New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council
The New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council is a democratically based organization, composed of a variety of groups a
nd individuals working on issues arising from the food and agriculture systems. The Policy Council encourages representations from agriculture, health, human and social services, food related businesses and organizations, environment, education, economics, nutrition, transportation, and legal, such as but not limited to regional associations, land and water organizations, agriculture commodity organizations, small scale food industries and distributors, local farmers markets, grocers, cooperatives, restaurants, schools, recipients of food and agricultural programs and consumers. The Policy Council performs its work and activities in a collaborative manner. It brings forward to the public eye a discussion of these issues for more comprehensive examination. It educates and informs the public, those directly affected by food and agriculture programs, and public and legislative decision-makers about selected policy issues, openly arrived at by deliberations of its members. It advocates for these policy issues in a variety of forums and develops and disseminate viable policy recommendations and alternatives.
1) Focus on key food and agriculture policy issues and opportunities that are affected by government and legislation, 2) address top policy issues as priorities when set forth by the Council, and 3) strengthen advocacy among agencies, organization, individuals and communities for New Mexico food and agriculture.
The Purpose of the Policy Council is to: ? Broaden the discussion of issues to examine more comprehensively the food and agriculture systems and how federal, state and local government and public bodies shape the food system. ? Create a forum by which people and the public in conjunction with institutions involved in food and agricultural systems, including government, can meet to learn more about what each one does and consider how their actions impact other parts of the systems. ? Focus on food access, production, distribution, and consumption issues. ? Advocate for selected food and agricultural policy issues in various forums and venues. ? Strive to balance a safe, nutritious, affordable and adequate food supply for all New Mexicans that will prevent food insecurity and hunger. ? Strive for fair food and agricultural systems that supports the needs of producers and consumers economically, culturally, environmentally and socially.
The goals of the Policy Council are to: ? Develop, coordinate and implement a food system policy linking economic development, social and environmental impacts with farming, ranching and urban issues. ? Review and comment on proposed legislation and regulations that have an impact on food and agricultural systems and their security. ? Make recommendations to the executive and legislative branches of government on food and agriculture policy. ? Support the development of local markets for agricultural products such as school lunch programs and farmers’ markets by emphasizing the importance of New Mexico’s food production, and enable local purchasing of New Mexico’s farmers’ produce and products as a way to increase the agricultural economy.
? Establish an on-going educational program and projects for the public about food and agricultural systems based upon accurate facts and reliable reports and analyses. ? Promote the viability of local farming and ranching and the retention and recruitment of small farmers and ranchers in New Mexico. ? Be aware of and work to prevent food insecurity for families and children in New Mexico. ? Develop and support greater access for New Mexicans who are in need of nutritious foods at reasonable prices, in both rural and urban communities, and to be sensitive to cultural and traditional food preferences. ? Educate about and promote stewardship and conservation of land, water and resources.
Annual Committees: Policy and Legislative Issues Team Issues Committees
Food Security: Assess food insecurity in New Mexico and who the Council can work with in
support of food security in the state. Develop educational materials addressing the issue. Recruitment and Retention of Farmers and Ranchers: Expand formal education programs for farmers (including new farmers) in collaboration with New Mexico State University and research methods to improve access to capitol for farmers and ranchers.
Environmental Stewardship: Strengthening the Connection Between Good Stewardship and Healthy Food: Linking good land and water stewardship with environmental
issues, the creation of healthy food, and educating the public about these issues. Health: Work with the State Department of Education, agencies and organizations providing agriculture and food education, to integrate agriculture/nutrition education into the schools for all students, make agriculture a high school elective, and encourage community school gardens along with curriculum design. Preserving Cultural/Historical Land Use Issues: Educate community leaders, community members, and farmers and ranchers, about the advantages and disadvantages of transfer of development rights and conservation easements as land stewardship tools, draft a Memorial recognizing the historical and cultural significance of agriculture in New Mexico, and work on public land issues.
Tribal Issues: The health and well being of our Native American communities.
Agency Representatives *
Governing Board: Dan Schuster, Chair, Farmer James Jordan, Vice Chair, NM School Food Service Association Kari Bachman, Secretary, Nutritionist, NM State University* John O’Connell, Treasurer, NM Environment Department* Clark de Schweinitz, Attorney, New Mexico Legal Services Cecilia McCord, Farmer, Rio Grande Farmland Trust Jeff Bader, Bernalillo County Director, Co-op Extension Service* Craig Mapel, Marketing Specialist, NM Dept. of Agriculture* Pam Roy, Co-Director, Farm to Table Corrine Lovato, retired, NM Public Education Pauline Raia, NM Food and Nutrition Bureau * Paul Stout, NM Wheat Growers Association and Rocky Mountain Farmers’ Union Dale Petty, New Mexico Farmers’ Union
The NM Food and Agriculture Policy Council is made up of organizations, agencies, and individuals who represent agriculture, health, human and social services, food related businesses and organizations, environment, education, economics, nutrition, transportation, and legal, such as but not limited to regional associations, land and water organizations, agriculture commodity organizations, small scale food industries and distributors, local farmers markets, grocers, cooperatives, restaurants, schools, recipients of food and agricultural programs and consumers.
3900 Paseo del Sol, Santa Fe, NM 87507 Phone: 505-473-1004 Fax: 505-424-1144