How the Policy Council Works
The Policy Council performs its work and activities in a collaborative manner. It brings forward to the public eye a discussion of issues for more comprehensive examination.

What the Policy Council Does
The Policy Council educates and informs the public, those directly affected by food and agriculture programs, and public and legislative decision-makers about selected policy issues, openly arrived at by deliberations of its members.

The Policy Council advocates for these policy issues in a variety of forums and develops and disseminate viable policy recommendations and alternatives.

Vision
The vision of the Policy Council is to

  • Identify key food and agriculture policy issues and opportunities and address these priorities when set forth by the Council.
  • Strengthen collaboration among agencies, organizations, individuals and communities to better advocate for local, state and national food and agriculture policies that most benefit all New Mexicans

Purpose

  • To broaden the discussion of issues allowing for a comprehensive examination of the food and agriculture systems and how federal, state and local government and public bodies shape them.
  • Create a forum by which people and the public in conjunction with institutions involved in food and agricultural systems, including government, can meet to learn more about what each one does and consider how their actions impact other parts of the systems.
  • Focus on how best to address food access, production, distribution, and consumption issues.
  • Advocate for selected food and agricultural policy issues in various forums and venues.
  • Strive to balance a safe, nutritious, affordable and adequate food supply for all New Mexicans that will prevent food insecurity and hunger.
  • Strive for fair food and agricultural systems that supports the needs of producers and consumers economically, culturally, environmentally and socially.

Goals

  • Develop, coordinate and implement a food system policy linking economic development, social and environmental impacts with farming, ranching and urban issues.
  • Review and comment on proposed legislation and regulations that have an impact on food and agricultural systems and their security.
  • Make recommendations to the executive and legislative branches of government on food and agriculture policy.
  • Support the development of local markets for agricultural products such as school lunch programs and farmers’ markets by emphasizing the importance of New Mexico’s food production, and enable local purchasing of New Mexico’s farmers’ produce and products as a way to increase the agricultural economy.
  • Establish an on-going educational program and projects for the public about food and agricultural systems based upon accurate facts and reliable reports and analyses.
  • Promote the viability of local farming and ranching and the retention and recruitment of small farmers and ranchers in New Mexico.
  • Be aware of and work to prevent food insecurity for families and children in New Mexico.
  • Develop and support greater access for New Mexicans who are in need of nutritious foods at reasonable prices, in both rural and urban communities, and to be sensitive to cultural and traditional food preferences.
  • Educate about and promote stewardship and conservation of land, water and resources.

Issue Areas

  • Health and Food Security: Work with State agencies and organizations providing agriculture and food education, to integrate agriculture and nutrition education into the schools for all students, to work with NM schools to purchase NM grown produce and healthy products into school meals and snacks, and encourage community school gardens along with curriculum design. Work on food insecurity in New Mexico in support of food security in the state. Develop educational materials addressing the issue. Work on health and food security legislation at state and federal levels.
  • Agriculture: Support formal education programs for farmers (including new farmers) in collaboration with New Mexico’s educational institutions. Research and share methods to improve access to capital and federal programs for farmers, ranchers, and small business entrepreneurs.
  • Tribal Initiatives: Partner with tribal communities in addressing the health and wellbeing of our Native American communities.
  • Federal Issues: Prioritize and support federal programs that benefit New Mexico’s citizens and institutions. Focus on the Farm Bill and Child Nutrition reauthorization.

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