Calling themselves a "highly and remarkably broad group of farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, environmentalists, nutritionists and other experts" the group AGree has issued recommendations that call for far-reaching changes to federal policy and private-sector action. Their recommendations focus on a creating a major shift in how conservation of working landscaptes is undertaken and funded toward watershed-scale partnership approaches.
According to Deborah Atwood, executive director, AGree: "AGree's consensus recommendations will serve as roadmaps for action. For three years, AGree has focused on achieving consensus. With wide-ranging and often divergent points of view around the table, it has been a long, at times difficult, but very fruitful journey. AGree will now focus on implementation and advocacy."
The group moves ahead this week with its initiative-focused and partner-driven effort. Each initiative will work on a key dimension of the food and agriculture system and tackle specific areas of concern. This initiative, given its diverse makeup, could impact future policy in new ways.
To inform its work, AGree convened more than a thousand leaders in food, agriculture and related sectors and published a considerable body of research and white papers to advance understanding on critical issues.
"Through substantial engagement and dialogue across a wide variety of interests, AGree has achieved consensus. We offer a compelling vision for the future of food and agriculture in the U.S. and around the world, as well as a range of strategies and recommendations to achieve it," said Dan Glickman, AGree Co-Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
The AGree initiatives launched this week include Working Landscapes: Achieving Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Outcomes; Food & Nutrition: Cultivating Healthy Communities; and, International Development: Promoting Development through Food and Agriculture. Immigration Reform: Achieving a Stable, Legal Workforce was launched earlier this year.
AGree is planning two major events later this month to launch its new initiatives. On November 18, AGree is holding a public forum, "A Better Path from Farm to Fork: Policy Solutions for the Future of Food," co- hosted with National Geographic at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. This event will be followed by a reception in the National Geographic Museum, featuring the new exhibit, Food: Our Global Kitchen. The following day, AGree will host a Partners Forum, also in Washington, D.C., attended by leaders from more than 100 organizations.