a system and the framework to help support this system to achieve improving yields, flavor, aroma, shelf-life, increasing pest and disease resistance, and better tolerance of extreme weather conditions.


Dan Kittredge

Executive Director, Bionutrient Food Assoication
Bionutrient Food Association

Friday September 30, 2016 11:45am - 12:30pm PDT
Sage 24 205 Prospect Street

11:45am PDT

Reclaiming Nutrients from Human Urine: Discovering, Uncovering & Disrupting Social Obstacles

The Rich Earth Institute (richearthinstitute.org) in Brattleboro, Vermont has pioneered the use of sanitized human urine as an innovative and sustainable fertilizer. Wide-scale reuse of urine as fertilizer would provide a stably-priced, locally produced, and sustainable source of fertilizer for farms, while directly alleviating the growing problem of nutrient pollution of surface waters by septic systems and wastewater treatment facilities. In the past five years, Rich Earth has developed a Urine Nutrient Reclamation Project which involves collecting urine on a community scale (from individuals and at public events), and using that urine in field trials at participating farms to gather data on the safety and efficacy of urine-derived fertilizer and develop urine processing and handling technologies.

The Rich Earth Institute social research team has been conducting surveys and interviews with the people who have donated urine to the project, as well as farmers who may be interested in using urine on their farms. Our survey data suggests that there is widespread interest in the potential for urine recycling, but also widespread social anxiety. In a 2016 survey of farmers, for example, 80% were open to using urine as a fertilizer but did not feel their customers would support it. Ninety percent of respondents would use this fertilizer on hay or non-edible crops; the same number would consider using it on edible crops, but worry about customer perception hinders their openness to the idea.

This workshop will provide a presentation on “closing the nutrient cycle,” which illustrates the feasibility of urine recycling based on Rich Earth’s experience, combined with an interactive workshop to gather ideas and inspiration from the broad range of participants at the Yale Symposium about the kinds of social research needed to address these concerns. Co-presenters are Tatiana Schreiber, PhD (Environmental Anthropology), Keene State College, who coordinates Rich Earth’s Social Research Team, and Kim Nace, Director of the Rich Earth Institute, thus combining academic and community-based approaches in one provocative workshop that we hope will fuel ongoing critically important research to facilitate more widespread adoption of urine nutrient recovery, protecting the environment and sustaining local agriculture.


Kim Nace

Keene State College

Tatiana Schreiber

Keene State College

Friday September 30, 2016 11:45am - 12:30pm PDT
Kroon G01 195 Prospect Street

11:45am PDT

Sharing Food as Ritual: Building Community in Faith-Based Spaces

In this interactive workshop, we will explore and imagine emerging practices for food distribution programs that move beyond the ineffective and oppressive relationships that are so commonly found in models that center charity or advocacy. Class divisions, political polarization, and old habits pit the “haves” against the “have-nots,” in binaries such as the benefactors and recipients, agribusiness and small farmers, advocates and those suffering. 

First, we will present new models we are working on in agricultural areas of New York State. Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook is developing the Food/Farm/Faith Initiative to “grow community, nourish dialogue, and plant the future,” through interfaith group meals that facilitate dialogues on the food systems that connect the lives of the participants. We explore a model beyond charity/advocacy, in which we hold occasions for participants of diverse identities and resources to prepare, eat, and clean up together, thus attempting to melt down the historical binary into new relationships. St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Amenia offers the Food of Life/Comida de Vida Food Pantry, which distributes an average of 1,200 nutritionally-dense meals per week to rural neighbors. In 2014, the parish began growing organic produce in The Giving Garden to distribute through the food pantry.

Next, we will guide participants through a program development process to reimagine current projects or envision new ones to foster community and a sense of connection with nature as creation and food as ritual sacrament. As participants consider organizational opportunities alongside the potential in the public sphere, family, and personal life, we will encourage everyone to situate themselves as change-makers and ritual-creators in an enlivened movement for sharing food. 


Rev. Dr. Matthew Calkins

Grace Episcopal Church Millbrook

Rev. Betsy Fisher

St. Thomas Episcopal Church

Abby Nathanson

Grace Episcopal Church Millbrook

Friday September 30, 2016 11:45am - 12:30pm PDT
Kroon 321 195 Prospect Street

12:30pm PDT

Miya's, located in New Haven, Connecticut, is one of the first sustainable sushi restaurants in the world. Miya's specializes in plant-based sushi and other sushi recipes that utilize invasive species, weeds, pests, and farmed insects. The James Beard nominated restaurant has been featured in a variety of media from CBS, NBC, PBS, Food Network, and NPR to magazines such as Scientific American, Gourmet, Food and Wine, The New York Times, Prevention, Outside, Eating Well, The New Yorker, and TIME. Currently, Miya's is featured in a documentary by Vice Munchies and Popular Mechanics Magazine.

Bun Lai is a lifelong Miya's cook, a James Beard Foundation nominee, and a healthy-eating educator who has been the director of nutrition for New Haven Farms, a not-for-profit that serves low income pre-diabetics. He is the recipient of the White House’s Champions of Change award. He is a board member of ActualFood — a Research & Development Laboratory reinventing grocery retail, to make food as preventative medicine accessible and affordable for all. He sits on the council of True Health Initiative, a worldwide coalition of health experts committed to proven principles of lifestyle as medicine. He has written for publications such as Scientific American Magazine and collaborates extensively with Yale University. He has spoken at a wide range of institutions from Google, Harvard School of Public Health, and World Wildlife Fund, to the American Fisheries Society. His 35 year old family restaurant, Miya's, was founded by his mother and is the first sustainable sushi restaurant in the world, specializing in sustainable seafood, plant-based sushi, and the utilization of edible invasive species. Miya's is currently featured in the October 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine and Vice Munchies.

