by Marion Nestle
May 1 2009

Farm Foundation seeks policy ideas. Win prizes!

The Farm Foundation, an non-profit organization sponsored by groups such as the National PorkProducers Council, the National Corn Growers Association,  and the United Egg Producers, has issued a report, The 30-Year Challenge.  This outlines the problems faced by industrial agriculture in feeding the world’s rapidly growing population.   Based on the report, the Foundation announces a 30-year challenge competition to encourage submission of policy ideas for meeting the world’s growing need for food, feed, fiber, and fuel.  The announcement of the competition is a bit short on details but does say that prizes total $20,000 and the deadline for submission of policy ideas is June 1.

Here’s a chance to let the Farm Foundation know what you think about agricultural policies and why it’s time to start working on sustainable solutions to food production.  And maybe even win a prize!

Addendum: Mary Thompson of the Farm Foundation sends along the details (you have to scroll down to the second page).  She adds this point of correction:

We take issue, however, with your description of Farm Foundation as an organization sponsored by producer groups. Farm Foundation has a 76-year history of objectivity.  We do not lobby or advocate.  The majority of our operational funds are from our endowment, which was created by our founders in 1933…We do an annual fund drive, seeking contributions from individuals, other NGOs, and companies who wish to support the Foundation’s work in providing comprehensive and objective information on timely issues impacting agriculture, food systems and rural communities…We recruit and accept third-party funding for specific projects only with the understanding that Farm Foundation leads and directs the project.  Third-party funders do not control the direction or products produced in the project.”


  • http://n/a d.blanco

    Hi Marion, if you made one submission to this competition, what would it be?

  • http://findyourbalancehealth.com Michelle @ Find Your Balance

    Funny, I wonder if they’d really want to hear ideas from anyone who reads this blog. Or would those entries be conveniently…lost?

  • http://www.farmfoundation.org Mary Thompson

    Marion,

    Thank you for helping getting the word out on Farm Foundation’s 30-Year Challenge Competition. We appreciate any efforts to reach as broad an audience as possible. The issues are diverse and complex. It will take the thoughtful insights of all stakeholders to develop the most appropriate policies and strategies to address these challenges.

    Thank you also for linking to the Farm Foundation Web page, where details of the competition and the 30-Year Challenge project are posted. I am attaching a competition flyer which should address other questions you may have. If not, please feel free to call me (630-571-9393). I am also attaching the executive summary of The 30-Year Challenge report. The summary, and the full report, are also posted on our Web site.

    We welcome the opportunity to discuss the project with individuals and organizations. If you would be interested in a briefing, or know of groups that may be, please let me know.

    We take issue, however, with your description of Farm Foundation as an organization sponsored by producer groups.
    Farm Foundation has a 76-year history of objectivity. We do not lobby or advocate. The majority of our operational funds are from our endowment, which was created by our founders in 1933. We work with government agencies on cooperative agreements. We do an annual fund drive, seeking contributions from individuals, other NGOs, and companies who wish to support the Foundation’s work in providing comprehensive and objective information on timely issues impacting agriculture, food systems and rural communities. We also seek project-specific funding, as in the case of the 30-Year Challenge project. We recruit and accept third-party funding for specific projects only with the understanding that Farm Foundation leads and directs the project. Third-party funders do not control the direction or products produced in the project.

    We continue to carry out elements of the 30-Year Challenge project. At the same time, we recognize there are many other aspects of this project that need further work.. To help us complete this work, we welcome the financial support of all individuals and groups with interests in the long-term issues facing the food system. We would appreciate knowing of individuals, groups or organizations you feel would have an interest in supporting this important project.

    Thanks again for helping to promote the competition. We look forward to continued work with you in the future.

    Mary M. Thompson
    Director of Communications and Program Manager
    Farm Foundation
    mary@farmfoundation.org

  • http://www.farmfoundation.org Neil Conklin

    Michelle,

    At Farm Foundation we like to think of ourselves as a catalyst, promoting an honest, free discussion of the diverse and complex issues facing agriculture and the food system today. We drew several conclusions in our 30-Year Challenge project, but one stands out: We lack a clear strategy for meeting the challenges facing agriculture in the United States over the next 30 years. In other words, as a society we lack a common vision for agriculture. At Farm Foundation we believe that without a civil and broad reaching discussion where all stakeholders opinions are respected and heard we will be unable to develop the policies that agriculture and the food system need to deal with the challenges which lie before us. It is in this spirit that we announced a competition for innovative public policy ideas. We take our responsibility to all stakeholders seriously and would not have put our 75 year reputation for objectivity and credibility on the line if we did not want to encourage broad and diverse participation in this competition. I personally assure you that no entry will be lost.

    Farm Foundation is an independent, non-partisan, non-advocacy organization. Much of our support derives from our endowment, a legacy of our founders, Alexander Legge and Frank Lowden. The balance of our funding comes from our annual fund drive, cooperative agreements with government agencies, and contributions from other sponsors for projects like the 30 Year Challenge. We list our sponsors for this and other projects in the interest of transparency, but it is Farm Foundation not the sponsors that controls and directs the project.

    We are always ready to talk about the 30-Year Challenge and we welcome the support and participation of all those with an interest in the future of agriculture and the food system. Diverse ideas and opinions are critical to the debate. Let’s begin.

    Neil Conklin
    President, Farm Foundation