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BPFA Newsletter | Getting to the Root

From the President’s Corner: You might have wondered what we’ve been up to since our last newsletter, and the short answer is, quite a bit. Last month, we held a farm bill related briefing, “Getting to the Root: Prioritizing Inclusion and Equity in the 2023 Farm Bill,” which featured some of the leading experts in the food and agriculture industry. You can read all about it later in the newsletter. We also entered into a MOU with the North American Meat Institute. As I stated in the news release announcing the partnership, it’s important for BPFA to continuing elevating opportunities to carry out our mission of “promoting, advancing, and ensuring representation of Black policy professionals.” Whether its due to our programming, partnerships, or online presence, BPFA is growing. Check out the numbers below: Subscribers to newsletter: Nearly 300! Sign up today! Members of LinkedIn Group: Over 600! In this newsletter, we’ll discuss our recent programming, highlight our sponsors, and most importantly, discuss our upcoming officer election process. Elections will be held during our Annual Meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, April 26th at 7pm. I’m excited about the future of BPFA, and I hope you feel the same. Kellie Adesina

Become a Member Today! All applicants, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual preference or identity, are welcome to join BPFA. Membership shall consist of payment of the specified annual membership fee; and subscription to the purpose of the Organization. Further, membership allows for one vote in all elections, yearly access to programs, and other exclusive content. Below are the three classes of membership and their corresponding dues:  Young Professional - $25;  Government/ Non-Profit Professional - $50; and  Private Sector/ Corporate Professional - $100. If you haven’t already done so already, please visit the Members page on our website to first, fill out the Membership Form, and second, remit payment based on the appropriate class of membership. You can remit your dues via PayPal by clicking on the “Pay for Membership” tab or Zelle by using our email address Farm Bill Briefing Last month, we hosted a briefing focused on highlighting the importance of equity and inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill. We were fortunate enough to be joined by experts in the agriculture community, and hear their thoughts on how we move forward to make effective change on this issue. After the briefing, we had a chance to fellowship and network with members of BPFA and other folks interest in the work we're doing. As we continue to move toward Farm Bill negotiations, we anticipate the many more conversations like this being a priority for our organization. If you attended the event, but didn’t fill out our post-survey, there’s still time to do so! Please let us know what you thought about the session. Officer Elections BPFA will accept nominations for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Nominees should be dues paying members at the time of the nomination. The application form will request a resume, bio, and headshot. Additionally, applicants must respond to the three following questions: 1. Why are you interested in the position?; 2. What are your qualifications for the role; and 3. What is your vision for the role? Packets of eligible candidates will be sent to dues paying members before April 19th as only dues paying members will be able to vote. Elections will be held during our Annual Meeting. Please email us at if you have any questions about dues status. Announcements Annual Meeting Our Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 26 th at 7pm. The agenda, zoom link, and any other pertinent information will be sent to dues paid members in advance of the meeting. As was stated earlier in the newsletter, we will also hold officer elections during this time. LinkedIn We now have a LinkedIn page! We told you we were growing. Make sure to follow us to hear about our events and other helpful information, in real-time. Speaker Directory BPFA is creating a Speaker Directory and we want you in it! As an organization committed to uplifting Black voices in the food and agriculture industry, we’re often asked for recommendations for speakers for panels, webinars, and other speaking engagements. That is why we have created a form for dues-paying members who would like to be considered for such opportunities. We will refer to this running list moving forward when we are tapped for speakers. The full directory will be available to dues-paying members and our sponsors. BPFA Professionals on the Move: Eyang Garrison was named Deputy Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. Most recently, she was chief of staff to Deputy Agriculture Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh. Mickeala Carter is now Senior Director, Government Affairs at FTI Consulting. She was formerly Deputy Director of Communications at USDA. Do you have a professional update? If so, let us know at!

BPFA Member Spotlight

Kellie Adesina Director, Federal Government Affairs The Kraft Heinz Company

Hometown: Newark, New Jersey Alma Mater: Bethune-Cookman College and The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law How did you get your start in food and agriculture? Agriculture was not an issue that I ever purposefully pursued. I started working on the issue because when I joined then-Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge’s office, she was the Ranking Member on the House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee and the conversations around the 2014 Farm Bill were just heating up. As her Legislative Director, she thought I should cover the topic as it was one of the most important bills being discussed at that time. What piece of advice would you give to others looking to get into the food and agriculture industry? Make your desires known! I hear about opportunities in the industry all the time, as do my colleagues. Sometimes you have to let people know how they can help you, whether it’s making connections with professionals in the field, helping you decide what opportunities to pursue, or identifying job openings.

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