Friday September 30, 2016 12:30pm - 1:45pm PDT
Kroon Hall, 3rd Floor 195 Prospect

1:45pm PDT

Climate Change and Agriculture: The Forgotten Industry

Crops, Cows, and Climate – Challenges and Opportunities 
Peter Lehner, Earth Justice

Livestock and Greenhouse Gases: Technology, Policy, and Law 
Michelle Nowlin, Duke University School of Law

Agricultural Exceptionalism, Climate Change, and USDA 
Margot Pollans, Elisabeth Haub School of Law 

Although agriculture is responsible for twenty to thirty percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it receives relatively little attention in international climate negotiation and in domestic policy agendas, which are both dominated by discussion of energy and transportation.  Further, most dialogue that does take place focuses either on strategies for climate change adaptation or on the potential of soil as a carbon sink.  In the US, this inattention follows from decades of exempting many aspects of farming from the basic federal laws governing air, water, and toxic substances that apply to every other major industry.  While the EPA’s Clean Power Plan attempts to regulate coal-fired power plants through mandatory and aggressive measures aimed to reduce emissions by 870 million metric tons (the equivalent of removing 166 million cars from the road), the USDA recently announced a new climate initiative composed of entirely voluntary and incentive-based programs aimed to reduce net agricultural emissions by 120 million tons of CO2e (the equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road).  This panel will consider the reasons for these dramatically different approaches and call for a more robust approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.  Panelists will describe the contributions of food and agriculture to global climate change, review existing policy approaches to this problem (both in the US and abroad), identify policy alternatives, and consider roadblocks to adopting those alternatives.  

avatar for Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown

Director - Food Law Clinic
Jonathan Brown is the incoming Director of the Transactional Food and Beverage Law Clinic at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.  He was most recently a clinical lecturer in law at Yale Law School, and prior to that an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy... Read More →


Peter Lehner


Michelle Nowlin

Duke University School of Law

Margot Pollans

Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Friday September 30, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

1:45pm PDT

Culture Wars: Making Meat
The Future of Protein
Bruce Friedrich, The Good Food Institute and New Crop Capital 

As populations and incomes rise throughout the world, more and more environmental scientists and economists are asking how the world will support its projected population of 9.7 billion people by 2050 and how governments can meet the climate change goals they committed to in the Paris Agreement. Venture capital firms, entrepreneurs, and major corporations are rising to the challenge, innovating and marketing plant and cultured alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs that are cleaner, safer, and more sustainable. Bruce Friedrich of The Good Food Institute and New Crop Capital will discuss why animal protein alternatives are gaining popularity with the biggest tech investors in Silicon Valley and share updates on some of the most exciting developments in the field.

avatar for David Benzaquen

David Benzaquen

Founder and CEO, PlantBased Solutions
PlantBased Solutions is a brand management and marketing for plant-based consumer products. We help these companies with branding, marketing, operations, fundraising and more.


Bruce Friedrich

The Good Food Institute

Friday September 30, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm PDT
Kroon G01 195 Prospect Street

1:45pm PDT

Enabling Smallholder Access in Cacao Markets

CocoaCompassion:  A Cacao-Centric Movement Honing in On Curiosity, Culture, Experimentation, Empowerment and Dialogue
Joy Thaler, CocoaCompassion®

Globally, chocolate is a $100 billion industry that is recession-proof.  The world has an obsession with chocolate and cocoa-based products. The demand for chocolate is growing exponentially across the growing middle class in emerging markets that have more disposable income and are spending it on non-essentials such as confectionery.   So what could be the problem?  There are many, but for our purposes we will focus on a three big disconnects (1) Consumers are unaware of where cacao comes from (2) 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced by 5 million small producers who are living on less than $2 per day, and (3) most cacao-based product is not manufactured at origin, but by industrial chocolate processors throughout the US & UK who realize the majority of revenue.  The commodity cocoa system is broken: while demand for cocoa is growing, farmer incomes aren't and supply is declining. Certifications are not the answer because the cost of production is not covered in the farm gate price nor does it incentivize farmers to improve yields or quality. Cocoa farmers are locked in a cycle of poverty. Farmers take the most risk for the least income. In response to these obstacles, a movement is in motion and many cacao-focused business have emerged.

CocoaCompassion® considers itself a seedling. We are a social enterprise at the idea and proof-of-concept stage. Based upon the diverse skill sets of our Advisory Board, passion for bottom-up development, extensive secondary research and direct experience in the field, we believe that to change the story at origin, we need to change the story in the states, and that local, vertical integration is critical to our model.  Our goals are to inform the market of the larger value beyond quality, provide smallholder cacao farmers with market access, and live our tag line, “Giving Back with Every Bite.” To accomplish these goals we intersect with conscious consumers, collaborate with chefs, corporations and academic institutions and provide the farmers with compassionate pruning support. Our mode of interaction is edutainment-based; chocolate will be positioned as a carrier for exploration and discovery of cultures and traditions, and as a carrier to connectivity across friends, family, colleagues and community. Our business aligns with the most critical trends, including the growing customer base that is placing pressure on industrial food systems and demanding more knowledge and transparency; morally conscious consumption over indulgence; modern dishes that reconnect with native ingredients to celebrate food; and, ethnic food demand and sales being driven by the growing diverse population. To date, 20% of the proceeds from the sale of the first 1,000 CocoaCompassion® & Raaka partnership bars, totaling $1,600, has been given back to the Mayan smallholder cacao farmers in Belize and will be used towards tools that will be placed in five community tool banks. 


