Festival Year: 2024

Vanessa Garcia Polanco

Roles: Moderator

Vanessa Garcia Polanco co-designs the strategy and implementation of the National Young Farmers Coalition policy campaigns, ensuring equity-driven, farmer-centric research, policy, and programmatic interventions for a more just food system. She is an experienced leader,scholar, speaker, writer, and organizer working with food, agriculture and sustainability stakeholders to create and strengthen sustainable and just food systems and communities with research, policy and programmatic interventions.

She serves as the organizational council member of the US National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. She has previously worked with the US Department of Agriculture, and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems. She is a United Nations Youth Agriculture Working Group member and was part of the 2021 New York Times Generation Climate at the United Nations Conference of the Parties Climate Hub.

She is an alumna of Michigan State University and the University of Rhode Island. She is a James Beard Foundation Scholar, an Agriculture, Food, Human Values Society Innovation Leader, and an Emerging Leader in Food and Ag, a Union of Concerned Scientists 2022 Science Defender and a 2023 Grist 50 Climate Fixer. As an Afro-Dominican immigrant, she brings her experiences and identities to her policy and advocacy activities. In her free time, she leads Dominican Food Studies research projects and funnels financial and physical resources to Dominican food sovereignty projects.


2024 Program(s):

Farming While Black


Festival Year: 2024