20th Annual Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) Forum: Commitment & Accountability


SAFSF amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable food and agriculture systems, and the SAFSF Forum is the only national gathering for and by funders supporting just and sustainable food systems change. The Forum challenges participants to understand the need for grantmakers and investors to take on risks in order to co-create more resilient, sustainable, and equitable food systems—and at the same time, provides space to cultivate connections with peers so that no one organization is going at it alone.
We invite funders, investors, and food system partners to gather in community in Kansas City, Missouri on June 20-22 for the 20th Annual SAFSF Forum: Commitment & Accountability. Join peers for three days of dynamic funder-led workshops, strategic plenary sessions, regional site visits, and deep relationship-building. These extraordinary times require extraordinary action, and sessions will mobilize new connections for global, national, and regional issues like climate change, consolidation, land access, racial equity, and more. Through shared learning and strategic alignment, we hope to inspire you to commit to new goals, recommit to visions of a better food system, and cultivate accountability in your work.


Knowledge gaps in local and regional food systems work result in wasted resources that diminish progress in the food movement. The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) helps practitioners, funders, and other decision-makers learn from past grant-funded work to build on successes and avoid known pitfalls. In this session, three JAFSCD authors will share findings from their peer-reviewed work. They’ll make the case that evidence-based decision-making is critical to the advancement of equity and the accountable use of data for funders.
  • Case Study #1 – An examination of how Indigenous cultures’ millenia of building Indigenous knowledge is useful in building resilient food systems today.
  • Case Study #2 – A look at the shortcomings of food hub development before analyzing economic data on how they should be structured.
  • Case Study #3 – The uncovering of USDA inflating numbers of Black farmers benefiting from its programs.


  • Fallys Masambuka-Kanchewa, Assistant Professor, Agricultural Education and Studies, Iowa State University, IA


  • Lesli Hoey, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan, MI
  • Michael Kotutwa Johnson, Extension Specialist, University of Arizona, AZ
  • Tracy Lloyd McCurty, Executive Director, Black Belt Justice Center, DC


  1. Increase the use of peer-reviewed research and practitioner knowledge by foundation staff, administrators, and their grantees that will lead to better decision-making
  2. Gather ideas from participants about what program-related factual evidence would be useful in their work to select and support grantees
  3. Share examples of how factual evidence is critical to philanthropy in the food systems space and provide participants with specific strategies for engaging with community-based research.
Hosted by W.K. Kellogg Foundation