Arizona Food & Agriculture Advisory Council
The Director of the Department of Agriculture has appointed members representing four distinct vocations to the Arizona Food & Agriculture Advisory Council that will serve at the discretion of the Director. The Director shall consult with and take advice from the Council on matters before the Council and that impact the work of the Council.
Members will represent agriculture, emergency food providers, economic development and food equity groups within Arizona, with no more than four members representing Maricopa County entities. Each will serve five-year terms (initial members will serve staggered terms).
The Advisory Council shall meet no less than three times per year and facilitate the implementation of a five-year roadmap to creating a healthier Arizona created at the Arizona Food Summit. The Council shall also provide an annual progress report to the Director for distribution. The Council may create subcommittees and other supporting groups to work on priority areas and will have support from staff at the Department of Agriculture.
- Nikki Bagley (Yavapai County) - Director of Viticulture, Yavapai College
- Paul Brierley (Yuma County) - Executive Director, Yuma Center for Excellence for Desert Agriculture
- The Honorable Charlene Fernandez (Yuma County) - State Representative, Legislative District 4
- Juliana Davies (Maricopa County) - Program Coordinator, Arizona Nutrition Network/SNAP-Ed
- Leslie Fox (Yavapai County) - Manager, Verde Valley Farmer's Market
- Sine Kerr (Maricopa County) - Farmer, Kerr Dairy
- David Martinez III (Maricopa County) - Advocacy & Outreach Specialist, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance
- Erich Schultz (Maricopa County) - Owner/Farmer, Steadfast Farm & Chairman, Arizona Small Scale Farmer's Alliance
- The Honorable T.J. Shope (Pinal County) - State Representative, Legislative District 8 & Co-Owner, Shope's IGA Supermarket
- Liz Taylor (Coconino County) - Advisory, Flagstaff Foodlink
Five-Year Roadmap to a Healthier Arizona
The Arizona Food & Agriculture Advisory Council will facilitate the implementation of a five-year roadmap to creating a healthier Arizona created at the Arizona Food Summit. The initial roadmap is as follows:
How do we bolster Arizona's emergency food network?
- Leverage public-private funding to improve the supply, processing, and distribution (food hubs) from Arizona-based producers to supplemental food providers.
- The food hubs will support community-based food economies by decentralizing and customizing regionally to better serve rural communities, and connect economic and job opportunities.
- Increase access to nutrition education and food literacy to empower healthy food and economic choices that maximizes household budgets.
- Improve child nutrition by increasing local and nutritious food access at community-driven locations serving families.
How do we create an equitable food system?
- Improve and promote educational attainment at all levels including teaching skills in gardening, empowering people to grow their own food, and attracting youth to farming and ag-related business.
- Bring together all agriculture to collect and disseminate to all farmers and co-ops the best business practices and models including and maximizing production, efficiency, and minimizing waste using technology and improved communications like a central resource.
- From an equity perspective and with a culturally-sensitive frame, raise awareness and community engagement – especially among decision-makers – on all aspects of the food system and the roots causes of food inequities.
What are long-term food security solutions through economic development?
- Integrate all agriculture into one statewide, community-based food economy to create sustainable economic development.
- Create, support, and promote “Arizona Grown” and local-food economies by encouraging local spending and non-profit grocery/co-op models.
- Provide and support technical assistance for agriculture-related businesses for access to capital resources and start-up operations.
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