EE103: The Farm Bill - Congresswoman Chellie Pingree; Dan Imhoff, Co-Founder and Director, Watershed Media; Ken Cook, President an Co-Founder, Environmental Working Group
CHELLIE PINGREE was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 from Maine’s 1st Congressional District, making her the first woman elected to Congress from that district. In 2011 Congresswoman Pingree, an organic farmer since the 1970s, introduced the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act—a comprehensive package of reforms to our nation's farm policy designed to promote local and regional food systems. Pingree also served four terms in the State Senate where she fought for economic and social justice, taking on powerful adversaries—most notably the pharmaceutical lobby. In 2000 Pingree became the National President and CEO of Common Cause, a non-partisan citizen activist group with 35 state chapters. Pingree lives on the island of North Haven, Maine where she and her husband own Turner Farm, which provides fresh vegetables, meat, eggs, and cheese for Nebo Inn, which Pingree also owns.
DAN IMHOFF is a researcher, author, and independent publisher who has concentrated for nearly 20 years on issues related to farming, the environment, and design. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books including CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories; Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill; Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World; Farming with the Wild: Enhancing Biodiversity on Farms and Ranches; and Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood. Dan is the president and co-founder of Watershed Media, a nonprofit publishing house based in Healdsburg, California. He is the president and a co-founder of the Wild Farm Alliance, a ten-year-old national organization that works to promote agriculture systems that support and accommodate wild nature.
KEN COOK is president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public interest research and advocacy organization that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.
Cook is the author of dozens of articles, opinion pieces, and reports on environmental, public health, and agricultural topics and is a frequent source of perspective and commentary in national print and broadcast media. He is regularly listed as one of Washington's Top Lobbyists by The Hill newspaper and in 2011, journalist and healthy food movement icon Michael Pollan named Cook as one of the "Seven Most Powerful Foodies in the World.”
EWG is perhaps best known in agriculture policy circles for its Farm Subsidy Database, which lists all of the nation's farm subsidy recipients and their share of the $165 billion that taxpayers have spent on federal farm bill programs since 1995. Cook has spent decades advocating for reforms that would shift wasteful subsidy dollars to programs that help feed the hungry and advance conservation and environmental protections.
Cook earned a B.A. in history, B.S. in agriculture, and M.S. in soil science from the University of Missouri–Columbia. He is married to Deb Callahan and lives in northern California with their young son, Callahan.
Berkeley, CA 94720