S-D10 Transforming Food and Agricultural Policy

Since 2011, AGree has engaged more than 2,000 of the best minds in food and agriculture to develop consensus recommendations that will drive positive change. Areas of focus include research, immigration reform, next generation leadership, food and nutrition, local food, international development, working landscapes, and risk management.

This session will focus on how AGree is working with diverse partners to elevate food and agriculture as a national priority, engage producers and the supply chain to implement cooperative conservation projects in Minnesota watersheds, integrate federal data to better inform decision-making, link food and nutrition initiatives to health, and support local food enterprises that deliver important economic development and food access benefits in communities across the country. Hear from AGree leadership about work in 2016 and beyond.


  • Heather Lair, Senior Mediator, Meridian Institute


  • Daniel Glickman, Co-Chair, AGree and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
  • Kathleen Merrigan, Co-Chair, AGree; Executive Director of Sustainability, George Washington University; and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
  • Jim Moseley, Co-Chair, AGree and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture


Heather Lair serves as Chief of Staff to the AGree Initiative which is housed at Meridian. Heather supported the development of recommendations across AGree’s eight initiatives and manages the team that is implementing specific projects and AGree’s platform as a trusted convener on diverse issues facing food and agriculture. Other recent Meridian work has focused on African agriculture and food systems and community and regional resilience. Prior to joining Meridian, Heather worked at the University of Maryland’s Office of Sustainability as a facilitator of campus partnerships, where she focused on climate and energy-efficiency strategies. She holds an MBA and an MS in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan. 202-674-5034 hlair@merid.org

Dan Glickman is a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, and Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), among other senior leadership roles. Dan is a tireless advocate for rethinking food and agriculture policy, particularly the role of the U.S. research enterprise in solving tough challenges facing the food and agriculture system – climate change, drought, water quality, pests, nutrition, etc. He is also passionate about the global food security implications of U.S. foreign assistance and frequently testifies before Congress. Dan represented Kansas’ 4th Congressional District for 18 years and served as a member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. 202-390-3994 pat.walton@aspeninst.org

Jim Moseley has played key roles in developing public policy regarding agriculture, the environment, and natural resources conservation at the state and national levels. For example, in 1997 Jim served as Chairman and lead negotiator of the industry team for the National Pork Producers Council’s National Pork Dialogue. The dialogue was a nationwide effort to improve the environmental performance of pork operations. Jim’s leadership with AGree has focused on productivity, profitability, and environmental outcomes. He has been instrumental in developing AGree’s model for producer-led cooperative conservation at the watershed level to improve water quality, soil health, and profitability that is currently being piloted in Minnesota. 765-714-6404 jmose74@earthlink.net

Kathleen Merrigan created and led the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative at USDA to support local food systems and was a key architect of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. Before joining USDA, Kathleen held a variety of agriculture policy positions, including faculty member at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, and senior staff on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where she wrote the law establishing national standards for organic food. Kathleen’s leadership with AGree has focused on research, nutrition, and local food. 202-994-0500 kmerrigan@gwu.edu; kylemcgowan@gwu.edu

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