What is the backbone of our strength as a nation? In this episode from Washington DC, former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and The Salt Line chef Kyle Bailey sit down with host Billy Shore to discuss the economic vitality of our country. “We’re in a [global] competition for which system of government works best in a time of change. We always thought that once we won the Cold War… democracy was the best way to do it and everyone was going to see that,” says Vilsack. Bailey’s focus on sustainable seafood sourcing cooperatives aims to democratize food and support people whose livelihoods rely on fishing. “The idea was to cut a couple steps out of the supply chain to get the freshest and best fish, and it gets money back into the pockets of the actual fisherman,” says Bailey.
The guests discuss the impact of the current political disagreements around immigration, which affects the restaurant industry and many others. “Immigrant populations have historically done the jobs that are really hard. When we’re fearful, the whole American experience gets interrupted,” notes Vilsack. “Yeah, [democracy] is a little messy but eventually it gets the job done in a way doesn’t limit people’s freedoms and abilities.”
Get informed and inspired as these two guests share their thoughts about politics, sustainable food and agriculture.
Resources and Mentions:
· No Kid Hungry (nokidhungry.org): Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
· Tom Vilsack served eight years as the nation’s 30th Secretary of Agriculture under President Obama where he worked diligently to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the tremendous innovation of rural America. Currently President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), he provides strategic leadership and oversight of USDEC’s global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives. He is on the Board of Directors of Feeding America, the nation’s largest anti-hunger organization. He also served two terms as the Governor of Iowa.
· Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. For more than 35 years, Feeding America has responded to the hunger crisis in America by providing food to people in need through a nationwide network of food banks. The national organization for food banks was established in 1979 as Second Harvest, which was later called America’s Second Harvest the Nation’s Food Bank Network. In 2008, the network changed its name to Feeding America to better reflect the mission of the organization. Today, Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization—a powerful and efficient network of 200 food banks across the country. The Feeding America network of food banks feeds 46 million people at risk of hunger, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
· The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Dairy Management Inc. founded USDEC in 1995 and, through the dairy checkoff program, is the organization’s primary funder. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service provides export activity support, and membership dues fund the Council’s trade policy and lobbying activities. USDEC’s mission is to enhance demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients by securing access and assisting suppliers to meet market needs that facilitate sales.
· Kyle Bailey is chef and partner of Long Shot Hospitality. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Kyle Bailey has helmed kitchens from luxury resorts in the Caribbean to great restaurants in New York and DC, including Birch & Barley and Churchkey. He’s learned from great chefs, including Shea Gallante and Dan Barber, and mentored dozens of others, sharing his interest in and knowledge of sustainability in local food systems. Kyle was named “The People’s Best New Chef” Mid-Atlantic region in 2011 by Food & Wine.
· The Salt Line is part of Long Shot Hospitality (LSH), a Washington DC-based restaurant group led by Kyle Bailey, Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman & Paul Holder. The partners and their other properties (Sixth Engine, Town Hall, The Dubliner) are known for great atmosphere, reliable service, excellent food and an enjoyable vibe—the kinds of places you meet up with friends again and again. The Salt Line, creates a lively and welcoming experience of classic New England dishes influenced by the bounty of the Chesapeake.
· Dock to Dish is an international network of small-scale fishermen, marine biologists and sustainable seafood advocates working in teams from ports and harbors across North and Central America. They are collectively committed to making local, traceable, low-impact wild seafood accessible to organized groups of cooperative members through unique community and restaurant supported fishery programs. In June of 2017, The United Nations Foundation designated the Dock to Dish community and restaurant supported fishery model as one of the top breakthrough innovations that can scale to solve the ocean’s grand challenges.