Sulawesi’s Emerging Cocoa Sustainability Complex: Where public-private aspirations meet social and natural evasions
Lisa Kelley, University of California Berkeley 

Up from only 1 in 1984, there are now 55 public-private partnerships focused on achieving economic and environmental sustainability in the cacao sector. Propelled by purported “supply deficit” in the sector, the intensification of smallholder cocoa fields and the establishment of direct trade relations between corporations and smallholders is central to a majority of these partnerships. Proponents suggest these movements can effect a win-win-win of corporate growth, domestic economic expansion and smallholder livelihood security, shoring faltering national cocoa economies and significantly improve the livelihood security of the estimated 5-6 million smallholder farmers that source 90% of all cacao globally. Detractors argue that that these are a “grab” for greater corporate control over smallholders’ fields and livelihoods, and will undermine rather than reinforce smallholder livelihood security over the long run. Both perspectives fail to locate such debates in actual landscapes, exploring people’s aspirations and agency with respect to such initiatives. This paper presents a case from Sulawesi, Indonesia drawing on over one year of ethnographic work in four villages as well as in-depth interviews along the conventional chocolate supply chain. I argue that while contemporary efforts to promote “sustainable chocolate” in Indonesia are most usefully read as grabs for greater corporate (and domestic) control over an increasingly contested supply of raw cacao, smallholder evasions make it unlikely this project of control will succeed. This agency is not synonymous with sovereignty. Despite smallholders capacity to speak through their actions, they have virtually no inclusion in the development of initiatives that purport to serve them.


Empowering farmers to produce quality food for a growing world
Maribel Lieberman, MarieBelle Chocolates 

Feeding a growing world: not just quantity but quality. Empowering farmers to give voice and respect to a category that is struggling to survive in an era where technology and large-scale productions are becoming more and more dominant

in the way we feed ourselves. It is said that we are what we eat. Nowadays more than ever we see consumers involved in finding out where the food they buy comes from and how it was made. Almost everything we eat should be primary foods like bread, meat, dairy or staple commodities such as chocolate, tea, coffee they all have a human story behind them. Hundreds of people around the world are involved in food production yet most of them struggle to survive or live at poverty levels. I am going to discuss different ways governments and other organizations can help farmers around the world to feed a growing population providing not just quantity but quality food.

Smallholder farmers and value chains in a changing climate
Gernot Laganda, Lead Technical Specialist for Climate Change at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and 2016 Greenberg World Fellow at Yale University

There are around 500 million smallholder farms in the world which provide livelihoods to over two billion people and account for up to 80% of food production in many developing countries. Smallholder farmers work on land plots which are often located in marginal, vulnerable settings. Many of these households are poor and food insecure and have limited access to markets and services. Their choices are constrained but they are a key economic factor in the developing world. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and specialized UN agency which makes the case that smallholder farmers are small, climate-relevant businesses. Although many decisions affecting small farms are made in an economic environment in which markets do not function well, and which is subject to a diverse range of climatic, economic and political shocks, smallholder farmers can be empowered with access to weather information, adaptation technologies and risk financing to generate positive multiplier effects for the resilience of rural value chains, landscapes and ecosystems. Building on experience from the worldwide largest climate change adaptation program for smallholder farmers - the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) - IFAD is working with a twin-track investment model which on the one hand supports smallholders in the commercialization of goods and services, enabling their transformation into viable economic units; and on the other hand promotes adaptation to climate change and the dispersion of low-carbon technologies in rural value chains.


Kata Young

MFS joint program with Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and New York Botanical Gardens


Lisa Kelley

UC Berkeley

Gernot Laganda

UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Yale University

maribel Lieberman

MarieBelle Chocolates

Joy Thaler

Cocoa Compassion

Friday September 30, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm PDT
Sage Bowers Auditorium 205 Prospect Street

1:45pm PDT

Strengthening Local Food Systems from Within: The Role of Community Farms

"Farm Fever": What the Doctor Ordered, the Corner Store Embraced, and We James James Jenkins, Executive Director New Haven Farms

LearnedNew Haven Farms began in 2011 when the Fair Haven Community Health Center and Chabaso Bakery, best-selling artisan bread company in New England, created a garden-based wellness program modeled off the CDC's Diabetes Prevention Program.  Over the past five years, New Haven Farms has increased urban farming across eight sites in New Haven with a wellness program, incubator garden partnership with the New Haven Land Trust and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, and affordable farm stand with seedling sales. A neighbor explained that everyone caught the "farm fever" when the 613 Ferry Street Farm replaced a vacant lot with organic fruits and vegetables in Fair Haven, a neighborhood with 43% food insecurity.  This presentation will address examples of business, government, healthcare, philanthropy, and community neighbors producing outcomes and cultivating generative spaces with transformative socioecological benefits.

Growing A Life: Teen Gardeners Harvest Food, Health and Joy
Ilene Pevec, Fat City Farmers; Colorado Mountain College 

When the United States entered World War I the US military and the department of education started the United States School Garden Army to teach all children to grow and harvest food at schools and in home gardens to ensure that the domestic population was fed while commercial crops were shipped to US troops in Europe. That program was dropped when the war ended but that gardening educated generation planted the Victory Gardens of World War II and Americans ate more vegetables in that era than any other time since. Since then fast food and junk food products with their multi-million dollar advertising budgets have colonized the world resulting in an obesity and diabetes epidemic amongst youth and adults world wide. One response to this crisis, particularly in the non-profit community serving youth, has been the development of food gardens both at schools and in after school programs. How do these food growing programs impact youth? Do their diets change or their environmental attitudes? What might contribute to the changes that come with working together with ones’ peers and an adult mentor to grow food? This presentation, based on eight years of qualitative research with more than 90 youth gardeners brings teen voices describing their personal transformation and knowledge acquisition in twelve programs across the US from New York to California.

Food justice, community service, food traditions in ethnic communities and youth mental and physical health all grow in youth gardens alongside the fruit, vegetables and young gardeners themselves. Neuroscience and positive youth development research provide an insight into the whys of the profoundly positive impact that engaging in growing food provides for teens ages 14 to 19. The power point presentation includes audio of youth voices. Growing A Life: Teen Gardeners Harvest Food, Health and Joy has been published by New Village Press in September, 2016.


