UMass dining garden tour. Image courtesy of UMass (flickr.com/photos/umassdining)

By Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs

Posted October 13, 2020

News

What’s New with the Farm & Sea to Campus Network?

New Steering Committee Members Bring New Visions

FINE is pleased to welcome 13 new members to the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network steering committee, along with two returning members. These committee members represent a vast set of experience, knowledge, and perspectives from across the New England region. 

I hope I can help others commit to supporting local vendors and make a more informed choice when it comes to food purchasing.
  — FSCN steering committee member Jamil Asad-Ubinas, Executive Chef, Amherst College

“We are excited to see the energy and passion this new cohort of committee members is bringing to the Network,” said Peter Allison, FINE’s executive director. “There are significant impacts to our regional food system from a pandemic, climate change, and racial inequities. The committee members are ready to work collaboratively to tackle these challenges.”

The 2020-2021 Steering Committee

We would like to welcome and express gratitude for all our steering committee members who bring vision and passion to the Farm & Sea to Campus Network:

  • Andy Cox, Dining Director, Smith College (returning member)
  • Beth Emery, Director of Dining, Boston College
  • Crista Martin, Director for Strategic Initiatives & Communications, Harvard University Dining Services
  • Hilary Walrod, Dean for the School of Arts & Sciences, Colby-Sawyer College
  • Ismail Samad, Director of Manufacturing Business Initiatives, Commonwealth Kitchen
  • Jamil Asad-Ubinas, Executive Chef, Amherst College
  • Julia Yakovich, Director of Service Learning Initiatives, University of CT
  • Kathy Wicks, Director of Sustainability, University of MA Amherst Dining / Auxiliary Enterprises
  • Kelley Babbin, Farmer & Owner, Howling Flats Farm
  • Maeve McInnis, Maine Course Director, Sodexo
  • Mike Webster, General Manager,  Hotchkiss School - CT (returning member)
  • Peter Allison, Executive Director, FINE - VT
  • Ruairi O'Mahony, Director of Sustainability, University of MA Lowell
  • Ryleigh Mullens, Food Systems Liaison, University of Rhode Island
  • Steven Silvern, Professor, Salem State University
Through my research, I hope to better inform the framework from which we design sustainable, institutional food systems.
   — FSCN steering committee member Ryleigh Mullens, graduate student researcher, University of Rhode Island

We would also like to thank our outgoing steering committee members for their hard work and many contributions. They continue to be engaged with FINE in other ways. 

  • Kyle Foley, Senior Manager of the Sustainable Seafood Program, Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 
  • Bridget Lawrence-Meigs, Farm Director, The Farm at Stonehill College
  • Maida Ives, Farm Manager, Book & Plow Farm, Amherst College

About the Network

The New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) is a community of higher education and food systems stakeholders who connect, share, and collaborate to develop transparent regional supply chains and educate campus communities about regional food systems. The FSCN formed in 2015, to fill a need for sector-based networking and support. The first FSCN steering committee came together after two gatherings of stakeholders that helped define the scope and mission for this new network. FINE supported these initial meetings and continues to help coordinate the activities of the FSCN. 

Over the past five years, the FSCN, in collaboration with FINE and other partners, developed a suite of resources to support the college sector’s efforts towards a better regional food system. These resources can be found in FINE’s online database and include more than 26 recorded webinars/forums, 20 case studies, 24 reports, and 14 downloadable guides such as the Food Service Toolkit to help get more local and regionally grown food into foodservice operations. The FSCN also supported the creation of FINE’s two campus dining surveys and reports, which help a wide array of stakeholders understand the influence and impact that college and university dining has on the region’s food system.

I care deeply about food – specifically local and regional food systems – and I believe that the current crises have made food access, sourcing, education, and justice even more visibly and urgently important than they always have been.
  — FSCN steering committee member Hilary Walrod, Colby-Sawyer College

Implementing Campus Network Strategic Goals

  1. This steering committee will be essential in implementing the four strategic goals for the Farm & Sea to Campus Network: 
  2. Help meet numerical targets and the New England Food Vision (a call for our region to “build the capacity to produce at least 50% of our food by 2060 while supporting healthy food for all, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities”) 
  3. Educate stakeholders including the next generation through programs, events, and communications.
  4. Increase and diversify network participation and work towards engaging all 200 New England campuses with dining programs.
  5. Support dining operators as they respond to COVID-19.

What’s Next for the FSCN?

In the coming year, the network will continue to convene college and university stakeholders through online forums, webinars, and the next biennial Northeast Farm to Institution Summit in April 2021. Steering committee members and college dining stakeholders will help develop the third campus dining survey and contribute to a number of new case studies that illustrate successes and innovations developed within this sector.

Opportunities to Engage

We invite you to join us in this work and share your ideas and needs. 

If you have a campus related contact, resource, or story, we would love to hear it. Please email Tania Taranovski, [email protected].