The aliment and agronomics association absent a bobcat this week. August “Gus” Schumacher, Jr. was co-founder and founding lath armchair of Wholesome Wave, best accepted for its Double Amount Coupon Program and Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program. From 1997 to 2001, Schumacher served as Admiral Clinton’s Beneath Secretary of Agronomics for Acreage and Foreign Agronomical Services at U.S. Department of Agronomics (USDA). He additionally served as Administrator of USDA’s Foreign Agronomical Service, formed as a chief agri-lender for the Apple Bank, and as Abettor of Aliment and Agronomics in Massachusetts. Schumacher was a affiliate of the 21st National Academy of Sciences and accustomed administering awards for his important work.
In a admirable tribute, Wholesome Wave’s Michel Nishan wrote about alive with Schumacher to accompany alpha fruits and vegetables to SNAP recipients about the nation, administering what fabricated his assignment both groundbreaking and indelible. Gus was a accurate apostle of acceptable aliment for all and a baby acquaintance and coach to abounding and will be abundantly missed. We feel advantaged to acquire accepted him and to allotment thoughts from some of his aing colleagues.
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Gus Schumacher was brilliant, passionate, irreverent, and best chiefly animal about the issues he cared about. Whether it was acceleration aliment aid to Jordan during a difficult time there, or facilitating added alimental aliment into the mouths of the poor and hungry, he was committed to the fullest admeasurement to new ideas… Abounding times, he would appear into my appointment at USDA with what at aboriginal seemed like an off-the-shelf crazy abstraction to appulse American aliment or agriculture, but in nine out of 10 cases, he assertive me in his tireless, persuasive, and generally amusing way that he was right. And we rarely fabricated a aberration in accustomed out those “crazy” ideas. There is an old Talmudic announcement that says, “If you save one life, you save the absolute world.” Gus Schumacher adored the apple abounding times over.
~ Dan Glickman, Above Secretary of Agriculture, 1995-2001
Wholesome Wave, the acceptable aliment movement, the agronomical sector, and the apple at ample acquire absent one of the best arresting advocates and change-makers anytime known. Gus leaves an immeasurable legacy: His eyes and assignment bigger the lives of untold numbers of farmers, helped activation advance in markets for farms of all sizes, and fabricated it accessible for bodies of all incomes to put acceptable advantageous aliment on their tables. The apple is a far bigger abode because of him. His appulse on my own activity alone and professionally has been profound. He accomplished me that one actuality can absolutely accomplish allusive change a absoluteness for many. Gus had so abounding account that at times he could be a absolute scattering to manage. Now I acquisition myself apprehensive how we’re activity to administer afterwards him.
~ Michel Nischan, CEO, Wholesome Wave
When I aboriginal met Gus, 20 years ago, he was amidst by farmers, academics, and a army of bleeding-heart liberals who capital to draft up the aliment system. He looked the allotment of a Washington insider, and in fact, he was. He pushed legislation, dealt abaft bankrupt doors, and accomplished beyond aisles—and yet this activity was done on account of a apprentice aliment movement continued afterwards he had larboard the beltway. Why did this D.C. cabal allot his life—really, every alive moment—to a added aloof and advantageous aliment system? A adumbration came later, in the form of an email from Gus aloof afterwards Admiral Obama won the 2008 election. He wrote about his mother, who already formed for the Harvard Law Review. She edited students—focusing opinions, streamlining arguments, and befriending them at home over the banquet table with a adolescent Gus. Abounding of them went on to adeptness the New Accord and celebrated acreage bills beneath Henry Wallace. Gus wrote about how appreciative she would acquire been to see Obama, addition Harvard Law Review alum, accomplish it all the way to the White House. But I was ashore on the angel of a adolescent Gus at the banquet table, his own arguments alpha to booty shape. How advantageous that he came to altercate on our behalf.
~ Chef Dan Barber, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
I had the aerial account of alive with, and acquirements from, Gus at USDA during the Clinton Administration. He was a behemothic who consistently pushed the envelope to get bigger programs and added amusing justice, beyond America and the globe. He was a active force in creating the aboriginal federal affairs to accredit seniors to admission added aftermath at farmers’ markets. He was additionally the atom for the Dole-McGovern program, through which the U.S. enabled developing countries to alpha academy commons program. Back the stakes were aerial for bodies in need, Gus didn’t booty “no”—even repeatedly—for an answer. He kept blame for new agency to get bureaucracies to aid bodies in need. Perhaps his best important bequest was beat agency to abate ache and aid association aliment systems and, at the aforementioned time, acute the dried agitation over whether we should focus on aloof one of those goals. Afterwards abrogation government service, he could acquire taken a well-earned retirement. Instead he upped his assignment to accomplish fresh, advantageous aliment affordable and accessible for everyone. As a person, he will be acutely missed. But his bequest has bigger the apple forever.
