Harkin on Wellness Symposium

The Harkin on Wellness (HOW) Symposium is an annual gathering to discuss timely topics associated with wellness and nutrition. Each year, the HOW Symposium gathers practitioners, policymakers, students, educators and members of the public for an engaging and educational event.

2022 HOW Symposium: Nutrition Security: Embracing Solutions that Nourish the Nation

March 29, 2022

The topic of nutrition security is increasingly relevant in today’s wellness and nutrition field. In the last year, USDA Secretary Vilsack has encouraged the nation to replace the terminology “food insecurity” with nutrition security, emphasizing the need to expand the definition beyond just food access, safety, and affordability, to a broader definition that includes and prioritizes, nutritious food. In April 2020, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian co-authored an article, “Prioritizing Nutrition Security in the US”, increasing dialogue around this subject. And in the Bipartisan Policy Center created a new task force that will focus on improving access to healthy foods and diet quality for all Americans. We are pleased to welcome former USDA Secretary Glickman, the current co-chair of this task force, as the keynote speaker for HOW 2022. Additional speakers include experts on the history of food and nutrition policy, diversity and equity in the 21st century food system, the use of technology in healthy eating innovation, and more. Nutrition security is defined as having consistent access, availability, and affordability of foods and beverages that promote well-being and prevent (and if needed, treat) disease, may be the next needed approach to inform clinical care and public policy.

2022 HOW Symposium Agenda

The 2022 HOW Symposium will be available to stream on demand after the event. Please note, it may take several days to format and upload content after the symposium. All times presented are in Central Time (CT).

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

9 a.m. Welcome
Senator Tom Harkin

Joseph Jones, PhD, MPA, Executive Director, The Harkin Institute

9:15 a.m. Panel Discussion: National Strategy on Food: The Next Farm Bill
Moderator: Jennifer Zwagerman, Director of Drake Agricultural Law Center

Stephanie Mercier, PhD, Agricultural Policy Consultant, Agricultural Perspectives

Parke Wilde, PhD, Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

10:30 a.m. Break 
10:45 a.m. Harkin On Wellness Designee Breakout Sessions
11:30 a.m. 1 hour break and lunch service
 12:25 p.m. Keynote Presentation
  Former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman

Patrick Stover, PhD, Director of the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture, Texas A&M AgriLife

1:15 p.m. 15 minutes break
1:30 p.m. Harkin on Wellness Designee Breakout Sessions
2:15 p.m.  15 minute break
2:30 p.m.  Panel Discussion: National Strategy on Food: White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health
Moderator: Lyndi Buckingham-Schutt, PhD, RDN, LD, Assistant Professor, Community Nutrition and Health, State Human Sciences Extension and Outreach Specialist, Iowa State University; Harkin Institute Senior Fellow

Angela Odoms-Young, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Nutrition Science, Cornell University

Cathie Woteki, PhD, Agriculture and Food Scientist and Nutritionist

Aubrey Alvarez, MPA, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Eat Greater Des Moines

3:30 p.m.  Closing Remarks
3:45 p.m.  Reception


Stephanie Mercier, PhD

Dr. Stephanie Mercier is a Senior Policy Adviser at Farm Journal Foundation.  Prior to her current role, she served between 1997 and 2011 in the position of chief economist for the Democratic staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Previously, she served as team leader for the Trade Policy and Programs area of the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   

An Iowa native, Dr. Mercier has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University. 

Patrick J. Stover, PhD

Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture (IHA) at Texas A&M AgriLife. The IHA advances innovative research and technologies that position agriculture as the solution to many of the most pressing societal challenges in human health, environmental health, and economic prosperity.  The IHA is a partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service and the State of Texas, and has an annual budget more than $30 million USD. Stover has over 20 years of academic leadership experience, serving as vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M AgriLife, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and director the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. As an international leader in biochemistry, agriculture and nutrition, Stover’s research focuses on the biochemical, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that underlie the relationships between folic acid, food fortification and human pathologies such as developmental anomalies, neuropathies and cancer.

Catherine E. Woteki, PhD

Dr. Catherine Woteki is Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University and Visiting Distinguished Institute Professor at the University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute. She currently is a member of President Biden’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology as well as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Society for Nutrition Foundation.  She served as Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area from 2010 to 2016. In that role, she developed the Office of the Chief Scientist, established the USDA Science Council, instituted the Department’s first scientific integrity and open data policies, and was a founding member of the Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists held under the auspices of the G-20. Dr. Woteki is an advocate for building the platforms needed to enhance domestic and international food and agricultural research.  

Parke Wilde, PhD

Parke Wilde (PhD, Cornell) is a food economist and professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Previously, he worked for USDA’s Economic Research Service. At Tufts, Parke teaches graduate-level courses in statistics and U.S. food policy. His research addresses the economics of U.S. food and nutrition policy, including federal nutrition assistance programs. He was Director of Design for the SNAP Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) evaluation in Hampden County, Massachusetts. He has been a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Food Forum and is on the scientific and technical advisory committee for Menus of Change, an initiative to advance the health and sustainability of the restaurant industry. He directed the USDA-funded Tufts/UConn Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) program. In 2019, he received the AAEA Distinguished Quality of Communication Award for his textbook, Food Policy in the United States: An Introduction, second edition (Routledge/Earthscan, 2018) 


Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support of the 2022 Harkin on Wellness Symposium.

Address: 2800 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311

Phone: (515) 271-3592

Fax Number: (515) 271-3631

Email: harkininstitute@drake.edu

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.