Digging In (Part I): MO Funder Briefing on the Farm Bill

Open to: 
All PhilMO Members (free), Non-Member Funders ($50)
Tuesday, March 26, 2024
10:00am to 11:00am CDT
Online via Zoom
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Connecting food production, nutrition, and natural resources, Congress has passed Farm Bill legislation regularly since the 1930s. Every five years, the bill expires and is updated. The current bill was enacted in 2018 and is scheduled to expire this year.

What is the status of the Farm Bill? What does this legislation mean for Missouri -- and how can Missouri funders meaningfully engage? 

PhilMO Members and non-Member funders are invited to a briefing on the 2023 Farm Bill with Philanthropy Missouri and Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders (SAFSF).

The briefing will include an overview of the Farm Bill, how it affects Missouri, the current state of the bill/extension, and any expected future Congressional actions. Additionally, Missouri funders and advocates will discuss philanthropic opportunities to fill gaps and provide leadership to benefit Missourians.

The conversation will continue 4/9 over a lunchtime screening of the film Digging In with expert panel. Learn more and register for Part II here.

Featured Speakers

Christine Woody, Food Security Policy Manager - Empower Missouri

Christine was born and raised in Florissant, MO. She received her undergraduate degree in Theology and her masters degree in Social Work from Saint Louis University. After obtaining her MSW, Christine worked at the Guardian Angel Settlement Association in South St. Louis City as a case manager. Since 2006, Christine has worked at Empower Missouri on hunger and criminal justice issues. She is currently Empower Missouri's Food Security Policy Manager and recently concluded service as an appointed member of the Missouri Food Security Task Force.


Fred Hoefner, Principal - Farm, Food, Environment Policy Consulting

Ferd Hoefner is a Washington, DC-based consultant working on behalf of multiple organizations with interests in federal farm, food, and environmental policy and sustainable agriculture. For 34 years prior to 2021, Ferd worked for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), including 30 years as its policy director and lead Washington representative, and another 4 years as senior strategic advisor. Ferd is a veteran of nine previous federal farm bill campaigns over a 45-year span, including five as NSAC's policy director, two as a policy advocate for the Interreligious Taskforce on US Food Policy, and one as an intern for a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. He has also worked extensively on budget, appropriations, tax reform, food safety, and environmental legislation.


Heather Navarro, Founding Director - Midwest Climate Collaborative

The MCC welcomed Heather Navarro as the new director on January 28, 2022. Heather most recently served as an Alderperson in the City of St. Louis where she spearheaded a host of climate-forward legislation, including the first building energy performance standard in the Midwest, solar-ready requirements, and an EV-ready building code, among many other accomplishments. Heather previously served from 2013-2020 as the Executive Director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, a state-wide environmental advocacy organization. In that role, she was actively engaged with the Mississippi River Collaborative, the Missouri Clean Energy Coalition, and many other collaborative efforts. 

A Washington University graduate, Navarro earned both a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies in Arts & Sciences in 2001 and a JD from the School of Law in 2008. Her legal practice was primarily with a public interest law firm representing clients in racial and disability discrimination matters. In addition to this experience, Heather was a fellow with the Public Leaders for Inclusion Council in 2021 and has served on the Missouri Municipal League Board as well as a variety of other local, state, and national boards.


Maggie Mascarenhas, Policy Advocate - Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders

Maggie joined Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) as the Public Policy Associate in October 2022. In this role, she leads SAFSF’s policy communications, conceptualizes and develops SAFSF policy programming, and helps create campaigns designed to engage and align funders in support of policy and advocacy initiatives.

Previously, Maggie managed senior and child nutrition programs at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, serving 25 counties and 8 cities in central and western Virginia. There, she focused on increasing senior access to fresh produce, developing diverse community partnerships to mitigate transportation barriers, and expanding in-school pantries. Prior to that, Maggie provided strategic and digital communications support at a nonprofit in the sustainable food systems space and worked on a small organic farm in central Maine. Maggie holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Food Policy and Agricultural Law from Vermont Law and Graduate School.


Tim Gibbons, Communications Director - Missouri Rural Crisis Center

Tim Gibbons is communications director for the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, a statewide farm and rural organization dedicated to preserving family farms and promoting stewardship of the land and environmental integrity.