Community Gardens as Forest Ecosystems: A Case-Study of Seattle's Beacon Food Forest
Peter Wells, Beacon Food Forest

In response to global environmental degradation and widespread food insecurity, a wave of urban agriculture has surged across the United States for the past decade. However, there is a great need to ensure this movement makes lasting changes in our cities' health and is not merely a fashionable trend or a quick fix to the underlying problem. To this end, we need gardens which are resilient to increasing climate disasters, accessible to all, and can thrive as the ecological anchors of our communities.

As a fully-functioning, replicable model of this transformation, I would like to tell the story of the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle: a planned 7-acre forest garden on public land which is already producing 8,000+ lbs of free food for the community. Since its inception 6 years ago, the project has been a tremendous success and our model has quickly propagated to over 50 sites across the country and overseas to Taiwan and New Zealand.

Currently the largest food forest on public land, I would be delighted to share our experiences of negotiating local politics, cultivating community, using permaculture design to transmute a grass lawn into a forest, and fostering ecological bounty for the next 150 years. This could be presented as a 15-minute talk, or as part of a panel on community gardens, urban food security, or agroforestry. If it would be of interest, I can think of several experts in food forestry on the east coast who could participate in a panel exclusively on these systems. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask! Thank you for your consideration.


Cara Donovan

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


James Jenkins

New Haven Farms

Ilene Pevec

Fat City Farmers, Colorado Mountain College

Peter Wells

Beacon Food Forest

Friday September 30, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm PDT
Sage 24 205 Prospect Street

1:45pm PDT

The Political Economy of Biotechnology

Biotechnology and African Agricultural Sustainability: a Meta-Analysis of Pro-Biotechnology Studies and Food Security
Yassine Dguidegue, University of Missouri

This paper is devoted to the examination of how sustainable development is framed by proponents of agricultural biotechnology in Africa. The objectives of this paper are twofold. First, defining the theoretical and ideological backgrounds of studies which propound the adoption of biotechnology in Africa from sustainability standpoint. Second, examining the extent to which these studies have political implications on agricultural policies in Africa. This paper focuses mainly on studies which propound the benefits of biotechnology to small-holding farmers. The choice to focus only, at this level, on pro-biotechnology studies is justified by the need to fully grasp their various conceptual and ideological framings of sustainability before establishing any comparison with other camps that have different positions on biotechnology. The paper, through a systematic meta-knowledge analysis, constructs a typology to gauge pro-biotechnology studies’ definition of sustainability, sources of evidence, methods of research and analysis, theoretical orientation, and policy emphasis. As a continuation of a research project on how food security is framed by biotechnology proponents, this paper serves the purpose to bridge the various paradigmatic and ideological differences regarding the definition of sustainable development in the context of African food security.


Intellectual property and food justice in international agreements: Two divergent approaches
Sheryl Breen, University of Minnesota 

International efforts to reach agreements on use and access to food and crop seeds take place within the context of two divergent approaches to intellectual property and their affiliated understandings of food justice. On the one hand, plant breeding corporations and seed industry organizations call for protection of an international intellectual property regime that they believe enables and justly rewards research and innovation. At the same time, peasant and activist organizations such as La Via Campesina and the Third World Network highlight traditional knowledge and stewardship of agriculture and warn against international governing body actions that the organizations see as threats to seed sovereignty and food justice. Amidst these competing challenges, international delegates are struggling to negotiate components of new and existing United Nations agreements that can satisfy member states’ demands for protection of farmers’ rights, intellectual property rights over genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and equity in sharing research-related benefits.

My presentation examines this international debate over food and crop resources in light of two divergent political and ethical positions. First, the ownership approach to intellectual property holds that property rights arise through research and innovation and that justice is constituted by protection of those rights through law. This approach supports direct sharing of food-related research benefits between owners and buyers. In contrast, the stewardship approach to intellectual property rights sees justice as constituted by recognition and protection of traditional knowledge of plant breeding – perhaps as a form of intellectual property in itself – as well as compensation for use of that knowledge and protection from forced sharing. From this second perspective, justice demands collective sharing of indirect food-related research benefits between peoples and nations. Although the ownership approach has significant philosophical and ethical weight, continued marginalization of the stewardship approach and its affiliated understanding of food justice has undermined programs to promote farmers’ rights and benefit-sharing through the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and weakened efforts to create a new instrument on intellectual property rights and traditional knowledge through the World Intellectual Property Organization Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (WIPO IGC).

My presentation is part of a multiyear project on intellectual property rights, common heritage, and the ownership of seeds and includes material gained through participation as a credentialed observer at the Sixth Governing Body Session of the ITPGRFA in Rome, Italy, in October 2015 and the 30th Session of the WIPO IGC in Geneva, Switzerland in May/June 2016.


Crossbreeding India's "Sacred Cow": Questions of Industrialization, Ethics, and Food Sovereignty
Laura Murray, New York University

There has been a recent flurry of reports from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and scholars concerned with the status of India's dairy industry, and its supposedly impending industrialization (see GRAIN 2014, Brighter Green 2014, Schoelten and Basu 2009). These reports highlight the threat industrialization poses to environmental sustainability, rural livelihoods and animal welfare. These reports also point out that the stakes of industrialization are uniquely poignant in an Indian context where dairying provides a crucial source of nutrition and income to many small farmers, where this important economic and nutritive role has in part been secured through the Government of India's White Revolution, that is, the largest and most successful dairy development program in history. The Indian context is additionally unique, these reports note, for the way cows and bulls are revered by the Hindu majority. In light of events taking place after the publication of these papers, it is necessary to add that this is a reverence increasingly mandated by law by Hindu nationalist parties, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act of 2015, which banned the sale and possession of beef. Yet, as suggested by this list of unique facets, and the way these points of consideration quickly spin out in many directions, the complexities of the lived dimensions of India's dairy sector cannot in fact be encapsulated by a narrative of linear industrial decline. 

