a UN Food System Summit & Sourcing Matters miniseries

Together, the UN Food Systems Summit and Sourcing Matters launch their new and thought-provoking podcast series, Laying Down Tracks.

This inspiring 8-part miniseries, led by Aaron Niederhelman, will feature world experts on issues related to world hunger, malnutrition, climate change, and much more. Focused on the real experiences of rolling out the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, each episode will bring forward solutions through motivating discussions.

We are laying down tracks to head into a new world where our food systems mean prosperity for people and the planet.  Listen now to Laying Down Tracks (LDTs) to learn how you, too, can help save our planet.


EPISODE FOUR:


Equitable Livelihoods, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Host: Aaron Niederhelman, Sourcing Matters podcast
Co-host: Dr Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Lead of the Summit’s Gender Lever of Change
Guest: Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, the Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at World Fish, and 2021 World Food Prize Laureate.

What better way to mark World Oceans Day then listening to episode 4 of Laying Down Tracks? This week’s episode brings a fascinating discussion about planet, gender equality, and how we can best engage with the Ocean. “We need women’s voices and leadership to be prominent in food systems. It’s the only way to guarantee that food systems are just. I’ve been working as the custodian for gender equality…working with all of the Action Track leaders…to make sure that gender equality, the empowerment of women, is embedded in these solutions,” says Dr. Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Lead of the Summit’s Gender Lever of Change, who joins Aaron as co-host in this conversation about equitable livelihoods, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Aquatic foods in the future can become a key forum for equality and inclusion. Guest in this episode, Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, The Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at World Fish, and 2021 World Food Prize Laureate, explains how she hopes that winning the Food Prize will inspire young women and girls to study science: “It is extremely rewarding, extremely invigorating-you can reach far – and you can have a good time!” she says.

Listen to this conversation on gender equality, and women empowerment within the aquatic food economy as we continue to Lay Down Tracks to the UN Food Systems Summit.

https://www.un.org/en/food-systems-summit/laying-down-tracks

www.SourcingMatters.show



credits: 


 

a UN Food System Summit & Sourcing Matters miniseries

Together, the UN Food Systems Summit and Sourcing Matters launch their new and thought-provoking podcast series, Laying Down Tracks.

This inspiring 8-part miniseries, led by Aaron Niederhelman, will feature world experts on issues related to world hunger, malnutrition, climate change, and much more. Focused on the real experiences of rolling out the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, each episode will bring forward solutions through motivating discussions.

We are laying down tracks to head into a new world where our food systems mean prosperity for people and the planet.  Listen now to Laying Down Tracks (LDTs) to learn how you, too, can help save our planet.


EPISODE THREE:


Nature-Based Production

Host: Aaron Niederhelman, Sourcing Matters podcast
Co-host: Joao Campari, Global Leader of the WWF’s Food Practice and Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 3
Guest: Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean

‘Laying Down Tracks’ ep.3:

The oceans and their coastal areas are an essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem hosting between 500,000 and 10 million species that provide a wide range of ecosystem services. “We cannot have a healthy planet without healthy oceans, and in any global discussion on biodiversity the ocean must be front-and-centre,” explains Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, who is a guest on this episode, co-hosted by Joao Campari, Global Leader of the WWF’s Food Practice and Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 3.

Approximately 3 billion people in the world rely on wild-caught and farmed seafood as a primary source of protein, while at the same time agriculture uses up 38 percent of the global land surface. Whether on land or at sea, we are using up our precious resources and destroying others that can help us recover like biodiversity. With only nine more harvests remaining on a promise to meet the SDGs by 2030, it is important we find the right balance both for the health of our planet but also for the health of people everywhere.

Listen to this conversation on nature-based solutions and the blue economy as we continue to Lay Down Tracks to the UN Food Systems Summit.



