Exercising Leadership

"Reaching Resilience: Food and Farming in the Upper Midwest," Chicago, 2014

Fresh Taste and SAFSF hosted “Reaching Resilience: Food and Farming in the Upper Midwest,” Chicago, 2014

Fresh Taste exercises leadership in food system philanthropy, regionally and nationally.  Several Fresh Taste members are actively involved with Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), a national affinity group promoting food system philanthropy. Bruce Karmazin of The Lumpkin Family Foundation previously served on SAFSF’s steering committee, and Brad Leibov of Liberty Prairie Foundation helped organize SAFSF’s inaugural funder policy briefing in Washington, D.C. Fresh Taste’s director, Karen Lehman, and Brad also served on planning committees for two of SAFSF’s annual Forums. Through our involvement we successfully negotiated for SAFSF’s next Forum to take place in Chicago, June 23-25, 2015.

We exercise leadership locally as well. Sarah Knobloch of Kinship Foundation chairs the Environmental Grantmakers Group within Donors Forum, in which Brad Leibov (Liberty Prairie Foundation), Mike Davidson (The Chicago Community Trust), Arthur Pearson (The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation), and Karen Lehman (Fresh Taste) also participate.

Fresh Taste has taken the lead in convening funders in six Upper Midwest states to explore the uniquely regional work necessary to ensure that the Great Lakes remains a resilient food producing region for generations to come. This Upper Midwest funder group first convened at Reaching Resilience:  Food and Farming in the Upper Midwest, a two-day conference that we organized in April 2014 to initiate a regional dialogue.

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