Based on thirty, hour-long interviews with farmers throughout Maharashtra conducted during three months of fieldwork between January and July of 2016, and four years of text-based research, in this presentation, I retheorize the infrastructural legacy of the cooperatization of India's dairy sector in order to foreground the impact of its material intransigence on the particular form "industry" has taken in the "Indian dairy industry". I examine the threat of decentralized industrialism, i.e., diffuse yet scale-biased technocratic interventions that are complicit with the logics of capital, but also the unexpected forms of resilience, value, and food sovereignty decentralized industry has enabled. Specifically, I look to the technique promoted by the cooperatives of crossbreeding through artificial insemination to increase milk yields as one aspect of decentralized industrialism, and the coexistence of this practice with localized ways of rearing, valuing, consuming "desi" (roughly translated as indigenous) cows and their products for Maratha dairy producers.


Sarah Vaughn

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


Sheryl Breen

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota, Morris

Yassine Dguidegue

University of Missouri

Laura Murray

New York University

Friday September 30, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm PDT
Kroon 321 195 Prospect Street

3:00pm PDT

Stumptown Coffee Break
Stumptown Coffee Roasters has provided all the coffee for our afternoon coffee break. Stumptown is a leading specialty coffee roaster that sources, roasts, and serves high quality coffee from producer partners around the world. Founded in 1999 in Portland, Oregon, Stumptown has expanded over the past 17 years to regional roasteries in New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle and operates 11 retail cafes in Portland, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Through Stumptown’s Direct Trade sourcing model, the company invests in global producers over the long term. These collaborative relationships allow the company to secure high quality, sustainably produced green coffee in return for high and stable prices that support producer livelihoods and resilience.

The afternoon snacks of cookies and brownies were made with flour from Renewal Mill. Renewal Mill works to create a more sustainable food system by harnessing raw ingredients currently discarded in food production processes. Their first product is okara, a nutrient-rich substance produced during tofu manufacturing. With the okara, they have created a wheat flour blend that delivers white flour taste with wheat flour fiber. The flour makes bread products with enhanced nutrition while keeping the appearance, texture, and taste similar to those made with white flour. Renewal Mill was founded by Yale alumni Claire Schlemme, FES ’11 and Sumit Kadakia, FES/SOM ’16 joint-degree. 

Friday September 30, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm PDT
Kroon Hall, 3rd Floor 195 Prospect

3:30pm PDT

Equitable Access to Nutritious Food

From the Projects to the Pasture: Food Justice on a Farm
Bobby Smith II, Cornell University 

Most studies of food justice examine how the movement is realized in places that lack access to local, healthy, or organic foods, constraining our understanding of the movement to food deserts in urban or rural spaces like Detroit, Michigan or Grafton County, New Hampshire. These studies capture the stories of farmers of color, low-income communities, and communities of color responding to issues of race, class, and food (economic and geographic) access. However, little is known about how the movement is realized in local food spaces dominated by the local food movement like Ithaca, New York. In Ithaca, local, healthy, and organically grown foods are a way of life and offered through a number of outlets such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture, grocery stores, and restaurants, but low-income people and people of color still struggle to access it. For this reason, this research attempts to expand our understanding of the food justice movement by examining it in local food spaces, dominated by the local food movement. Using food justice as lens, I interpret the story of the Rocky Acres Community Farm in Tompkins County, NY, to explore how a farm uses food justice as a way to counter issues of race, class, and food in Ithaca. This brief exploratory exercise provides a glimpse at how the food justice movement rises as a counter to the local food movement, exploiting tensions around race, class, and food that go beyond just issues of food access.


Puerto Rico-An Island Innovating to Link Health, Nutrition and Agriculture
Gus Schumacher, Wholesome Wave

Puerto Rico’s Agriculture Secretary has developed a unique innovation, linking her farmers, EBT consumers and farmers markets. Her El Mercado Familiar program is a collaboration between Puerto Rico’s Agriculture and Family Departments and is designed to meet the dual goals of stimulating island food production while increasing low-income families’ consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables.

The program began in August 2013 and since then more than $40 million from fruit and vegetable purchases by low-income shoppers has flowed into Puerto Rican farmers’ bank accounts, $18 million in FY 2015 alone. More than 500 farmers benefit from the El Mercado Familiar program and they have created 540 new jobs, both on-farm and selling in the markets. Last year these Puerto Rican farmers markets accepted the same amount in SNAP purchases as authorized markets and farmers in the 50 states combined.

Secretary Myrna Comas Pagan anticipates that Puerto Rican produce farmers will be earning more than $60 million per year just in sales to low-income shoppers using the Tarjeta de la Familia when the program operates island wide by 2020.

Here’s how it works. The Puerto Rican Departments of Agriculture (PRDOA) and family development (ADSEF) received approval from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) mid-Atlantic office in New Jersey to add four percent to the monthly benefits for NAP program participants to be used only at authorized El Mercado Familiar, or farmers’ markets. These new benefits are added along with the monthly food and cash benefits and are embedded in the EBT card in a category, or “pocket”, of their own. Currently, more than 78 percent of NAP participants redeem the benefit that is exclusively for El Mercado Familiar.

When a participating shopper arrives at El Mercado Familiar her first stop is an information tent where an ADSEF staffer swipes the participant’s NAP card (Tarjeta) and provides a receipt showing the balance in the three categories on the card – food benefit, cash benefit, and farmers market benefit.

Shoppers can use their food and cash benefits for any NAP eligible food at FNS authorized supermarkets and retail food stores, but they can only use the farmers market benefit at one of the 52 participating farmers’ markets in the 44 participating municipalities organized, promoted and managed by the Agriculture Department, or PRDOA. Shoppers may also choose to use their food and cash benefits at the markets and many do. The markets also accept WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons, adding another $5 million to farmers’ sales.