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Ep. 94: Han de Groot – CEO, Rainforest Alliance,  -ft. cohost: Mike Bellamente – fmr. Executive Director of Climate Counts  ||

For Sourcing Matter ep. 94 we welcome Han de Groot, CEO of Rainforest Alliance.  The ‘Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal’ is awarded to farms, forests, and businesses that meet rigorous environmental and social standards.  Rainforest Alliance operates in 60 countries all over the globe with focus on certifying in five program areas: 1) Sustainable forestry certification, 2) Sustainable agriculture certification, 3) Crop standards and criteria, 4) Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal, 5) Sustainable tourism.
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In our 45 minute discussion we learn just how consumers can make accurate and just buy decisions in an increasingly noisy world.  Hear Han’s empowerment message to us all: as environmentalists – we use our dollars to vote for the planet through the food we buy.   As more trusted scientific resources explain it’ll much comes down to the agriculture systems we employ to feed ourselves moving forward, being an environmentalist 3-times daily is a strong rallying cry which has yet to be fully exercise in diverse food categories. The time seems now.
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Han has dedicated his career to sustainable development. After studying economics at the University of Wageningen, he worked for more than 12 years at Oxfam Novib, eventually leading the organization’s work in Eastern and Southern Africa. In 1998 Han joined the Dutch government. From 2005 to 2010, he held various positions at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, including Deputy Director for Nature. Joining as co-host in episode 94 is Mike Bellamente. Mike invested many years helming Gary Hirshberg’s environmental accountability organization.  As former Executive Director at Climate Counts Mike gained traction and the attention of huge brands, and over 20K high-impact followers.  Bellamente lead this third-party certifier of Green/Sustainable corporate practice into the mainstream – via the wallets and ideology of consumers who care.  Mike now uses his developing company ‘Naked Bullfrog’ to empower more consumer engagement throughout their local & regional communities.
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It’s been proven; “Natural Climate Solutions” are our cleanest, most pragmatic, and most cost effective way forward.  Investing in what Jeremy Grantham has coined as “Natural Capital” – the regenerative soils, tree health, clean oceans, and biodiversity through a paradigm shift in land management is where mankind can be a catalyst in climate stability.  Bringing that to the market through something as intimate to us as the food we eat is where Han and team play.   As more of us adopt this power to vote with the dollars we spend, I have great hope for what we can all do through food to invest in healthy body and planet.

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@RnfrstAlliance



co-host:

Mike Bellamente

  • Former Executive Director of Climate Counts
  • Dir. @ Green Alliance, and owner of Naked Bullfrog
  • Ethisphere’s list of 100 most influential people in business ethics

 

Naked Bullfrog – primer Video

 

Ep. 91: Benedikt Bösel – Managing Director & Proprietor of Schlossgut Alt Madlitz – Germany ||

For episode 91 of Sourcing Matters we welcome Benedikt Bösel, the Managing Director and Proprietor of Schlossgut Alt Madlitz in Brandenburg, Germany.
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Through regenerative food production and forestry management; through hunting excursions and land stewardship initiatives; through a royal bed & breakfast and restaurant – Bösel offers patrons a unique experience dedicated to capturing and sharing the vitality found in nature’s systems.  Since Benedikt has taken the reins of this 7500 acre estate located 1 hour east of Berlin – it’s become an Agtech innovation hot-bed, and an epicenter for testing / implementing Regenerative Natural Resource Management at scale.
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What we learn in this 45 minute discussion is that Benedikt Bösel is diversifying and innovating on his family’s iconic German estate through investing in the future.  A regenerative future which marries and harmonizes with natural systems for maximum benefit to us, to the planet and to all of its co-inhabitants.
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Joining in on the conversation is good friend of the show Renée Vassilos, a Dutch-American Agricultural Economist who has spent over fifteen years in the production agriculture space.  Her work experience includes time spent with the USDA, she has started her own consultancy to help investors and Agtech companies, she spent  nearly a decade with John Deere; much of that time in Beijing.   Renée has recently joined The Nature Conservancy as their Agriculture Innovation Director.  She’ll manage TNC’s investments in early stage agtech companies that will support regenerative agriculture production – at scale.
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TuneIn to hear more about what regenerative really looks like. Both the opportunities and the challenges. Hear how when empowered to be better stewards of the land, we can tackle many of the biggest problems facing us in generations to come. Benedikt and Renée are our future, TuneIn to hear their positive POV on what’s in store.

