Leveraging Research for Food and Agriculture Policy Change Workshop

July 20, 2015
UCOP Lobby Conference Room, 1111 Franklin St, Oakland, CA

More than 50 food, agriculture, and public health researchers and university staff convened together at the University of California Office of the President for a workshop to understand the importance of university research in the policy arena, the current merit structures in place for community engaged scholarship, the tools necessary to build effective partnerships with stakeholders and policymakers, and the navigation of university legal networks. The workshop, Leveraging Research for Food and Agriculture Policy, was hosted by the UC Global Food Initiative Policy Subcommittee, which included partners from the UC Berkeley Food Institute, the UC Davis World Food Center, the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Advocacy Initiative. This meeting showcased successful research-to-policy cases, included keynote speeches from California State Senator Bill Monning and U.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, and brought in university government relations experts to equip researchers to engage effectively with policy.

Read the workshop report here.

Objectives of Workshop:

  • Facilitate exchange of information between UC faculty/staff about practices and ways in which research is used to effectively influence or inform policy in food and agriculture systems (from food production to consumption)
  • Provide training and guidance about approaches, capacities, and tools to connect and communicate research to policy makers in food
  • Identify opportunities and resources for UC researchers’ involvement in policy, and collaboration in these efforts


Continental Breakfast: 8:30 – 8:55 am

9:00am-10:20am Session 1: Framing the Day

  • Why should UC researchers engage with food and agriculture policy?
  • Moderator: Josette Lewis, UC Davis World Food Center

1) Morning Keynote: State Senator Bill Monning, 17th District

  • “How Research Empowers Policymakers”

2) Faculty Speakers: Experiences from Agriculture and Health/Nutrition

  • Laura Schmidt, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UC San Francisco: local policy
  • Brenda Eskenazi, Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, UC Berkeley: state policy
  • Jay Lund, Watershed Institute, UC Davis: state policy
  • Q&A and Discussion

10:20 Break

10:30am-12:00pm Session 2: Translational Research

  • What are some practical methods to share research results in a policy context?
  • Moderator: Laura Schmidt, UC San Francisco School of Medicine

1) Workshop Leader: Andrew Bindman, MD, UC San Francisco

  • “Communicating With Policymakers”

2) Faculty Speakers: Successful Cases of Researcher & Policymaker Collaboration

  • Pat Crawford, UCANR/Nutrition Policy Institute: on nutrition policy
  • Louise Jackson, Land Air and Water Department, UCD: on climate change and agriculture policy
  • Lindsay Allen, USDA Agriculture Research Service
  • Q&A and Discussion
  • Lunch 12:00-1:30 pm (Seating by Self-Selected Research Areas)

12:30 pm Introduction by Seth Grossman, UCOP

  • Lunchtime Keynote: Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, CA-11

1:30-3:00pm Session 3: Navigating Legal and Political Environments

  • What can academic researchers do and not do in relation to policy and/or advocacy?
  • Moderator: Nina F. Ichikawa, Berkeley Food Institute
  • Ellen R. Auriti, Senior Counsel, UC Office of the President
  • Helene Dillard, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis
  • Michelle Moskowitz, Director of Advocacy and Institutional Relations, UC Berkeley Office of Government and Community Relations
  • Q&A and Discussion

3:15-4:30pm Session 4: Navigating University Structures and Reward Systems

  • What is the role of public service within the University structure?
  • Moderator: Ann Thrupp, Berkeley Food Institute
  • Henry Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
  • Dennis Pendleton, former Dean of Extension, currently Executive Advisor to UC Davis Provost for plans to advance community-engaged scholarship
  • Q&A and Discussion

4:30pm- 6:00pm Reception