The Field Report: Tom Vilsack on How the USDA Can Transform the Food System

California’s Sheepherders at the Center of an Overtime Battle
BY CAROLINE TRACEY • June 8, 

These workers leave their families behind to work on-call around the clock on H2A visas for years at a time. And while advocates say they deserve more pay, producers worry the industry just doesn’t have the margins.

Civil Eats Welcomes Wesley Brown, Kalen Goodluck, and Anne Marshall-Chalmers as New Senior Reporters
BY THE CIVIL EATS EDITORS • June 7, 2022

The three skilled journalists will help Civil Eats expand and deepen its coverage of the American food system.

Will California’s New Groundwater Rules Hurt Small-Scale Farms and Farmers of Color?
BY  ANNE MARSHALL-CHALMERS • June 7, 2022

New research found that the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) could favor the largest growers in California and could leave small operations in the dust.

The Field Report: Tom Vilsack on How the USDA Can Transform the Food System
BY  LISA HELD • June 2, 2022

Improving the food system may not seem like a top priority at a time when tragedies due to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, and gun violence abound. But yesterday morning, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack kicked off a speech at Georgetown University arguing that, in fact, how the U.S. farms and eats is tied to many of the biggest problems the country faces.

“A transformed food system is part of how we as a country become more resilient in the face of these big challenges and threats,” he said, as he outlined the key components of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Food System Transformation Framework.
We sat down with the Secretary of Agriculture to learn about the agency’s priorities around nutrition security, climate action, and equity. Plus: more news from a busy week at the USDA in The Field Report.

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