A collage of a greenhouse and people working in fields

Researchers, Farmers, Policymakers and Advocates to Convene 2023 USA Agroecology Summit May 22-25. Co-creating a Research Roadmap for the USA, Summit will Focus on Advancing Agroecology and Supporting BIPOC Leaders. To learn more about this effort, read on about the event below.


(Last revision on March 26, 2023)

Please visit the conference website for more detailed information.

Agroecological approaches are needed to confront climate change, improve nutrition, address inequity, revitalize biodiversity, and support food system livelihoods. Yet, agroecology is severely hampered by the lack of public support and by the disabling economic and structural environment in the USA, and globally. In this context, agroecology remains marginalized in research priorities and programs in the USA and has yet to gain coherence as a transdisciplinary community or field. Advancing research is one of many levers to pull  to build out agroecology from within the USA.

Agroecology has different meanings for different actors, which will be acknowledged and brought into conversation at the Summit. For the purposes of the meeting, we are using the definition of agroecology articulated by the High Level Panel of Experts of the World Committee on Food Security (HLPE 2019). They define agroecology as follows:

“Approaches that favor the use of natural processes, limit the use of purchased inputs, promote closed cycles with minimal negative externalities and stress the importance of local knowledge and participatory processes that develop knowledge and practice through experience, as well as more conventional scientific methods, and address social inequalities. Agroecological approaches recognize that agrifood systems are coupled social–ecological systems from food production to consumption and involve science, practice and a social movement, as well as their holistic integration, to address food and nutritional security.” - HLPE, 2019

In preparation for the meeting, we also have been reminded of the importance of the relationship between agroecology and food sovereignty and thus the centrality of the political aspects of agroecology, and of the key roles Indigenous peoples play in developing, practicing, defending, and articulating how to accomplish the goals of agroecology.

This Summit will assemble 100 invited researchers, farmers, representatives of civil society organizations, and policy makers from across the country. A special focus is being given to ensure and support the participation of leaders in the BIPOC agroecology community. These diverse perspectives will be gathered into dialogue to debate,  articulate, and prioritize needs and opportunities for research that can advance agroecology. The meeting will consider a transdisciplinary approach to knowledge for agroecology that combines social science, natural science, the humanities, local knowledge and wisdom that tackles agroecology in all of its complexity.


The goal of this summit is to strategize on how to advance the co-creation of knowledge for agroecology in the USA to inform priorities for research, learning, extension, policy and action. The specific objectives of the meeting are to:

  • Discuss overcoming  barriers, and identify processes and opportunities to advance agroecology from within the United States, including issues related to science, practice, equity, and structural and policy issues.
  • Co-create a “roadmap” for the scientific field of agroecology in the USA to establish core research themes that address these issues (point 1) and confronts the most pressing food system challenges over the next decade.
  • To Strategize about how to further agroecology as a transdisciplinary field for knowledge co-creation to help form new collaborations, cross-boundary dialogues, social processes and opportunities for the co-creation of knowledge for agroecological transformation.
  • To inform the transdisciplinary science of agroecology, identify priorities for its development, explore potential collaborations between researchers and between researchers and other actors, to promote the translation of research into practice and to amplify agroecology’s social impact.
  • Identify the support systems, cultural changes, institutional transitions, funding and other considerations that are needed to advance agroecology.
  • Use the outcomes, especially the roadmap, as tools to advocate for agroecology in various spaces and contexts: in our institutions, in our communities of practice, and in policy spaces (e.g. via NIFA, Farm Bill).

Visit the conference website for more detailed information.

Organizing Committee

Deborah A. Neher, University of Vermont
Colin Anderson, University of Vermont
Andrea D. Basche, University of Nebraska
Christine Costello, Pennsylvania State University
Mary K. Hendrickson, University of Missouri
Bruce D. Maxwell, Montana State University
Antonio M. M. Roman-Alcalá, California State University-East Bay
Aubrey Streit Krug, The Land Institute
William F. Tracy, University of Wisconsin
Ernesto Méndez, University of Vermont

With support from Ricardo Salvador, Union of Concerned Scientists (Advisor); Katie Horner, University of Vermont (Postdoctoral Fellow); and Janica Anderzén (PhD Candidate)

Event Information

Dates: May 22-25, 2023

Location: Elms Hotel and Spa | Excelsior Springs, MO

Attendees: This summit will gather 80-100 participants by invite only


Fiscal Supporters

United States Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture
The University of Vermont

Food Systems Research Center

11th Hour Project
The McKnight FoundationW. K. Kellogg FoundationThe Ceres Foundation