(June 18, 2020) – Four prominent voices in the U.S. food and agriculture sectors have come on board as senior advisors, while a veteran producer from Massachusetts has agreed to serve as a farmer envoy for Solutions from the Land‘s (SfL). They join SfL as the organization broadly expands its mission to combat the interconnected threats the world now faces, ranging from food and nutrition security, sustainable livelihoods, and climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agreeing to join the SfL Senior Advisory team are Robert Bonnie, an Executive in Residence at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University; Greg Rutland, CEO of Rutland-Dryer Integrated Healthcare in Columbus, OH; Kent Schescke, Executive Vice President for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST, in Ames, IA; Gregory Tutton, the CEO of Cloverton Holdings and the Managing Partner for Cloverton Valley and Cloverton Emissions Management.
Adrienne Mollor, a second-generation cranberry grower in Bridgewater, MA, has signed on as a farmer envoy carrying SfL’s message calling for an expanded role for agriculture in meeting the challenges mounting now and into the future.
The five thought leaders are joining a special initiative that seeks to enable farmers to be valued and rewarded for delivering solutions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals collectively call for action by all countries – developed and developing – to work together and create strategies to end hunger, improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth, all while tackling climate change and protecting ecosystems.
The initiative is being led SfL Board of Directors, with A.G. Kawamura, an urban farmer and produce shipper in California; Thomas Lovejoy, a professor and former Biodiversity Chair at George Mason University; and Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro, a senior fellow in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, all serving as board co-chairs.
Aiding that panel with input will be a broad team of SDG senior advisors, which now includes Bonnie, Rutland, Schescke and Tutton, and farmer envoys, now including Mollor.
Bonnie was Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA from 2013 to 2017 and a senior advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack from 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining USDA, he was vice president for land conservation at Environmental Defense Fund, where he focused on developing incentives to reward stewardship on private lands.
Rutland’s healthcare operation helps those with chronic conditions be better informed of proper nutritional and food choices that can be the best medicine to fight hypertension, diabetes and other ailments that are so costly to at-risk communities and compound healthcare costs.
Prior to joining CAST, Schescke served the National FFA Organization in various roles for 24 years, including director of the development and partnership division, regional director, senior regional director and co-team leader. Most recently, he was the director of government and nonprofit relations, working closely with government agencies, private foundations and agricultural organizations.
Tutton heads up a group of companies focused on agribusiness and food production with the goal of upscaling the practice of sustainable intensive agriculture. Cloverton Holdings is the principal channel in North America, Latin America and Asia for SOP Srl, an agritech firm based in Milan, Italy, with an innovative suite of commercial applications for crop systems, livestock operations, and waste management used in Europe for emissions control and yield enhancement.
Mollor is a grower-owner in the Ocean Spray Cooperative in Southeastern Massachusetts. She currently serves on USDA’s Cranberry Marketing Committee, the Education and Outreach Committee and Education Foundation for the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association, and served nine years on the Farm Service Agency state committee.
The five join a wide array of nationally and globally renowned farmers, scientists, climate and clean energy authorities, conservation and environmental specialists, food systems and supply chain partners, economists, government agency officials, and other experts who are being charged by SfL with outlining a vision for a 21st-century “Agricultural Renaissance.” They will offer strategic pathways that enable all forms and scales of agriculture to innovate, sustain productivity, enhance resilience to climate change and other shocks, and move the world towards achieving global sustainable development goals.
In addition to identifying proven, pragmatic and innovative agricultural solutions that benefit producers, the public and the planet, SfL will proactively promote the vision and pathways developed by our team through proactive engagement in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Secretary General’s World Food Systems Summit, which is scheduled to be held in 2021. Through each of these forums, SfL’s farmer envoys will collaborate with member states and non-state actors to enable and scale up agricultural solutions to global challenges.
Solutions from the Land (SfL) is a not-for-profit corporation focused on land-based solutions to global challenges. For more on Solutions from the Land, click HERE. For additional information, contact SfL President Ernie Shea at 410-952-0123, or Eshea@SfLDialogue.net.