Creating effective policy solutions to advance sustainable food and farming systems requires understanding
the underlying nature and complexity of the problem, determining the strengths and weaknesses of existing policies
and regulations, and identifying potential solutions. Viable policy changes are advanced through effective coalitions
that can mobilize public support and educate policy makers.
From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolinas Sustainable, Local Food Economy
Building on its successful statewide Farm to Fork initiative CEFS hired Curtis Consulting to research this 100-page
guide to support new and transitioning farmers, create jobs in rural communities, increase access to food in low income
communities and address diet-related health problems. The Guide includes 36 recommendations for action and spotlights
an equal number of organizations and initiatives around the state working to build sustainable food economies. The Guide
is intended to be a resource for decision-makers at the state and local level now and into the future; several of the
reports recommendations, including establishment of a Sustainable Local Foods Advisory Council
have already been adopted.
Barriers to Credit for Organic & Sustainable Farmers
In 2002, Self-Help Credit Union, a community development financial institution (CDFI) in Durham, North Carolina,
hired Curtis Consulting to research and write a report investigating how CDFIs can play a role in encouraging organic
and sustainable farming enterprises throughout the state. The report "Funding the New Harvest", discusses potential
barriers that small organic farmers and sustainable agriculture enterprises face in traditional lending circles and
makes recommendations for increasing access to financing. It also includes the results of a survey conducted by Self-Help
of lending practices of more than 500 organic growers in the state. To read the report, visit
Pesticide Policy Reform
From 1988 until 1996, Jennifer worked in the Natural Resources Defense Councils San Francisco office in their Public Health Program. NRDC is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that is often referred to as the law firm for the environment. Jennifer worked with a team of attorneys and scientists in a coordinated and extremely successful effort to reform regulation of pesticides in the United States to better protect children and vulnerable subpopulations. NRDCs efforts culminated in passage of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).
As a part of the Public Health Program, Jennifer specialized in researching and promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and sustainable agriculture as alternatives to hazardous pesticides. In this vein, her responsibilities included:
- Monitoring and analyzing state and federal pesticide regulatory affairs,
- Coordinating a coalition and co-authoring national legislation to promote adoption of IPM and sustainable agriculture
- Researching and writing numerous reports
- Serving on a variety of regulatory and academic advisory committees
- Speaking to agricultural groups, state organizations, academic institutions on a regular basis
- Engaging in media outreach, appearing many times on TV, radio and in print.