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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Erika Jones

Sustainable Agriculture Policy Intern

2011, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Public Policy and Advocacy Program

The outdoors and environment have always been an important part of my life and I remember childhood canoeing and camping trips fondly. As an 8 year old I became interested in cooking, and my interest in food has evolved and grown as I entered my adult life. Part of this evolution includes pursuing an understanding of how my food is grown, what resources are used and where it comes from.

My interest in sustainable agriculture policy developed through my work in a nonprofit in San Francisco, CA. I partnered with a number of organizations to plan and implement community and school-based garden projects. These projects aimed to address food quality and access issues facing urban communities. These experiences deepened my interest in understanding the policies that influence our environment and agricultural context. I moved back to Wisconsin and to Madison to pursue a Masters degree at the La Follette School of Public Affairs where I delved into learning about local, state and federal policies that impact those living in poverty and rural communities.

While attending La Follette I served as the Finance and Interim Administrative Director for F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture. This experience deepened my interest in sustainable agriculture in Wisconsin. As a Michael Fields Agriculture Institute Intern I developed a greater understanding of the issues facing sustainable agriculture today on both a state and federal level. This internship provided an understanding of food and farm policies that will help me as I work to build capacity for conservation policies in the Mississippi River basin, connecting with community leaders across Southwest Wisconsin.