A program of Farm Foundation, the Round Table is an invitation-only discussion forum comprised of leaders from across the food and agriculture value chain and across North America. The Farm Foundation® Round Table meets twice yearly to provide a forum for discussion and interaction among thought leaders and invited government, academic, agribusiness and other interest group leaders. Attendance at Round Table events is limited to Fellows and invited guests.
Programs are designed to explore ideas, analyses and insights that participants may use in their own work. The exchange of ideas fosters understanding of different approaches to issues and challenges facing agriculture, the food system and rural regions. Topics for Round Table meetings are determined by Program Committee of the Board of Directors. Programs often build on other Farm Foundation projects. Round Table discussions also generate new ideas for Farm Foundation project work.
With its roots in the earliest meetings of the Foundation for American Agriculture (FFAA), founded by Charles Dana Bennett in 1945, the Round Table has brought influential thought leaders together on a regular basis for more than 75 years. Bennett gathered a group to advise the Eisenhower Administration on agricultural policy in the 1950s, and he and his wife, Edith, continued to organize informal gatherings for these leaders, who recognized the value of exchanging ideas on timely policy issues impacting agriculture and rural America.