My knowledge on food systems is limited; however, since my work began at the Rural Coalition earlier this month, I have been exposed to the policy side of food systems– a part that I had previously overlooked. At the Rural Coalition, we are constantly in communication with our member farmers and organizations, trying to understand and advocate for them on behalf of policy. When people think about the food system, I think they associate policy with disconnectedness–that is not the case. Obviously, I have only been truly exposed to one organization, an organization that has been nicknamed “the grassiest of grassroots,” yet our members are on the ground, listening to the member group’s needs and suggestions equally as often as they are drafting policy memos. It takes fervor and patience to be so intricately involved in a frustrating process with often minuscule results, yet to me, it is arguably the most integral part of the food system.
Here is a picture (not mine) of members at the Rural Coalition meeting with one of their member groups in Lancaster, MA. I think it shows the need for constant communication and collaboration between DC and rural farmers in order to instill effective, sustainable policy.