Each farmer has a point of sale (POS) EBT device to accept NAP cards at these markets. Transactions are smooth, quick and efficient, rarely taking more than 30 seconds as customers swipe their NAP cards on farmers’ hand-held EBT machines, punch in their PIN and take their receipt. The funds are transferred electronically into the farmers’ local bank account. There is no need for burdensome token systems at these Puerto Rican markets, with farmers waiting for a week or more for payment.

Nutritional Gaps in the Global Food System
Stephen Wood, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Humans require an adequate supply of 51 key nutrients to maintain a healthy diet. Though total global food production has expanded dramatically over the last 50 years, the production of nutrients required for healthy human diets has remained static or declined. The number of people whose nutrient requirements are met per hectare has emerged as an alternative sustainable agriculture metric. Considering the amount of people fed well per hectare provides a more realistic estimate of the amount of land needed across the globe to meet a growing human population. Most existing work that integrates nutrition into agriculture measures static patterns in food production and availability. Yet food commodities are exchanged in the global economy, making food availability a highly dynamic process. This dynamic process is key to understanding agricultural sustainability—and the amount of land required for agriculture—because food items can be exchanged in a way that increases access to some and decreases access for others. Thus, although overall production may be sufficient to meet human needs, inefficient distribution may make access insufficient. In this manuscript we for the first time quantify the equity of distribution in nutritional resources across the globe. We do this by merging data on crop nutritional content with pairwise trade exchanges for every crop among every country in the world. This unique data set allows us to investigate the impact of crop trade on access to nutrition in different parts of the world.


John Wargo

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


Bobby Smith II

Cornell University

Gus Schumacher

Wholesome Wave

Stephen Wood

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Friday September 30, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm PDT
Kroon 319 195 Prospect Street

3:30pm PDT

Film Screening: Soil, Struggle, and Justice: Agroecology in the Brazilian Landless Movement
Directed by Andreas Hernandez

This film examines a cooperative of the Brazilian Landless Movement (MST) in the South of Brazil, which struggled for access to land and then transitioned to ecological agriculture, or agroecology. This MST cooperative is demonstrating the possibility of an alternative model of flourishing rural life, which provides thriving livelihoods for farmers, produces high quality and low cost food for the region, and rehabilitates the earth. 

Friday September 30, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm PDT
Sage Bowers Auditorium 205 Prospect Street

3:30pm PDT

Focusing on Food Waste

Defining Food Waste – The Sustainability of Animal Products: Opposing Points of View 
Mychal-Ann Hayhoe, University of Guelph

The existing definitions of food waste are reviewed and a new definition of waste is purposed suggesting that most foods produced by animals, due to the inherent inefficiencies associated with feeding animals for human consumption versus plant products being directly consumed by humans, is a form of waste. This definition is outlined in the context of increased awareness of world population growth and food insecurity. The literature describing definitions of food waste is diverse and a comprehensive definition is needed to unify the discussion. This paper presents the new definition and follows with two discussions, each facilitated by one author, that argue for or against the new definition. The inherent complexity of this issue requires the authors to draw from literature in many disciplines. This multidisciplinary paper includes a discussion of literature that describes the nutritional requirements of humans and their ability to survive and thrive with or without animal products, the food supply chain and life cycle analysis (LCA) literature, the literature that examines the social implications of certain elements of food waste definitions, a discussion of vegetarian and vegan diets and the economic and environmental impacts of making changes to our food systems. Finally, this paper attempts to situate the discussion of food waste within the conversation around a more comprehensive idea of sustainable agriculture and presents a call for more engaged scholarship, as described by Van de Ven in 2007, that brings together scholars and industry participants from all areas in order to develop a more universal approach to dealing with the issue of food waste.


Addressing Food Wastage in the Farming Community: Perceptions of and Motivations for Crop Donation
Leah Seifu, Johns Hopkins University

Background: According to recent national estimates, 40% of food in the United States goes to waste, resulting in significant financial, environmental and social costs and missed opportunities. One place where food is often wasted is the farm level. An approach to reduce waste at the farm level is to encourage farmers to donate otherwise wasted food by providing tax-incentives for crop donation.

Purpose: The specific aims of this study are to investigate current motivations for farmers to donate crops, further incentives for farmers to donate crops (including but not limited to tax incentives), and farmers’ perceived barriers to crop donation.

Results: Our analysis demonstrated three primary categories of discussion with the informants: motivations for, barriers to, and facilitators of crop donation. Primary motivations for crop donation included community, desire not to waste food, personal gratification, values, and business. Five identified barriers to crop donation were lack of convenience, logistics, misconceptions, lack of knowledge, and financial cost. Farmers suggested a number of facilitators that either worked to draw upon motivations or reduce barriers to crop donation.

Conclusions: Policies meant to increase crop donation from farms should look to the diverse motivations for and barriers of the process of crop donation, as identified by farmers.


Center for EcoTechnology Approach to Reducing Wasted Food
Lorenzo Macaluso, Center for EcoTechnology

The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) proposes to present on approaches and success stories gained from our 20+ years of experience implementing effective food waste reduction and recycling programs in the region. Recently, CET was honored for being a pioneer in food diversion with the US EPA’s Environmental Merit Award and the Environmental Business Council of New England’s Environmental-Energy Merit Award for Leadership.

As northeast states adopt or consider food waste bans, CET understands the strategies and factors important for market transformation around wasted food addressed by these policies. CET sees four main factors to spur market development including policy enactment, infrastructure development, education and technical assistance services, and active enforcement of disposal bans. We support this successful combination by providing education and technical assistance to encourage a marketplace that can meet the USDA and EPA goal of 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.

CET acts as a catalyst in Massachusetts and Connecticut to spur the development of the marketplace to divert wasted food at all levels of EPA Food Waste hierarchy. We have encouraged partnerships, shared information, and conducted technical assistance, while working with state governments, the US EPA, and the Fink Family Foundation. CET provided input for ReFED’s “Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20 Percent.”

