Why Farming for the Future Matters to You!

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September Webinar

Pam Hess

Thursday, September 14

8:00 PM to 9:30 PM

To watch on Zoom, please register here.

To watch on Unitarian Universalist’s for a Just Economic Community’s Facebook page, click here.

Pamela Hess, Executive Director, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture

I will talk a little bit about the farm bill — and about an alternative farm bill proposed by Earl Blumenauer every year — but my strength is talking about the food system as it is, and how we are trying to make it more equitable and more sustainable. Before the layman can assess the farm bill, they need to understand the weaknesses (and strengths) of the current ag system.

Formerly a career national security journalist, Pam covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002 to 2007. After a brief foray into national politics as a communications director on Capitol Hill, Pam returned to her first love: food and sustainable farming.

In 2011, she took the helm of a local food and wine magazine that celebrated the sustainable food movement in the Capitol Foodshed, and in the course of it, met and fell for Arcadia. To see more, click here and scroll down.

Farming for our Future:

Systemic Changes for the Climate Crisis

Tuesday, September 26

to Thursday, September 28

9:30 AM to 4:00pm PM

All Souls Church

1500 Harvard Street

Washington, DC

To register for the conference, please click here.

The Farm Bill addresses food quality, soil, water waste and contamination, food deserts, equity, and conservation. If you eat food, you care about the farm bill.

WHO: UUs and others interested in the Farm Bill—that is, anyone who eats!—and can travel to the nation’s capital to learn about the many issues, what constitutes a fair farm bill,

WHAT: speakers, advocacy training, breakouts for strategy, in-person advocating, and even some music, religious inspiration, and, of course, networking and camaraderie

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 26, and Wednesday, Sept. 27,10-4 and 7-9; Thurs., Sept. 28, 9:30-4.

WHERE: Sept. 26 and 27, All Souls Church Unitarian; Sept. 28th, luggage drop and debrief at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church; gather for lobbying at Capitol Visitor Center, Room 209

WHY: The Farm Bill is a “once-in-5-years” opportunity to affect our food system, from farm to distribution to subsidies at all steps from sowing seed to cleaning the table. Agriculture provides more than 11% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA. Many “special interests” make themselves heard: what about family farmers and everyday eaters? We want a fair farm bill to support family farms, not mega farms (they do fine on their own!), that ensures those who need SNAP (formerly food stamps) are able to access funds, that farmers who want to use more regenerative, organic farming methods are able to do so. Do you have a pet part of the Farm Bill? Do you know about the “marker bills” that can be folded into the final bill, and do you have a favorite to support? (If not, you may well have one by Wednesday afternoon!)


  • Karyn Bigelow, Creation Justice Ministries.
  • Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group.
  • Joe Van Wye, Farm Action.
  • Madison Mayhew, Interfaith Power & Light.
  • Loyd Wright, USDA (ret.)

Jim Scott’s music Tuesday evening!


GETTING AROUND: We recommend using the Metro & buses rather than renting a car—parking in a major city is never great, and All Souls Church does not have its own parking lot.

Nearest Metro stops: All Souls Church: Columbia Heights; both St. Mark’s and Visitor Center: Capitol South. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

EATING: Lunches will be provided; primarily plant-based, but special needs will be taken into account—let us know when you register. We’ll have something “breakfast-snacky” at opening each day, and pastries and coffee/tea at the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. Dinners are on your own—we’ll suggest some restaurants, and maybe some folks will join up for group dinners.

LODGING: There are many options in the Washington, D.C. area; we’ll curate a list and post it on our site.

We extend our appreciation to the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program for supporting this event through its Fund for Social Responsibility. For details and registration link, click here.