NEW GROUP TO PROMOTE EQUITY, INCLUSION IN FOOD & AG: Just as a growing coalition is backing Fudge to lead USDA, in what would be a historic pick, a new group has launched to promote representation of Black food and ag policy leaders in USDA’s ranks — and beyond.
Black Professionals in Food and Agriculture, or BPFA, was formed because “all too often the voices and input of Black policymakers, congressional staff and industry representatives are excluded from the development of policies and programs that serve all of America’s farmers, ranchers and producers,” the group recently wrote in an op-ed.
“President-elect Joe Biden recently said, ‘the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.’ Now is the time to prove it,” they wrote.
In addition to more diverse political appointees, the group is calling on the Biden transition to have more diverse candidate slates and interview panels for all staff vacancies, mandate diversity and inclusion training and designate a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer who reports directly to the secretary or deputy secretary of agriculture.
A growing coalition: A new LinkedIn group for Black Professionals in Food and Agriculture already has about 100 members, including senior staffers on Capitol Hill and leaders from across the industry.