CET administers RecyclingWorks, a program designed with MassDEP, to help Massachusetts-based businesses and institutions maximize waste diversion opportunities. Through this program we have produced Best Management Practices and case studies, and held workshops and conferences to spur stakeholder engagement and additional activity. RecyclingWorks received a 2015 National Food Recovery Challenge Endorser Award for leading food recovery outreach and technical assistance in Massachusetts.

CET will highlight how this approach provides advice to consumers, businesses, and policymakers for a successful wasted food diversion market that will support wasted food reduction goals.


Changing Laws or Changing Hearts: How the Food Waste Movement Does Both
Sarah Morath, University of Houston Law Center

Change comes precisely when you do change hearts — and once that change has come, then the laws and the “allocation of resources,” and the “way systems operate” follow pretty easily.

Changing laws or changing hearts. What is the best way to solve environmental issues today? Most attorneys, legislatures, government officials, advocates, and everyday citizens would say changing laws. Laws, after all, have been the primary method for achieving environmental protection of air, water, and land in United States since the 1970s, and the enactment of NEPA, CWA, CAA, and ESA, comprise what many scholars call the first generation of environment law.

Today, laws that forbid a certain behaviors continue to be a popular means to an environmental end. Take plastic bags, for example. Plastic bags are disposed in landfills where they will take hundreds of years to photodegrade and overtime will release toxic chemicals into groundwater. Plastic bags also end up in the ocean and air, posing a threat to wildlife and marine life. In addition, manufacturing plastic bags uses resources like water and energy. In an effort to address the harms associated with plastic bags, many countries and cities have banned their use. Another approach has been to charge or tax individuals for using plastic bags. But many studies have shown the legislation and taxation are not always the best mechanism for modifying individual behavior, especially when it comes to behavior that harms the environment.

That is why the ability to change hearts is essential to solving environmental problems. Like laws and market mechanisms, changing hearts seeks to modify individual behavior, but in an indirect way by providing information, involving stakeholders, and designing for choice—essentially modifying social norms. This article evaluates changing laws and changing hearts in the context of the food waste movement. Like the approach taken with plastic bags, efforts to combat food waste are multimodal and involve more than simply enacting legislation or formal regulatory approaches like food-waste bans or composting laws. The food waste movement includes comprehensive education campaigns with the USDA and EPA, educational institutions, and business working to provide information to individuals on this issue. Furthermore, the food waste movement has an active private governance component, with retail and restaurants making efforts to combat food waste by selling misshapen fruit and vegetables or donating food.

An analysis of the food waste movement as an analysis of modern environmental law, specifically its use of and reliance on informal regulation tools and private governance—its multimodal nature. A multimodal approach can help address the concern that laws often have their limits and allows for greater collaboration between the public and private spheres, all of which is occurring in the food waste movement. The lesson learned from the food waste movement is that changing laws and changing hearts are essential to solving environmental problems today. 


Marian Chertow

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


Mychal-Ann Hayhoe

University of Guelph

Lorenzo Macaluso

Center for EcoTechnology

Sarah Morath

University of Houston Law Center

Leah Seifu

Johns Hopkins University

Friday September 30, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

3:30pm PDT

Relationship-Building for a Sustainable Supply Chain

Anastasia O'Rourke

Special Consultant, Industrial Economics, Incand Chair of Board, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)


Uma Bhandaram

Food Systems & GIS Analyst, Blue Apron

Gabriel Chair

Green Coffee Sourcing and Relationship Manager, Stumptown Coffee

Beth Foster

Senior National Manager, Farm Partnerships and Innovation, Blue Apron

Nick Kirby

Senior Sales Manager, Stumptown Coffee

Friday September 30, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm PDT
Sage 24 205 Prospect Street

3:30pm PDT

Shifting Toward Sustainable Diets

Connecting the dots between livestock, their environmental burdens, dietary preference and food security in the USA
Alon Shepon, The Weizmann Institute of Science

Feeding a growing population while minimizing environmental degradation is a global challenge. It is now clear that because of the enormous regional to global impacts of livestock on air and water quality, ocean health, land use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, adequately feeding 9 plus billion humans will require thoroughly rethinking food production and consumption. Because they strongly impact food consumption, dietary preference play a major role in food systems with major impacts on the environment and public health. Recent analyses link environment, economy and health through the diet nexus, highlighting the huge environmental mitigation potential of changing diets (especially reduction in beef consumption) comparable to changes in agriculture productivity.

We quantify land, irrigation water, GHGs and reactive nitrogen (Nr) costs due to feed consumption by major animal-based categories (beef, poultry, dairy, eggs and pork), and compare them to costs of plant-based alternatives. Our results for the U.S reveal resource demands per consumed kcal of eggs, poultry, dairy and pork are mutually comparable but at least an order of magnitude lower than beef’s. We repeat our calculations also in terms of edible protein mass, revealing qualitatively similar disparities. Averaged over all categories, energy and protein efficiencies (edible output:feed input) of the five livestock categories are 7-8%. At 3% in both metrics, beef is by far the least efficient.

Next, we estimated expected savings of potential dietary shifts, considering the expected resource savings under fixed food availability or the added food that can be grown on the spared land. We examine the changes in land resource usage as a result of substituting poultry for beef, two nutritionally similar but environmentally dissimilar food items. Reallocating high-quality agricultural land used for beef feed to poultry feed production can meet the caloric and protein demands of ≈120 and ≈140 million additional Americans, respectively, roughly 40% of the current population. In addition, we construct randomized plant based diets from plants consumed in the Mean American Diet (MAD) that nutritionally replace beef while minimizing environmental resource usage and emissions. The macronutrient equivalent plant based alternatives to the ≈190 kcal beef person-1 d-1 in the MAD are mostly better nutritionally considering the key vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients while requiring on average only 10%, 4% and 6% of the land, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and reactive nitrogen (Nr) the replaced beef diet does. Applied to entire US, the beef-to-plant shift can save 770 million rangeland acres, 91 million cropland acres, 278 million metric ton CO2e, and 3.7 million metric ton Nr annually. These nationwide savings are 99%, 27%, 4% and 32% of the respective national totals of the above environmental burdens. Put differently, replacing beef with a plant based diet that minimizes land demands and reallocating the spared land to producing extra food can feed ≈170 million additional Americans.


