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Working with Diverse Communities: the Southwest

A glimpse into some of the most innovative Good Food programs in the Southwest.

Mar 18, 2010: Linking Diverse Communities Through Healthy Food: Examples from the Southwest


The Southwest US is a diverse and culturally rich region with many small farms, but it also has high rates of poverty and food insecurity.  Hear from innovative National Good Food Network Regional Lead Team projects in the Southwest that are linking diverse communities, supporting local economies, and increasing access to healthy food in ways that build on the region’s cultural traditions of the region.

Paula Garcia, Executive Director of the New Mexico Acequia Association will set the context by describing the cultural, social, and agricultural characteristics of the Southwest.

Don Bustos is Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee - New Mexico. A farmer himself (New Mexico farmer of the year in 2006), and board member of the National Immigrant Farming Initiative, Don has a deep understanding of how to support diverse farmers in attaining great success. Don will describe an innovative program that trains beginning farmers to provide food to the Albuquerque Public Schools. This comprehensive model, which involves everything from farm planning to aggregation networks, is being replicated in both rural and urban areas.

Pam Roy, Co-director of Farm to Table in New Mexico and regional Farm to School lead, is a leader and connector of good food programs in the Southwest. Pam will discuss how to create systems change by linking various elements, including on-the-ground food system work, infrastructure development, and state policy advocacy.  She also will address broader food access issues in the region, links with economic development, and the importance of networks in diverse communities.

Janie Hipp is currently a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the USDA in the Office of Tribal Relations, and has served in USDA in several other roles as well. Janie will speak about the USDA resources and grants available for work with Native Americans and other historically excluded and underserved populations.

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