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@AltMadlitz

 

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co-host:

Renée Vassilos

  • Agricultural Economist
  • The Nature Conservancy  Ag Innovation Director
  • past portfolio manager: Deere China
  • Bilingual Dutch / American citizen 

Full bio: 

Renée Vassilos is a Dutch-American Agricultural Economist who has spent over fifteen years in the production agriculture space.  Her work experience includes time spent with the USDA, she has started her own consultancy to help investors and Agtech companies, she spent  nearly a decade with John Deere; much of that in Beijing.  

Renée has recently joined The Nature Conservancy as their Agriculture Innovation Director.  She will manage TNC’s investments in early stage agtech companies that will support regenerative agriculture production – at scale.

Ep. 90: Daisy Freund, Senior Director of Farm Animal Welfare @ ASPCA ||

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76% of consumers are concerned about the welfare of animals raised for food. For episode 90 we welcome Daisy Freund – Sr. Director of Food Animal Welfare at ASPCA – to discuss her work set on improving the health, treatment and living conditions of farm animals.

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Earlier this year the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal) launched the ‘Shop with your Heart‘ platform – a service designed for consumers to created a more humane world for farm animals.  Just recently, Daisy and her team delivered another tech tool that will continue to empower consumer choice as a change agent in food and ethical behavior.  The ASPCA ‘ShopKind Helpline‘ is a text-based service to ask questions about farm animal welfare and food labels.   You actually get a text response with answers from an expert re: what to buy and where: www.ASPCA.org/ShopWithYourHeart

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As you’ll hear, Daisy is on a mission to harmonize the interests of consumers, advocates and business through her programs.  In our 40 minute conversation we learn more about how these new consumer facing platforms can be used in your day-to-day.  We discover what drove the ASPCA to include farm animals in their focus – along with companion animals.  We hear about Daisy’s background and influences which has lead her to tackle these big problems facing our society today.  We also learn how we can take these concerns mainstream – and with what partners. And, we hear how this effort to drive change through empowerment may just be our best path forward in finding shared solutions for diverse stakeholders in food.
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If you’re an eater; if you’re a lover of animals; if you’re a concerned citizen or community member – TuneIn to hear about some exciting advancements in the world of food production.

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follow: 

@DaisyFreund

@ASPCA

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Ep. 89: Kevin Murphy, former CEO & President to Driscoll’s fresh berries Enterprises ||

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On episode 89 we welcome Kevin Murphy, former CEO of California-based fresh berry company – Driscoll’s.  Murphy has 30 years of business and agriculture experience. Kevin joined Driscoll’s, the world leader in fresh berries with operations in over 20 countries, in 2007 and rose to President and CEO. Prior to Driscoll’s he was at Capurro Farms where he served for three years as President. For roughly 15 years, Kevin was with Fresh Express from its early inception to its acquisition. During that period he held various jobs that included heading up strategic planning, marketing and operations for the company.
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Most recently, Murphy has become an advocate for the farmers he spent three decades working arm in arm.  Since stepping down at Driscoll’s – Kevin has decided to take on the issue of undocumented workers in agriculture head on.  In a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Murphy explained that American farmers desperately need immigration reform.  The editorial teased the readers with a subtitle – “will migrant workers produce our food here or somewhere else?”  What’s great about it – in this WSJ piece Murphy doesn’t lament over the problems.  Instead, he lays out a three step plan to reform immigration in this country beginning from our ground zero – the fields that produce what sustains us and our families everyday.

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In our 50 minute conversation we go deep into Murphy’s three-step plan for immigration reform.  We discuss how that will impact the American farmer and consumer.  We learn how this approach in agriculture could very well be the proving grounds for a much grander solution for immigration reform for the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country now, and the volumes more set to arrive in generations to come.  We learn how Kevin’s background as an immigrant to the US has offered him unique insight into the issues, and the solutions.  And, we hear how his formidable years dealing with apartheid in South Africa with his work throughout California agriculture has matriculated into him becoming a champion for the underrepresented and the marginalized.
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Want to know what’s really going on with immigration in this country – then turn to your food.  Start to peel back the layers and get some of the backstory of where your sustenance is actually coming from and whose hands are getting dirty in the process.  Need a crash course on how to reassess this? Where to begin being part of a solution for the future – then TuneIn to our conversation with food system reformer Kevin Murphy.
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Ep. 87: Sara Eckhouse – Executive Director, FoodShot Global ||

