Using funding from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Texas A&M's Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture (IHA) plans to partner over the next 18 months with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to garner expert and leader opinions on developing a national roadmap on responsive agriculture priorities.

Supporting health through nutrition while ensuring the system is economically robust and environmentally stable is at the heart of responsive agriculture.

The IHA is seeking experts and leaders to serve on three committees with a focus on chronic disease reduction, agricultural ecosystems and agriculture-food value chain, and securing nutrition equity. According to a release, “The intent is to bring together experts who may not traditionally routinely interact or work collaboratively, yet collectively hold the synergistic and unique potential to advance responsive agriculture.”

Patrick Stover, director of the IHA and chair of the task force, said they believe convening experts in this arena “will pave the way by creating a roadmap to ultimately reduce diet-related chronic diseases.”

The Responsive Agriculture Roadmap is expected to be released by late 2024. The rollout will provide a plan for action with “recommendations useful for various stakeholders across food and health systems, policymakers, funding agencies and decision-makers in the private and public sectors.”

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Peggy Yih, managing director of the Center on Global Food and Agriculture at the Chicago Council and the task force staff study director, said, “With the task force, we can use science-driven solutions to improve human health by transforming the food system and environment to achieve equitable access through choices that promote health and nutrition through food.”

Current task force members include A.G. Kawamura, Solutions from the Land founding co-chair and a former California ag secretary, Scott Hutchins, who formerly served as USDA’s deputy undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics during the Trump administration, and Pam Starke-Reed, the ARS deputy administrator for nutrition, food safety and quality.

Nominations close on June 7. 

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