COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute is pleased to announce Deborah Kane has been awarded a national Food & Society Policy Fellowship for 2007–2008. This prestigious fellowship program is highly competitive, with more than 191 applicants this year for the eight fellowships available. The program provides a $30,000 annual stipend to the fellows over a two-year period to allow them to work on communications and media activities related to food and agriculture.
Kane, of Portland, Ore., is currently vice president of the Food & Farms program for Ecotrust, a nonprofit conservation organization. In her role, Kane has nurtured a market connections program, bringing food producers in closer contact with food buyers, supported a new Farm-to-School program, linking local vendors and growers with school cafeterias, and encouraged Portlanders to “Eat Local” by challenging participants to eat only foods produced or grown within 100 miles of our urban center. As co-publisher of Edible Portland, Kane capitalizes on yet another opportunity to sing the praises of the region’s bounty and agricultural heritage.
A natural communicator and entrepreneur, Kane has parlayed those skills to champion a sustainable, regional food system that serves all constituencies. She has utilized all communications mediums to spread the word — from her post as co-publisher of Edible Portland,to her prior role as host and co-creator of the pilot television program “The Head Table,” which gathered disparate members of the food industry to discuss and debate food-related issues.
Kane arrived at Ecotrust after serving as executive director of Food Alliance, one of the nation’s leading certification organizations for environmentally friendly and socially responsible agriculture practices. From 1997–2004, Kane played a central role in the development of sustainable agriculture certification programs — by increasing the number and types of products sporting the Food Alliance certified seal and by significantly increasing the number of marketplace partners that carry Food Alliance certified products.
The Jefferson Institute is a nonprofit organization based in Missouri that conducts agricultural education and research projects. The institute was founded in 1997.