FEATURED ACTIVIST: Lindsey Lunsford
“I always had a vision of myself that I felt like I could get to if I just kept pushing. I thank God I had that spirit,” reminisced Lindsey Lunsford, Sustainable Food Systems Resource Specialist at Tuskegee University, one of the most distinguished historically black institutions. She works and studies as a PhD student for Tuskegee’s Carver Integrative Sustainability Center (CISC) under the university’s Cooperative Extension Program. CISC strives to increase the economy and sustainability of small farmers and their surrounding cooperatives and communities. Heralding the tradition of George Washington Carver, it serves as a resource to disperse holistic, easy-to-understand agricultural innovations as well as increase engagement between the government and farmers.
Lindsey’s part in it all?
“I link policy…with food systems.” She sees food systems as literal systems.
“It’s like a body, everything flows together, works together, but there are blockages.” Blockages that could be investigated in perspectives of production, processing, transportation, nutrition, consumption, and more. But, as a food system specialist, she understands the relationships between every piece of the puzzle, every organ in the body, and the way those pieces work together. “That is what is fueling the movement,” she explains, “because it’s people growing the food, people processing the food, transporting the food, marketing the food, so you’re dealing with food, but you’re also dealing with people.” Ultimately, people are critical components in making food systems benefit us all, which justifies how important they are when considering the effectiveness of our own local systems. With that in mind, she strives to connect how some people get food and others don’t, taking note on everything that comes in between.
FEATURED TOOL: Fellowships for Food Systems Professionals
Funding opportunities for professionals wishing to expand their horizons.
Applied Community & Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program, Illinois State University
The Applied Community & Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program at Illinois State University's Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development is a two-year fellowship program leading to a master's degree in Applied Economics, Political Science, or Sociology, each with an interdisciplinary sequence in Applied Community/Economic Development. Fellows complete one calendar year of on-campus study. During their professional practice internships in their second year, fellows receive community and economic development field experience in urban and rural communities. The ACED Fellows Program includes full tuition waivers, plus stipends for the graduate assistantship and internship.
BOOK REVIEW: Good Food, Strong Communities
Strong Book on Building Community Through Food
Review by Amy Crone, Maryland Farmers Market Association — originally published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD), volume 8, issue 4
A Review of Good Food, Strong Communities: Promoting Social Justice through Local and Regional Food Systems, edited by Steve Ventura and Martin Bailkey. (2017).
Published by University of Iowa Press. Available as paperback and ebook; 304 pages. Publisher’s website: https://www.uipress.uiowa.edu/books/ 9781609385439/good-food-strong-communities
Good Food, Strong Communities: Promoting Social Justice through Local and Regional Food Systems is a book borne out of the Community and Regional Food Systems (CRFS) project, which began in response to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) request for proposals regarding food insecurity. Guided by Wisconsin-based academic institutions, the CRFS has program participants in seven cities (Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Boston; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago; Detroit; and Los Angeles). While the book contains examples from all seven cities, it is primarily focused on efforts in the Midwest. I have participated in a number of such regional efforts, including food policy councils, and have both responded to and reviewed USDA proposals focused on food insecurity.
Read the full book review HERE.
New Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Major Announced at NC State University
Events and News From NAFSN's National Founding Partners
NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a new major program. The new Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems is a cross-departmental program offered through the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and Horticultural Science.