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Vanessa Garcia Polanco      

Food System, Policy & Racial Equity Leader

Vanessa Garcia Polanco is a policy advocate passionate about food justice, climate action, and youth in policy. Polanco is the policy campaigns director at National Young Farmers Coalition where she focuses on climate and food justice policies for young farmers and farmers of color.

Polanco has worked with Food Solutions New England, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, New York Times Climate Hub and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She currently serves in the State Innovation Exchange, Real Food Systems, and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth Agriculture Working Group as youth food justice advisor.

Polanco is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, and she brings her identities and experiences to shape her advocacy in Washington, DC and beyond. Polanco is the 2020 Michigan Junior Food System Leader of the Year and a 2019 James Beard Foundation Scholar. She has received the awards of 2021 Agriculture Innovation Award and the 2021 Agriculture and Food Emerging Leader Awards. Polanco is an alumni from Michigan State University and the University of Rhode Island.

Speech Topics

  • Agriculture
  • Food Justice
  • Climate Justice
  • Immigration
  • Youth
  • Politics
  • Activism
  • Environment

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