The AgriNutrition Edge Report
The AgriNutrition Edge Report is designed to bring you practical and personal insights about current topics, regulations and studies about food across the value chain…from production to preparation along with consumer insights from you and me! As a 6th generation farm owner, dairy farmer’s daughter and registered dietitian, my intention is to bring perspectives from the ground up while also showcasing those that provide the food on our tables: our farmers and ranchers. Enjoy!
Marianne in the News
Smith-Edge Named Board of Human Sciences Liaison from Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching
New role will focus on connecting the dots across the food and ag space for Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities
The Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) recently named Marianne Smith Edge as the liaison from its Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) to its Board on Health and Human Sciences (BHHS). The BHHS is an association of higher education administrators who are responsible for research, outreach and teaching in the health and human sciences at public and land-grant universities.
CARET, a citizen advocacy group, which is part of APLU’s Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources, focuses on research and teaching on issues such as agriculture, food, natural resources, oceans, atmosphere and climate. In accepting the appointment, Smith-Edge noted that with the upcoming Farm Bill and 2025 Dietary Guidelines deliberations, it is “an exciting time to connect agriculture, food and nutrition.” Read more from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Marianne Smith Edge — a registered dietitian, sixth generation farm owner, and founder/principal of the food and agriculture communications consulting firm The AgriNutrition Edge — has been named chair of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. She took office on Jan. 1. Edge began working with the foundation in 2019 when she was named to its board of directors, making her the first Owensboro resident to serve on the board since 2006. She has led the Strategic Planning & Evaluation Committee for the past two years and recently finished her term as the vice chair. She says that while there is “a long list of areas” that need improvement, she will be focusing on two priorities during her time as chair: access to health care for all Kentuckians and children’s health. Read the foundation’s press release or an article in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer to learn more about the appointment.
After two years of Zoom conferences, Marianne is traveling twice this month to connect with health professionals in person. On April 7, she will speak at the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians in Charleston, West Virginia, on “The Convergence of Personal and Planet Health —The Winning Prescription?” The presentation is sponsored by the American Dairy Association Midwest. Then on April 21, she will be at the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in San Antonio co-presenting on “Collaboration and Innovation for Healthy & Sustainable Food Systems” with Dr. Ermias Kebreab. That session is sponsored by Texas Beef.
Marianne Smith Edge took office as vice president of the board for the Louisville-based nonprofit Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky this month. The foundation exists to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since opening in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy and grants . Read the full news release here
Marianne Smith Edge will deliver the kickoff keynote address for The Power of Women as AgVocates Conference, being held January 14-15 in Fort Pierre, South Dakota. In her address “The Power of Dialogue and Understanding Policy and Consumer Insights” and a later session on communications, Marianne will share how women in agriculture can “agvocate” for the industry. The conference, hosted by the South Dakota State University Extension, provides women in agriculture the opportunity to network, learn and grow with peers at a female-empowered event. “This conference is designed for women to learn about the power of advocating for you, your family, business and industry,” says Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. Read more about the conference from DRGNews.
Marianne Smith Edge will speak at The Royal Food & Nutrition Forum on November 2 on the topic “Exploring the Complexities of Sustainability from Farm to Fork.” Building on the tenets of sustainability (environment, economics and social responsibility), her virtual presentation will explore the role of sustainability in shaping food systems and addressing nutrition and hunger. She also will discuss the role and responsibility of food systems sectors and stakeholders, including nutrition professionals, in supporting a resilient food system. Learn more or register for the forum, hosted by Farm & Food Care Canada.
On June 16, Marianne presented a webinar hosted by Today’s Dietitian and sponsored by the National Honey Board. The program — “Where Does Nutrition Fit in the Sustainability Equation?” — focused on the impact of diet on our environment and the conflicts between the “haves” and the “have nots” when it comes to food availability and accessibility for all. Marianne also discussed the challenges and solutions that require collaboration and consensus building among all participants in the food value chain to ensure sustainable diets that are nutrient-dense, affordable, culturally appropriate, and respectful of the environment are available for all.
In “Blending the Best of Both Worlds,” Marianne Smith Edge writes that when choosing protein, it’s not an either or decision between animal meat and plant-based products. With the continued explosion of plant-based burgers appearing on grocery shelves and restaurant menus, the simplicity of creating a “half meat, half plant” option can be overlooked she says. A perfect example is combining lean ground beef with finely chopped mushrooms, which can enhance the flavor and nutrition profile of the traditional burger. And such blended burgers can be the “middle ground” solution in the plant versus animal conversation. Read the full article on The Mushroom Council’s website.
Marianne will be speaking at the Animal Ag Alliance Virtual Stakeholders Summit to be held virtually May 5-6. She will join fellow panelists:
- Rebecca Carlisle Doyle, Pork Producer, Former Illinois Director of Agriculture and UN World Food Programme Director
- Jennifer L. Garrett, PhD, Consultant, Agricultural Strategies and Sustainability
- Rachel Kopay, Consultant, Dairy and Food Safety and Sustainability
to discuss “Obstacles to Opportunity: Repositioning Animal Protein on the Plate.” Providing perspectives surrounding the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN 2021 Food Summit along with innovation and food security , the panel will “set the stage” on how animal protein is positioned within nutrition, climate change and environmental sustainability discussions. Register today! Deadline is April 30. Follow the Summit on social media with the hashtag #AAA21.
Marianne recently appeared as a guest on Alltech’s Ag Future podcast. She talked with host Tom Martin on February 4 about the challenges and opportunities facing the global food supply chain, how to build consumer trust through food transparency, and food consumption trends during the pandemic. Listen to “Building Consumer Trust Through Food Chain Transparency” on Spotify or on Apple Podcasts.