Yale Food System Symposium

Cultivating A Resilient Food Future

February 23-26, 2021


Day Two Panels and Discussions

Building Resilient Meat Supply Chains

Feb 24 | 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM

Building resilient meat supply chains: wellbeing for workers, rural economies, animals, and the environment.

Deregulation, consolidation, and climate change threaten American animal agriculture. Meat production in the United States has consolidated rapidly — a few large companies control massive feedlots and meatpacking plants. As these companies compete with emerging economies like China and Brazil for profits, producers, workers, and the environment are paying the price. Deregulation of worker safety standards have contributed to massive COVID-19-outbreaks among meatpacking workers. The industry has become increasingly deregulated as plant inspections are privatized, increasing food safety concerns. Ranchlands are at risk of being converted to row crops or housing developments, and ranchers are losing their farms because market forces and climate change are making bad years more frequent. Our panelists will consider what American agriculture can do to re-imagine an industry that is good for the worker, rural economies, animals, and the planet.


Austin Frerick
Deputy Director
Thurman Arnold Project

Magaly Licolli

Lisa Held
Civil Eats & Peeled

John Heyneman
Executive Director
Plank Stewardship Initiative

William Burnidge
Deputy Director, Sustainable Grazing Lands
The Nature Conservancy, Colorado

Panel 1 Debrief

Feb 24 | 6:15 PM – 6:30 PM

On-Farm Innovation for Resilience

Feb 24 | 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM

This panel will feature farmers and those who work closely beside them. It will consider how the adoption of innovative on-farm practices has increased the resilience of their operations along several dimensions: ecological, financial, social, and cultural. Farmers, scholars, and industry experts will discuss the range of factors that influence on-farm decision-making around conservation, as well as the barriers farmers face to adopting practices that support long-term resilience.


Dr. Linda Stalker Prokopy
Professor of Natural Resources Social Science
Purdue University

Dr. Steven Rosenzweig
Soil Scientist
General Mills

Caleb Smith
Farmer & Founder
Dorset Peak Jerseys

Zack Smith
Farmer & Founder
The Stock Cropper

Christi Bland
Farmer & Owner

Jessie Deelo
Former Farmer & Founder
Deelo Consulting Services

Panel 2 Debrief

Feb 24 | 7:45 PM – 8:00 PM

Day 1


Day 2

Panels and

Day 3

Panels and

Day 4

Panel and
Closing Workshop

Mission Statement

"The purpose of resilience is not to build the capacity to endure more harm. We build resilience to be more skillful in confronting the systems that have harmed us.”

These words, from Dignity and Power Now, inspire and ground this symposium. This conference seeks to explore the tensions between the food system that already exists and how we can build a more justice-, human-, and earth-oriented food system. We will bring together visionaries, painting the picture of what it means to build a food system that is resilient to human and natural disruptions and also oriented towards access to sustaining, culturally appropriate food for all.

Thank you to our sponsors!