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This month in EDA

Dynamic integration
State Legislation steps forward
Partnerships and advocacy
EDA Audit 2021
A message from your At-Large Trustees
Social Media

Worth Noting
Coming in March EDA News

Dynamic integration

What’s new with EDA? Quite a lot.
We're organizing around regional legislation for the first time.


EDA began in 2017 as a loose confederation of sub-groups that worked independently with little interaction. As these small teams matured, we needed a way of coordinating them to work together. That's why we created EDA's Integrative Management Planning and Coordinating Team (IMPACT). This strategic planning team was ratified by EDA members on November 1, 2020.

2022 is the year that IMPACT's integration plan will go into operation. Our Action Council teams no longer work in isolation. One impetus for this united front is our State Legislation teamStarting this year, EDA’s Advocacy, Research and Education teams will take their direction from the bills that are earmarked by our State Legislation group. This is now the driving force in EDA.

One of the benefits of this process is that EDA will be on top of the latest legislation, which will be showcased on our website and updated on a regular basis. As this catches on with the public, we expect more and more people to follow the State Legislative Tracker on our website. 

The identification of bills for advocacy will enable EDA’s business team to find partners and clients in US States who have an interest in legislation for equitable and sustainable practices. We had been unable to work this way in the past. Now, with the new legislative database, we are no longer downstream from the legislative action: we can find key legislation at its source.

Another implication of our legislation-driven activity is that we are now able to develop an annual plan based on the significant bills that EDA is advocating. The process is generating a yearly cycle of programmatic and business activities for the entire organization.

This dynamic integration also allows us to schedule all of our events more effectively, which will influence the content of our social media and public presentations. We're currently developing an illustrated chart of our annual business cycle, which you will be seeing in an upcoming newsletter and on our website.


State Legislation steps forward

In the spring of last year, EDA’s State Legislation group met to select initial legislation that would be populated on our new EDA website. It was a very successful experience for everyone.

On January 14, EDA’s State Legislation subgroups began to meet again. There are three teams that search for pending legislation dealing with three areas that are EDA's focus: 

  • Green team for food
  • Blue team for water
  • Gold team for energy
Some of our challenges

Populating our State legislative database is more challenging this year. The timetable is dictated by the legislatures that we track. A complicating factor is that US states do not have uniform legislative seasons. They start on different dates and may end their sessions as early as March or as late December.

So our three teams have developed a schedule that will optimize the timing of our tracking and supporting key pieces of legislation. Under the direction of Grant Grover, these teams will be reviewing bills in two stages: 

Phase 1 - January & February - 22 states that go out of session early  

Phase 2 - Spring - the remaining states that go out of session later

It’s not too late to join this fascinating work. The more people we have researching various state’s legislation, the quicker we can complete the task. If you’d like to help, please contact Grant Grover at


Partnerships and Advocacy

As EDA begins this new phase of integration, we should emphasize that advocacy remains EDA's core mission. Lobbying elected officials for legislative action is still our primary focus.

What's changed is the way in which our new website and the State Legislative teams have transformed EDA's approach to partnerships and advocacy.

These capacities will now enable us to find and engage with anchor partners in different regional areas. In turn, we'll be able to fortify the outreach activities of our partners by holding advocacy training events, based on key legislation, in each partner’s own State.

Working with local partners will enable us to have many more local constituents involved in EDA's advocacy efforts. We're launching this campaign for new partners in February.

As a result of EDA's active engagement with these partnering organizations, we'll be expanding our coverage of local and regional issues, as well as our advocacy for specific bills that support these issues.

Information on these new activities will be discussed in this newsletter and in our public events. Watch this space.


EDA Audit for 2021

EDA is undergoing its annual audit. Dorothy Myers and John Lowe are now examining EDA’s financial statements from 2021 and offering recommendations for improving our operations.

This audit by Dorothy and John is independent of the EDA Board of Directors and our IMPACT business group. 

The results of this audit will be reflected in the Financial Documents section of our 2021 Annual Report. An analysis of EDA’s work during the past year and a message from President David Cunningham and Managing Director James Quilligan will also be included in this yearly summary to our members and public.

The 2021 annual report will be available in March on our website.



We hope you're all well and thriving in this crazy time! We wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have joined one or more of our Action Council Teams. The Chairs of the teams are all very grateful for your help. There's a lot of work to be done.  