What are Sustainable Diets?
Hugh Joseph, Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University

“Sustainable diets” – a term first coined in 1986 - is characterized by this widely cited FAO definition as “those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally appropriate, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources” (FAO, Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity, 2010).

While this specifies connections to broadly-characterized sustainability priorities, the meaning of ‘diets’ is not addressed, and a singular common understanding should not be assumed. This paper reviews multiple representations of ‘diets’ as constructs, spanning individual through population approaches. A model is proposed that incorporates foods consumed within the contexts of behaviors or ‘food practice’ (an emerging term) and food environments. In combination, this is more representative of the ‘food consumption’ component typically included in food supply chains. It is much broader than the food-centric meaning embedded in guidance such as Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

However, a food-only approach treats sustainability as a set of independent variables to which food choices are connected. Here, diet itself cannot really be ‘sustainable’ (nor ‘healthy’); rather, there is potentially to promote sustainable (and healthy) outcomes. A more comprehensive ‘food consumption’ approach better integrates the two elements and makes it much more plausible to consider ways for diets to address food systems-based and broader sustainability concerns (e.g., biodiversity, climate change, food security).


Impact on Climate, Freshwater, and Land-Use Footprints from Adopting Plant-Centric Diets in Selected Countries
Brent Kim, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

If global trends in meat and dairy intake continue as projected, the likelihood of meeting climate change mitigation targets will be slim to none. Livestock’s outsized contributions to land and freshwater use present similarly urgent challenges. This presentation will summarize recent evidence on diet-climate connections and provide preliminary results from an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and freshwater footprints associated with various diets in country-specific contexts.

While most prior research of this nature is either global in scope or specific to a single country, we developed a model that estimates the ecological burdens of diets for any country, on the rationale that policy and behavioral interventions can benefit from information specific to the settings in which they are implemented. The model draws upon data from over 300 life cycle assessment studies, the GLEAM climate model, the Water Footprint Network, the UN FAO, and other sources to characterize country-specific environmental impacts for the cradle-to-gate production of specific food items, including seafood, which is often excluded from similar studies. The model also accounts for differences in environmental impacts across domestic and imported products based on the conditions and practices under which they are produced.

Because “what is not measured is not managed,” quantifying the ecological outcomes of reducing animal product intake is critical to aligning dietary patterns with sustainability goals. This research will strengthen the evidence base for mitigating agriculture’s contributions to climate change and resource depletion; inform policy and behavioral interventions; and help to identify where, on an international scale, animal-product reduction efforts can have the greatest benefit.


Mark Bomford

Yale Sustainable Food Program


Hugh Joseph

Tufts University

Brent Kim

Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future

Alon Shepon

The Weizmann Institute of Science

Friday September 30, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm PDT
Kroon G01 195 Prospect Street

5:00pm PDT

Keynote: Wes Jackson
Nature As Measure – Perennial Grain Agriculture

Genetics and plant breeding, ecology, evolutionary biology, soil science, plant pathology and modern computational power are now being combined at The Land Institute and elsewhere to meet the goal of solving the 10,000 year old problem OF agriculture. A paradigm shift is now in the cards making it now imaginable to see the end of annual grain production, soil erosion, fossil fuel dependency, chemical contamination of land and water.

Perennial grains alone represent new “hardware,” but when grown in mixtures, for the first time ecology and evolutionary biology can enter the management of grain production in a major way

The global distribution of Land Institute scientists’ germplasm is now being grown by their colleagues in Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America, Europe, as well as North America. We can begin to imagine an agriculture based on the principles of nature’s ecosystems.

avatar for Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson, President of The Land Institute, was born in 1936 on a farm near Topeka, Kansas. After attending Kansas Wesleyan (B.A Biology, 1958), he studied botany (M.A. University of Kansas, 1960) and genetics (Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1967). He was a professor of... Read More →

Friday September 30, 2016 5:00pm - 6:00pm PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

6:00pm PDT

Closing Remarks

Mark Bomford

Yale Sustainable Food Program

Friday September 30, 2016 6:00pm - 6:30pm PDT
Kroon Burke Auditorium 195 Prospect Street

7:00pm PDT

Farm to Fork Dinner at Yale Farm
Rain location: Kroon Hall 3rd Floor Commons

The Yale Farm has generously prepared salads and sides with vegetables straight from the farm in addition to providing a beautiful venue for our Farm-to-Fork dinner. The Yale Farm, run by the Yale Sustainable Food Program (YSFP), is a one-acre lush and productive academic farm situated on Yale’s central campus. Twelve months a year, Yale students grow vegetables, herbs, berries, fruits, flowers, fiber and fuel crops. They care for a pastured poultry flock and honeybees, manage nutrient flows in the soil, and incorporate season extension through passively-heated high tunnels. The agricultural operation meets or exceeds local organic standards. 

Walden Hill provided the delicious pork for tonight’s Farm-to-Fork dinner. Walden Hill is a partnership of farmers with a mission to bring consumers local, sustainable and delicious heritage-breed, acorn-fed pork, the highest quality pork on the market in the New England. Fed a diet of local acorns, Walden Hill Pork is raised in a humane and sustainable manner, decreasing the need for grains shipped to the region, increasing the value of an abundant local resource, and enriching the flavor and nutrition of the pork. We partner with small family farms and local forests to produce pork that not only tastes great, but supports our local economy and environment. Walden Hill was founded by Yale alumnus Jen Milikowsky, SOM/FES ‘15 joint degree.

Friday September 30, 2016 7:00pm - 8:30pm PDT
Yale Farm 345 Edwards Street
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