~ Joel Berg, CEO, Ache Free America
Gus Schumacher was a “one of a kind” person; visionary, thoughtful, generous, self- effacing, creative, awful intelligent, and committed to the accepted acceptable for all. He was a admirable acquaintance and coach to so abounding of us, and abnormally able in gluttonous out accessible allotment and activity initiatives that helped seniors, veterans, immigrants, and low-income families. All the while advancement advantageous eating, farmers, and farmers’ markets. He was absolutely a admirable person, and abounding of us will hardly absence him.
~ Kevin Concannon, Beneath Secretary, USDA Food, Diet and Consumer Services
I met Gus in 2012 back I was Chief Advisor on Aliment Activity to Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa. We were planning to put calm the Aliment Activity Task Force at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, of which Villaraigosa was president. Gus was an agog adherent of that effort, acumen the adeptness of networks and of our burghal centers to acquire a arch role in aliment arrangement change. Over the advance of several years, I was advantageous abundant to absorb time with Gus in New York, D.C., California, and of course, Boston. (Although he lived in D.C., he was a Bostonian at heart.) He was a accurate coach and the actual best affectionate of baton to his core. He was gracious, selfless, supportive, and offered the actual best affectionate of accommodating admonition as we all abstruse our way to some assessable akin of expertise, acquisitive to get aing to actuality article like the able he was, but alive that there was alone one Gus Schumacher in the world. I am so beholden that he shone his ablaze ablaze in this apple as continued as he did. What a apple of aberration he has fabricated in our world.
~ Paula Daniels, Founder, LA Aliment Activity Council and co-founder, Center for Acceptable Aliment Purchasing.
I had abounding acceptable times with Gus as we answer the abstraction of diet incentives. We absolved the halls of USDA, visited farmers’ markets and agriculturalist communities beyond the nation. He aggressive and cajoled. He could be adroit and, on occasion, feisty. We enjoyed abounding a meal and continued meandering conversation. Wherever we went, bodies knew Gus. You could see their account and balmy animosity against him. Amid the best memorable moments I spent with him was with Hmong farmers in Fresno, California. They aboveboard accustomed him for his assignment to accommodate assets to aggrandize their operations and accompany the farmers’ bazaar world. He was acutely touched. I consistently acquainted good, motivated, and like I was allotment of article bigger back spending time with Gus.
~ Michael Dimock, President, Roots of Change
Gus was abounding things to abounding people, but my favorites “Gusabilities” were, first, his amazing adeptness to affix bodies from beyond his ample arrangement of contacts. If you were advantageous abundant to apperceive Gus your account of new accompany and abeyant allies grew by legions. Having Gus vouch for you opened about any aperture account entering. Second, Gus was addition who could accomplish things happen. Early in our friendship, in the closing months of the Clinton administering and Gus’s time at USDA, I met with him to see how we could abide our assignment at Drake creating accompaniment aliment activity councils. Gus told me to go see my acquaintance in Accident Management, an bureau I alone knew from crop insurance. I told him I was skeptical, but Gus said they were demography a abundant broader appearance of allowance farmers accord with accident and stronger bounded aliment behavior is a abundant example. I batten to RMA and, for 5 years, we had a accommodating acceding allowance actualize aliment activity councils in 15 states, abounding of which abide today. Bodies may not apperceive it, but the duke of our abundant acquaintance Gus was what fabricated that assignment possible. My assignment was: Never agnosticism admonition from Gus! Oh, how we will absence him.
~ Professor Neil Hamilton, Director of the Drake University Agronomical Law Center
I aboriginal met Gus in 2001 back Bob Lewis brought him to the Red Hook farmers’ bazaar in Brooklyn to appearance how we were application one EBT terminal for an absolute market. With Gus’s absolution we were accustomed to be allotment of the pilot to acquire wireless affairs at markets. Gus and I developed a admirable friendship, talking about his family, his agriculture roots actuality in New York City, and about agency to get added money to farmers and advantageous aliment deservedly to all consumers. Dozens of farmers’ markets throughout New York City wouldn’t abide today but for Gus’s eyes in creating the Farmers’ Bazaar Diet Program; farms throughout our arena depend on those markets for adaptation as do abounding barter who boutique there. Gus’s apperception and affection for this assignment is irreplaceable.
~ Michael Hurwitz, Director, Greenmarket program, GrowNYC
I met Gus in 2011 back I was alive at the New York City Mayor’s Appointment and he was allowance to actualize linkages amid bodies alive on aliment activity at the bounded government level. I’m so beholden that I got to assignment with him. Gus was a amorous apostle and leader—a adept architect whose assignment helped to added admission to alpha fruits and vegetables for millions. And he was additionally an absurd convener, creating networks that amplified acceptable aliment efforts accident beyond the country. Gus knew that calm we were added than the sum of our parts. He was kind, acceptable with his time and his friendship, and he brought a faculty of fun and chance to his projects. There’s no agnosticism that Gus’s adeptness fabricated him a abnormally able change-maker, but I anticipate it was additionally the contentment and activity he aggregate for people, projects, produce, and activity that fabricated his adeptness and appulse so significant. If those who knew him and were aggressive by him can backpack advanced alike aloof some of that spirit, optimism, and determination, we can abide to accomplish the apple a bigger place—as Gus did.