On episode 87 of Sourcing Matters we welcome the Executive Director of FoodShot Global – Sara Eckhouse. Launched in Fall of 2018, FoodShot Global is an investment platform aimed at accelerating food system transformation through an annual challenge – a call for “Moonshots for Better Food” that will create a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable food system worldwide. FoodShot is a global consortium of world-class partners, including mission-aligned venture funds, banks, corporations, universities, and foundations. Together FoodShot will award up to $10 million in equity and up to $20 million in debt funding to innovative businesses.
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As Senior Advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sara Eckhouse focused on local and regional food systems, organic agriculture, and healthy food access. Sara launched and managed programs to support sustainable agriculture, and she has firsthand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of combining sustainability with profitability in food value chains.
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During our 45 minute discussion we review the goals and objectives of this innovative financing forum. We learn of some of the recipients of funding, and of the Foodshot Groundbreaker award – a prize-pool of $500,000 in philanthropic capital awarded to researchers, social entrepreneurs and advocates in the regenerative food space. We hear why Sara decided to take on this role at Foodshot Global after being an Obama Administration political appointee who for five years influenced US product differentiation.
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Joining as cohost is Jay Vilar – founder, and a practitioner at ‘Nourish’ – a bespoke consulting company with a mission to educate, teach, and train people on the benefits of using food to heal your body and optimize your health.  Located in Boston and Washington, DC – Jay has always been on the forefront of using optimal health techniques, and bio-hacking his nutrition to achieve remarkable results in his career.
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Tunein to hear what it takes to make food and its production the next moonshot to save the planet.

 

 



co-host:

Jay Vilar

  • Founder of Nourish
  • A focus on Nutritional Therapy
  • Rodale Institute Fellow
  • Host of  ‘listen to your mother’ show

@twitter


Ep. 85: Greg Horner, Greg Horner Consulting – Profiles in Land and Management Series ||

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As we contemplate a future where land management is an important part of addressing climate change (as the IPCC Report suggests), we can’t overlook the vast acres of US public lands.  These acres need to be resilient to the stresses of climate change, and we also have an opportunity to manage them in ways that increase their ability to store carbon.  By shifting our management of these lands to prioritize soil health, we can achieve multiple benefits for the climate, the water cycle, and biodiversity.
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Using adaptive grazing is one important strategy to increase the soil health of our public grasslands and rangelands. For episode 85 of Sourcing Matters, consultant Greg Horner discusses his recent work interviewing innovative public land managers across the US about their use of adaptive grazing as a tool to improve soil health, restore ecosystem function, and increase biodiversity.  While these agency staff are increasing soil health, they are also increasing soil carbon and making the land they manage more resilient to climate change.
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But wait, cows are bad for the climate, right?  And grazing is damaging to public lands? 

The current state of scientific knowledge suggests a more complex reality: while cattle in feedlots (where most beef comes from) have a high carbon footprint, well-managed cattle on pasture can be carbon-negative, sequestering more carbon in the soil than they produce in methane (White Oak Pastures Life Cycle Assessment – PDF). By accelerating soil health and soil-building efforts, adaptive grazing can be an important strategy for improving ecological outcomes on public and private lands.
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While grazing can absolutely damage public lands, it is not the cattle that are responsible but the human managers.  Like a hammer, grazing is a tool that can be used to tear things down or build them up.  With careful management, adaptive grazing can provide the disturbance that a landscape needs to function properly, recreating the historical impact of herds of wild grazers, stimulating grass growth, and providing a landscape that promotes a diversity of plants and animals.
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In partnership with TomKat Ranch, the McKnight Foundation and others, Greg created a series of profiles of public land managers who are redefining the value of grazing on public lands.  Instead of using continuous grazing, most of these managers are moving cattle frequently, providing intense impact in small areas and then moving on to new areas and letting the grass recover without being re-grazed.  These managers report multiple benefits, from better forage quality and quantity to an extended growing season, from increased bird or tiger salamander populations to reduced erosion and increased water infiltration.  These managers are building soil carbon for a variety of reasons, and their stories are an inspiration.

