Gabrielle Blavatsky is a Senior Research and Policy Analyst for GRACE, where she writes about and researches food and agriculture issues, promotes program initiatives and contributes to strategy development and execution. Before joining GRACE, she was the policy associate at Wholesome Wave and head researcher on NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn's FoodWorks initiative. She began her work in the food policy arena in 2008 as farmers' market manager at GrowNYC. She holds a MPA in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy from New York University and BAs in Political Science and Sociology from University of California, Davis. Originally from San Francisco, Gabrielle now lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Calling all farmers market lovers! This month, the Farmers Market Coalition will be hosting its 3rd Annual Farmers Market Poster Contest. Anyone can enter - and the prize money will be awarded to the farmers market represented on the poster. Submissions are due Sunday, July 16th - so hurry up and get your designs in!
Last month, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced plans to significantly restructure the US Department of Agriculture - the first reorganization of the agency in 20 years. After the announcement, Perdue argued that the structural change at USDA will "elevate" the rural development agencies. NSAC and other sustainable agriculture groups disagree.
It's shocking to think that even in the richest country in the world, over 300,000 of our elderly Veterans who bravely defended our nation at home and abroad are unable to afford enough food to feed themselves or their families and suffering from diet related diseases. New York and several other states have begun to implement innovative local food programs to help low income Veterans access fresh, healthy food.
On May 11, Dr. Scott Gottlieb was sworn in as the 23rd Commissioner of Food and Drugs. As a medical policy expert and public health advocate, Gottlieb has worn many hats in the federal government over the past decade. Dr. Gottlieb also has many deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry - which he will now be regulating in his role at FDA.
The Senate recently confirmed Sonny Perdue as the next US Secretary of Agriculture. Less than a week into office he's already announced that he's rolling back Michelle Obama's signature initiative to create stricter nutrition standards for school lunches. Is this an indication of what's to come from USDA under the Trump Administration?
Congress will soon hold the first of many hearings to discuss what will be in the 2018 farm bill. If President Trump's skinny budget is any indication of what's to come, there may be a lot of critical food and farm programs cut from the bill. Here are some on the chopping block.