Food Democracy Now! launched in December, 2008 with a letter advocating for a more sustainable candidate for the position of our next Secretary of Agriculture. With the support of leading members of the sustainable agriculture and environmental communities we proposed 6 candidates, with the goal of reminding the American public and the next Administration about the type of leadership that we believe is needed to United States Department of Agriculture forward into the 21st Century. Below is the original letter and proposed candidates here, and the list of 90 original signers below.

  1. David Murphy, Clear Lake, IA
  2. Paul Willis, Thornton, IA
  3. Michael Pollan, Berkeley, CA
  4. Bill Niman, Bolinas, CA
  5. Nicolette Hahn Niman, Bolinas, CA
  6. Diane Halverson, Northfield, MN
  7. Marlene Halverson, Northfield, MN
  8. Aaron Woolf, Elizabethtown, NY
  9. Judy Wicks, Philadelphia, PA
  10. Wendy Wasserman, Iowa City, IA
  11. Anna Lappé, Brooklyn, NY
  12. Cornelia Butler Flora, Ames, IA
  13. Eleanor Bertino, San Francisco, CA
  14. Wes Jackson, Salina, KS
  15. Wendell Berry, Port Royal, KY
  16. Alice Waters, Berkeley, CA
  17. Marion Nestle, New York, NY
  18. Bill McKibben, Middlebury, VT
  19. Rick Dove, New Bern, NC
  20. Ann Cooper, Berkeley, CA
  21. Michel Nischan, Fairfield, CT
  22. Jerry DeWitt, Ames, IA
  23. Michael Dimock, San Francisco, CA
  24. Jim Harkness, Minneapolis, MN
  25. Frank Reese, Lindsborg, KS
  26. Jeff Odefey, Irvington, NY
  27. Cathy Liss, Alexandria, VA
  28. Eric Schlosser, Monterey, CA
  29. Leigh Adcock, Ames, IA
  30. Dan Barber, Pocantico Hills, NY
  31. Francis Thicke, Fairfield, IA
  32. Josh Viertel, Brooklyn, NY
  33. Peter Hoffman, New York, NY
  34. Tom Philpott, Valle Crucis, NC
  35. Hillary Wilson, Valle Crucis, NC
  36. Dan Imhoff, Healdsburg, CA
  37. Michael Stumo, Sheffield, MA
  38. Simran Sethi, Lawrence, KS
  39. Lisa Stokke, Clear Lake, IA
  40. Sarah Willis, Thornton, IA
  41. Peter Kaminsky, Brooklyn, NY
  42. Kurt Michael Friese, Iowa City, IA
  43. Carl Safina, Stony Brook, NY
  44. Anthony Garrett, Washington, DC
  45. Eliza Maclean, Snow Camp, NC
  46. Odessa Piper, Silver Spring, MD
  47. Edward Behr, Barnet, VT
  48. Phyllis Willis, Thornton, IA
  49. Larry Cleverley, Mingo, IA
  50. Jesse Ziff Cool, Menlo Park, CA
  51. Curt Ellis, Austin, TX
  52. Wenonah Hauter, Washington, DC
  53. Patty Lovera, Washington, DC
  54. John Ikerd, Columbia, MO
  55. Lucia Watson, Minneapolis, MN
  56. Deborah Madison, Galisteo, NM
  57. George DeVault, Decorah, IA
  58. Melanie DeVault, Decorah, IA
  59. Andrea King Collier, Lansing, MI
  60. Rosiland Creasy, Los Altos, CA
  61. John Jeavons, Willits, CA
  62. Samuel Fromartz, Washington DC
  63. Frances Moore Lappe, Cambridge, MA
  64. Denise O’Brien, Atlantic, IA
  65. Arnell Hinkle, Berkeley, CA
  66. Marjie Bender, Pittsboro, NC
  67. Winona LaDuke, Ponsford, MN
  68. Diane Hatz, New York, NY
  69. Cory Schreiber, Portland, OR
  70. Rick Bayless, Chicago, IL
  71. Angie Tagtow, Elkhart, IA
  72. Ralph Paige, East Point, GA
  73. Clara Bingham, New York, NY
  74. Arie McFarlen, Dell Rapids, SD
  75. Bret Kortie, Dell Rapids, SD
  76. Dwight Ault, Austin, MN
  77. Amy P. Goldman, Rhinebeck, NY
  78. Judith LaBelle, New York, NY
  79. Patrick Martins, New York, NY
  80. Mary Berry Smith, New Castle, KY
  81. John Fisk, East Lansing, MI
  82. Tim LaSalle, Kutztown, PA
  83. Susan Stokes, St. Paul, MN
  84. Jude Becker, Dyersville, IA
  85. Nina Planck, New York, NY
  86. Jan Libbey, Kanawha, IA
  87. Erika Lesser, Brooklyn, NY
  88. Donna Prizgintas, Ames, IA
  89. Cathrine Sneed, San Francisco, CA
  90. Joyce Lock, Des Moines, IA