Over the next few months, the State Legislation Team will be reviewing legislation in all 50 states and selecting the most appropriate bills to support our efforts toward greater equitability and sustainability in food, water, and energy. 

Likewise, the Advocacy Team is preparing training for potential local partners in support of these legislative efforts.  

Our Research Team is defining, standardizing and clarifying all of the sources of our data and double-checking the variables and formulas that we use, so that moving forward we'll have a solid foundation and reference for our work.  

The Education Team is preparing support materials for our advocacy partners. Education is also updating all the seminars that we have presented to the membership in the past.

If any of these teams or tasks strike you as interesting, please contact the Action Council Chairs and they will get you engaged and involved. (See team contact information at the bottom of the newsletter.)

How can we serve you better?
As your Trustees, we represent the interests of the entire EDA membership. Would you like to have a few more town hall meetings to discuss EDA activities, plans, and your ideas? This can easily be arranged. If there are other ways we can be of service to you, please let us know. You can contact your trustees through:

Your At-Large Trustees,
Terry Blatt, James Kolb, Geoff Schaber


A message from Stephanie Bell  
EDA's Social Media Officer

This month I thought I’d focus on Facebook, since it’s the most popular social media platform among our members. 

Make sure you see all of EDA’s posts by updating your settings 

If you’ve already ‘Liked’ our Facebook page, you’ll be following us and in theory, that means you should see all of our posts. 

But Facebook is run by algorithms and that means you don’t necessarily get posts in chronological order. Facebook prefers to push what it thinks are the most popular posts, so sometimes even though you’ve ‘Liked’ EDA’s page, you may not automatically see our posts. 

Here’s how to fix that problem

1)  Open up Facebook and navigate to EDA’s page

Once you’re there, you'll see the row of dots on the right, just below the banner picture (see first arrow) 

2)  Next, click on Follow settings.


Once you’ve clicked "Follow settings", you’ll see the menu above

From there, you can choose which settings you’d like to change. The arrow is pointing to Posts as these are the ones you’ll want to make sure you’re following first. You can follow the same process for the other menu items below if you want to.

3)  Posts notifications section
Once you’ve clicked on Posts, you’ll see a menu that allows you to choose how you’d like to see our posts. The default is Highlights, which means that Facebook will choose what it thinks is a Highlight, so you may not even see our posts at all. Facebook defaults to Highlights to prevent people from being spammed with too many posts from pages you follow. 

4) Next, click on Standard, to tell Facebook that you want to see all of our posts. In our case, we only post one per day. You'll never receive more than one FB post from EDA, so daily multiple posts from EDA will not be an issue. 

Follow this procedure to make sure that you see our posts, then Like, Comment and Share. This will help raise our profile and let other people see our posts . The goal is to get people interested enough to find out more about EDA and become a member.

Thanks for your continued support!

The Southwest's most important river is drying up

Water managers have long recognized that the Colorado River is plagued by overuse. Over the last two decades, demand for the river’s water has often outstripped its supply. Since 2000, the river’s flow has shrunk by roughly 20% compared to the 20th century average, due in large part to the human-caused climate crisis. At the same time, its two main reservoirs — the 'savings account' for the entire system in times of drought — have drained to dangerous levels.

The 55 gigaton challenge

This is the climate challenge we face: we need to go from putting 55 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the air each year to zero. And it all needs to happen by 2050 at the latest. How can we get there? This quick, animated video explains. (Written by David Biello and voiced by Elise Hu)


Saving Farmland, Supporting Young Farmers

“At the root of peace is sufficiency and wholeness, and that means people having their needs met, people being fed. And that sufficiency and wholeness can be achieved only through a certain level of sovereignty over land and self-determination that is rooted in land.” An article by David Boiller.

Farmer's Footprint: Regeneration - The Beginning

This film features the trials, learnings and victories of the four-generation Breitkreutz family from Stoney Creek Farm as they transition from conventional farming to regenerative agriculture in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Using conventional methods, they had watched their soils degrade and their input costs rise each year. But transitioning to regenerative practices helped their row cropping operation and significantly reduced the input cost for their cattle. This film tells the story of how they did it.


Perilous Bounty: Review

Tom Philpott has been writing about food and farming for Grist, Mother Jones and other journals. Now he has a book out that examines the impending crises in US agriculture that are caused by short-sightedness, a relentless profit motive and the power of corporations over US farm policy.

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