Featuring RDNs working as experts in agriculture!

Erin Bergquist, MPH, RD, CNSC, LD (Iowa)

I love teaching dietetic interns about sustainable, resilient and healthy food and water systems. It opens up an entirely new area of dietetics to students and often ignites a new passion that empowers social, economic and environmental health. Systems thinking is an area most dietitians can improve their practice in and impacting food systems illustrates the RDs value at both local and global levels. I’m grateful to the Foundation for their support to expose new dietitians to sustainability and public health issues.

Abigail Copenhaver, RDN, CDN (New York)

My husband and I have a 700 cow dairy farm in Stanley, N.Y. As a registered dietitian and dairy farmer, I recognize the importance of U.S. agriculture food production. Having the opportunity to work with fellow RDNs as a content expert for the Academy Foundation has allowed me to contribute my own level of agricultural expertise for member education. Serving as a RDN farming and agriculture content expert has been a value experience and it’s an honor to work with and for AND members to provide science-based information to dietetic professionals.

Barbara Hartman, MS, RDN, LD (West Virginia)

I was honored to be included in yet another of the Academy Foundation’s sustainability projects, helping to develop a “Food System Concentration” for internships. ANDF provided gentle, kind and focused leadership while they coordinated and prompted the expert group of dietitians to stay on track with timelines. The work group of dietitians were engaging and interesting to work with. I learned from this group and improved my understanding of Food Systems, Sustainability and Internship competencies. I’m grateful to the Academy for continuing to promote sustainable, resilient, and health food and water systems, and to my RDN mentors and colleagues who continue to promote the unique contributions that RDNs can make toward having a healthy planet for our future generations.

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND (California)

As a farmer’s daughter from North Dakota, I am very proud to focus my work as a consultant on issues related to food production, food security, and the business of farming. I’m thankful the Foundation has taken a leadership role “Future of Food” education for Academy members, and I’m delighted to be a RDN farming and agriculture content expert for the Academy Foundation. Nutrition is a science, and so is farming. Helping peers and consumers understand that agriculture is a science and technology focused industry is so important. We need every advantage science and technology can provide farmers and ranchers so they can continue to produce an abundant, safe, affordable food supply while reducing environmental impact and adapting to climate change.

Dr. Jasia (Jayne) Steinmetz, RD, CD (Wisconsin)

I am a foodie and celebrate food through my dietetic practice, teaching, gardening, community organizing, cultural celebration and more. As a professor of food and nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, I direct the dietetics didactic program and coordinate an online M.S.-Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems. My focus is on community nutrition, public health and food systems. I love traveling the world and learning from others.

Currently I am in Kenya with seven dietetics students who are working with an integrated care model in the community clinics in the slums of Nairobi. We are also focusing on discussing diet diversity with the sustainable and resilient small scale farmers that are innovating production in nutrition-sensitive agriculture and nutritionists who are measuring diet diversity in the clinics.

The challenges in Kenya and the U.S. are the same: supporting farmers in providing food that also supports the planet and the well-being of the people while guiding consumers and communities in valuing food in their food system.

Understanding, analyzing and problem solving the food system is critical for dietitians to help shape the future of food and collaborate with all the actors involved in farm to plate to waste. The new recognition of global health includes the recognition of the global to local food systems. The new concentration currently under development in food systems will introduce interns to thinking about the larger food system and digging deeper into an aspect of food system sustainability to ignite their lifelong learning to foster the future of healthy eating.

Chris Vogliano MS, RDN (Washington)

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with The Academy Foundation over the past few years. It all started when I was selected to be an Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Research Fellow, and since then the rest is history. The Academy Foundation has allowed me to make a myriad of personal and professional connections that I will cherish for the rest of my career.

With their help, I have been able to publish multiple papers, as well as co-develop webinars, toolkits and infographics – all to support the notion that our diets can be healthy for both people and the planet. I owe these successes and many more to the support of The Academy Foundation, which is why I always encourage my colleagues to consider supporting the great work they do. Thank you!