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Food Policy Council News

Updated: Jan 11

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Winter 2024 (January)

A message from our Director:

We’re kicking off the new year in celebration and planning for both continuity and change. First, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve accomplished as a network over the past year—and we’ve done a lot! You can read about some of those collected highlights in the Featured Story below. I know there were many more achievements not captured, so send more our way—whether collaborator kudos or self-brag—and we’ll keep celebrating together!

Looking forward, we’re responding to new opportunities and continuing to build on what we’ve already done. The Farm Bill was extended into 2024, so we’re keeping up with state and national partners to continue advocating for our priorities. At the same time, each Food Policy Council (FPC) Committee is in the process of setting specific project goals for the year that relate to other policies. If you want to be involved in creating and carrying out the work plan for those goals, join a Committee on our Get Involved page (2024 meeting schedule to be announced soon).

I’m particularly excited about amplifying the voices of our members and wider network within the Steering Committee for our region’s climate action planning process, called ThriveTogether. The plan is funded by an EPA Climate Pollution Reduction grant, which is among several other large federal and state investments in collaborative climate action and resilient infrastructure (like these OH and KY programs). Please submit feedback and proposals for ThriveTogether now and as more features are added throughout the planning process.

We extend so much gratitude to the following outgoing FPC Council Members for their service as food systems leaders and supporters of our Committee teams: Garland Butts, Amanda Changet, Erin Dance, Maria Gulley, Morgan Phelps, and Ellen Sundermeyer. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be welcoming and onboarding six new Council Members, new Committee Members, and a new Backbone Support staff member. I can’t wait to see what we have to celebrate throughout 2024!

photo of a white woman with brown hair, smiling

Cheers, Maddie Chera, PhD Director, Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council


"Leadership, community connections, and equity for all are the powers of Green Umbrella on our Aiken Agriculture Career Tech Pathway. Organizing ‘people with purpose’ through Green Schoolyards, resilient food networks through the Farms and Land Use committee of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council, and advocacy of the Farm Bill, Green Umbrella is leading the way!"

- Aaron Parker, Agriculture Career Tech Pathway Educator, Aiken High School, Cincinnati Public Schools.


Featured Story

This seasonal fun isn’t just for your second cousin or your favorite old neighbor—we created a classic holiday newsletter sharing what we’ve been up to this past year. Through year-end grant-reporting processes and the much jollier year-end gatherings of our FPC Council Members and Committees, we pulled together a collection of the amazing highlights from 2023. Although not exhaustive, this fun report gives a sense of what we’ve accomplished together, both as the Food Policy Council and as a larger network of dedicated food systems advocates extending across the region.  

Other News


Upcoming Events

Featured Event: Feb. 15-17: Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association’s 45th Annual Conference (Newark, OH)

Ohio’s largest sustainable agriculture conference is three days full of live learning, shopping, sharing, and connecting with sustainable farmers, gardeners, and local food supporters. There will be sessions on policy and systems issues to complement the workshops and sessions on the nuts-and-bolts of farming, plus regional chapter meetings (there is a southwest Ohio chapter), and several FPC members attending. More info and online registration (early bird pricing ends THIS FRIDAY, Jan. 12).

More Events


Professional Opportunities

Featured Opportunity: Jan. 12: Proposals Due for the 11th Annual Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit - “From Vision to Action”

The event will feature a full day of programming with 80+ speakers, an exhibitor expo, an art show, breakfast, lunch, a networking reception, and more, right in downtown Cincinnati! Sessions will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Resilient Local Food Systems,

  • Healthy & Resilient Communities,

  • Government & Policy,

  • Green Workforce Development,

  • Emergency Preparedness, and

  • Healthy, High-Performing Infrastructure.

The deadline to submit proposals, art work, and award nominations is fast approaching: THIS FRIDAY, Jan. 12, so let’s get some good food systems representation in! Session proposals can be for 50-minute discussion panels, 50-minute interactive workshops, or 5-minute short talks that explore this year’s theme. Learn more, submit, and register now.

More opportunities & resources:


What We're Digesting

Edible Activist is a podcast about the Black food movement.”

- Dr. Francoise Knox-Kazimierczuk FPC Council Member and Facilitator of the Steering Committee; Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati; and Founder & CEO, WiseWoman Health Collective

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci. I really like reading about Italian culture and cuisine and all things Mediterranean ‘diet’."

- Amanda Changet

Outgoing FPC Council Member and Facilitator of the Institutions Committee; Community Impact Director, American Heart Association

What's something food-related (podcast, book, TV show, article, etc.) you recommend?

Do you have a must-read/-watch/-eat/etc. you want to share with fellow members? Email us with your suggestion for the chance to be included in our next newsletter!


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