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TuneIn to our 40 minute discussion for a better understanding of our role in proper management of public lands for the future.
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@GregoryHorner

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Summary prepared by Greg Horner

 

 



Ep. 81: John Piotti, CEO & President of American Farmland Trust, Washington D.C. ||

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On episode 81 of Sourcing Matters we welcome John Piotti of American Farmland Trust.  American Farmland Trust (AFT) is an organization that works to protect and conserve farmland throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C, – AFT is staffed and governed by farmers, policy experts, researchers and scientists.  With the call to action of “Join the Movement”, “Save a Family Farm”, and “Stay Informed” – American Farmland Trust seeks to engage diverse stakeholders in evaluating: What will happen to the nation’s food supply if we continue to wastefully develop our best farm & ranch land?
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By the late 1970s, Peggy Rockefeller, a passionate farmer and active philanthropist, had become frustrated that none of the major environmental or agricultural organizations were effectively applying the emerging tools of land conservation to agriculture. She pulled together a brain trust to explore what could be done. This first-of-its-kind analysis of how and why America was losing farmland had recently been completed by USDA and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. The group recognized the serious threat posed by farmland loss and concluded that our nation needed a new kind of organization, one that stood at the intersection of agriculture and the environment. It would take a unique and highly innovative organization to operate effectively in this previously unexplored realm. But there was clearly a void that needed to be filled. They formally chartered American Farmland Trust in 1980.
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John Piotti joined American Farmland Trust as president and CEO in July 2016, bringing more than 25 years of executive management and public policy experience to the organization.  Prior, John served as president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust for 10 years. Under his leadership, Maine Farmland Trust became an award-winning statewide nonprofit organization, helping over 500 Maine farms remain viable. Piotti has earned a reputation as a nonpartisan problem-solver; as a Statesman, an Eisenhower Fellow – and – as a leader in future food that has helped stabilize a regional dairy industry, and procure funding to protect working waterfronts & our natural lands. John holds three degrees from the MIT, in engineering, public policy, and management.
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TuneIn to our 50 minute conversation to hear more about how the practice of American Farmland Trust has now cast over 6,500,000 acres of farmland in the United States into perpetual conservation.  With John’s focus on conservation (regenerative) agriculture practice of these lands, and more  – AFT will remain a pillar in American farmland access, and its management for the foreseeable future.

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@FARMLAND

 

 

 



 

Ep. 79: Shannon Algiere – farmer liaison manager, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture  – ft. co-host Jennifer Hashley, founder of New Market Farming project ||

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On episode 79 we welcome Shannon Algiere – farmer liaison manager at Stone Barns Center. Shannon has taught at Nature Centers, volunteered as a ranger for the Costa Rica National Park Service, managed a biodynamic greenhouse operation and helped develop a 60-member market farm in Connecticut.  Shannon first came to the Stone Barns Center in 2003 with her husband, Jack, and has played many roles on the farm, most recently flower and herb manager. Shannon now employs her extensive farming and mentorship experience to facilitate educational engagement, assisting in the design of a dynamic and impactful farm connection for visitors, aspiring farmers and students.

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Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture was developed by David Rockefeller and dedicated to the memory of his wife, Peggy Rockefeller. The Stone Barns Center’s mission is to demonstrate, teach and promote sustainable, community-based food production. Open to visitors of all ages but with an emphasis on K-12 education, the Center offers a unique experience: a chance to learn about farming firsthand on a real working farm within a 30-minute drive of New York City. Livestock, chickens, vegetables, gardens, greenhouses a learning facility and cultural center demonstrate to the public the advantages of local, community-based farming and environmentally sensitive agricultural practices.  The Center is also home to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a four star restaurant that offers guests a taste of the farm and of the Hudson Valley.

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TuneIn to our 40 minute conversation to hear about the future of farming, its workforce, our connection with food and how we can all be a part moving forward.

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@StoneBarns

 



co-host:

Jennifer Hashley

  • Founder of Tufts New Entry Sustainable farming project 
  • Owner of Pete & Jen’s backyard birds
  • Evangelist | Activist| Innovator
  • Eisenhower Fellow 2016

@JHashley