Panel of “Insiders” Provide the Scoop on What is Happening on Capitol Hill


Register for SNA's 2017 Legislative Action Conference (LAC)

The following is the third in a series of news stories exploring the exciting events at LAC.

Historically, school nutrition had been more of a bipartisan issue on Capitol Hill. Dan Glickman, former Secretary of the Agriculture (USDA) from 1995-2001 under President Bill Clinton, says in recent years that has been changing.

“School nutrition started taking a little more of a partisan tone on Capitol Hill during President Barrack Obama’s years [2009-17], after Congress passed [the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act], authorizing changes to nutritional standards on what was served in school, what kinds of foods, percentages of protein, fat and other kinds of things,” says Glickman, who currently serves as executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for members of the United States Congress. “Legislators on both sides of the aisle used to understand how important school nutrition was to the country as a whole but that thread is fraying a little bit.

“The issue that is not as well understood on Capitol Hill today, is just how critical a well-nourished population of kids are to our future health and national security needs of the country.”

At SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC), April 2-4, Glickman will be joined by a distinguished panel of former members of the Executive and Legislative Branch of the federal government for an informative “Fireside Chat with Washington Insiders,” who will share their intimate bipartisan knowledge of USDA, Congress and the various associations and organizations that direct school nutrition policy. Moderated by Philip Brasher, senior editor at Agri-Pulse, the conversational, talk show-style session will focus on food, funding, farming policy perspectives and other legislative issues related to school nutrition.

Among the other scheduled panelists include Chuck Conner, former deputy secretary of the USDA (2005-09); G. William Hoagland, who spent 25 years on U.S. Senate staff, most prominently as the director of budget and appropriations (2003-07) in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [R-Tenn.] and former U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin [D-S.D.], who represented South Dakota’s at-large Congressional district from 2004-11.

“I do think that there are some big trends that are occurring that people need to be aware of,” notes Glickman. “The nexus of agriculture, health and nutrition are coming together much more than they used to. Whereas in the past, school meal programs were often not necessarily viewed in a health or agriculture context, now, more and more federal, food and agriculture programs are viewed on Capitol Hill in all three contexts. So today, not only do these federal programs provide food for the kids, but they also relate to the nutrition value and the health of students, as well as production agriculture in the farm programs.”

Sound interesting? Registration for LAC is open. For a complete schedule, special event and general session information, hotel and travel information, and more, visit

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