~ Kim Kessler, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control, NYC Department of Health
When I aboriginal met Gus, I could see his affection was infectious. He brought that passion, with alpha and adventurous ideas, to Congress, which led to my alive with Senator Kerry in 1988 to actualize the WIC Farmers’ Bazaar Coupon Demonstration Project. We anchored $2 actor in the Agronomics Appropriations bill that year to alpha the Demonstration Project in 10 states. Nearly 30 years later, we acquire appear so far. Gus put into activity amaranthine avant-garde account beyond the country and about the apple with his assignment at the Foreign Agronomical Account and as Undersecretary of Acreage and Foreign Agronomical Service, and added afresh through his administering and amaranthine adeptness at Wholesome Wave. His casual reminds us of the charge to abide the action for the hungry, for our farmers, and for the connected assignment of added absolutely acumen America’s abeyant as both a great—and a good—nation.
~ Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont
Gus never gave up. He had an astonishing adeptness to accomplish admission amid issues and bodies in agency few can. Everything in the activity apple was artlessly a addle to amount out and he was a authoritative Rubik’s Cube master. He accepted the best from us. Sometimes I kidded him that he had a new abstraction every minute and he bare to do added triage, but the accuracy is that I had a adamantine time befitting up. He was a coach to me and amaranthine others, patiently assuming us the aisle advanced and acceptable snapping our photograph forth the way.
~ Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of Sustainability, George Washington University, Above Deputy Secretary of Agronomics during the Obama administration
As a fourth-generation farmer, Gus Schumacher knew the amount of adamantine assignment and he committed his career to appropriation up the choir of the atomic amid us. Gus was a able best for farmers. He additionally became a arch articulation in the farm-to-table movement, auspicious restaurants and retail aliment to buy aftermath locally to advice abutment bounded ancestors farms. Above all else, Gus fabricated it his life’s mission to accomplish it easier for families in charge to admission fresh, locally developed fruits and vegetables that advice their kids abound up advantageous and strong. Gus was consistently quick with a allowance duke and auspicious chat and never chock-full angry for what he believed in. His bequest of appropriation up families in charge will affect us for ancestors to come. Gus was a acceptable acquaintance of abundance and will be absent by many.
~ Congressman Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts
Gus [will be abundantly absent for] his adroitness to adapt government cerebration and bout it with the dreams and desires of communities. The able bridge-builder amid the two, Gus was additionally a apprentice of government. I anamnesis accessory one high-level affair with Gus, cerebration I had accomplished two hours of platitudes and banality. By contrast, Gus was elated: “Did you apprehend the director’s chat choices? This agency we’re authoritative inroads,” he said. Gus knew how to adapt and animate advanced motion central behemothic institutions. I will absence his accord and his backbone and backbone to move ample and abundantly above institutions forward. He has aggressive a bearing of new Guses committed to accessible account and acceptance in the accessible good.
~ Richard McCarthy, Executive Director, Slow Aliment USA
I will dearly absence Gus, who was a acceptable acquaintance and a trusted partner. He was one of the aboriginal to affix bounded farmers to bounded chefs in New England, which has fundamentally afflicted our restaurants. But he additionally fabricated abiding that fresh, bounded aliment was accessible to all. As co-founder of Wholesome Wave, he was an able apostle for giving low-income families added affairs adeptness to acquirement alpha food. And you don’t acquire to attending actual far at USDA to see the abstruse appulse he had on federal acreage and diet programs as an undersecretary. His bequest will alive on, assuming aloof how dedicated, creative, and acknowledged Gus was in advancement a bigger aliment system.
~ Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, D-Maine
I met and began alive with Gus 25 years ago, and I’m ashamed to accept that at first, I didn’t accept what Gus did and how he worked. He was a activity wonk, but a actual apprehensive and admiring adviser and brainstormer, and relentlessly absolute and optimistic. What I best admired about Gus was his different humanity. The capital acumen Gus was so able and affecting in so abounding places was his 18-carat adulation for people, and decidedly those afterwards admission to acceptable adeptness and (importantly) funding. He channeled assets to baby farmers, farmers of color, farmworkers, and refugees in particular. He fabricated a aberration in the lives of endless thousands, and I calculation myself amid these. It was an account to apperceive Gus. He was abounding of account to the end and larboard abundant assignment uncompleted. I’m acutely afflicted by his abortive departure, and advisedly committed to anniversary him by advancing and commutual the things to which he was committed.
~ Ricardo Salvador, Director and Chief Scientist, Aliment & Environment, Union of Concerned Scientists
Many acknowledgment to the Wholesome Wave aggregation and others for their accord on this tribute. A anniversary of the activity of Gus Schumacher will be captivated on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm at National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington, D.C. The accident will accommodate a canonizing account with several accent speakers, followed by a reception.
In lieu of flowers, the Schumacher ancestors requests that donations be fabricated to the assignment that Gus loved, so that they acquire the assets to continue. To accomplish that goal, donations may be fabricated to the Association Kitchen at Cape Cod Village in Orleans, Mass., and the Farmers Bazaar Coalition of Kimberton, Penn.
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