The Hagstrom Report | Food Not Feed Summit held in Washington

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Farm Action and a coalition of organizations representing agriculture, health, faith, academia, conservation, labor, and animal welfare co-hosted the Food Not Feed Summit on Tuesday in Washington.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., was the most prominent speaker, but there were other speakers and panels that provided critiques of U.S. agricultural policy and proposed fundamentally changing the direction of agricultural policy through the 2023 farm bill.

(Jerry Hagstrom / The Hagstrom Report photos)

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., addresses the Food Not Feed Summit. 

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., poses with his aide, Adam Zipkin, who has worked with him on agricultural policy since Booker was mayor of Newark.

Angela Huffman, an Ohioan who is vice president of Farm Action, greets attendees at the Food Not Feed Summit at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Washington.

Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group says that American farmers do not really feed the world because the United States grows only a small percentage of the world’s staple crops, most corn and soybeans go for feed and fuel and exports go to rich countries while the country imports an increasing percentage of fruits and vegetables.

From left, Mike Callicrate of Ranch Foods Direct in Colorado and Kansas, Phillip Barker of Operation Spring Plant in North Carolina, Donna Pearson McClish of Common Ground Producers and Growers in Wichita, Kan., and Bryn Bird of Bird’s Haven Farms in Ohio discuss “Successful Farms Feeding their Neighbors” with moderator Lena Brook of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

From left, Samantha Gasson of Bull City Farm and the Food Animal Concerns Trust in Durham, N.C., Tanner Faaborg of the 1100 Farmstead and the Transformation Project in Iowa and Sherri Dugger of the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project in Delaware discuss “The Industrial Agricultural Treadmill” with moderator Kara Shannon of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Alison Grantham of Growing Well Consulting, a New Jersey concern, explains the history of U.S. agricultural production and notes that immigration is an important issue in fruit and vegetable production.

Jake Davis of Local Roots Strategies tells summit attendees that when they go to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress they will have to compete with “a lot of folks walking the halls to preserve the status quo.”

Joe Maxwell, a Missouri farmer and president of Farm Action, thanks the service workers at the hotel and the rest of Washington and says, “It is a new day dawning. We will be at the table as this farm bill is debated and negotiated.”

Attendees at the Food Not Feed Summit listen to the speakers.