Why you need USDA’s National Agricultural Library for your farming and food systems work

Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs

Recorded February 9, 2022

Hosted by: Farm to Institution New England 

Do you wish you had better insights into regional supply chains? High quality images to use for marketing and education? More access to data about farms and farming practices? Another way to find funding for your program or business? The United States National Agricultural Library (NAL) will provide you with helpful resources for these needs - and more! The NAL is one of the world's largest agricultural research libraries. Millions of digital resources are available to the public, yet few people - even those working in regional food systems - are aware of how valuable these resources can be to their work. 

Come connect with Stephanie Ritchie and Dr. Vanessa S. Gordon of the National Agricultural Library who will show you how to access the library. They will highlight resources useful for: 

  • marketing and communications
  • regional supply chain development
  • building equity in the food system
  • funding

You’ll leave this webinar with new ways to guide your data-driven decisions, find resources to support your regional food system efforts, and discover the world of NAL tools available to you. 

Images from the National Agricultural Library, including 1910 drawing of Windsor cherries, root crop advertisement, Minnesota Plum Quartette, and Book of the second world's poultry congress Barcelona 1924


Tania Taranovski | Director of Programs, Farm to Institution New England


Stephanie Ritchie | Lead Librarian, Customer Services Unit, USDA National Agricultural Library

Vanessa S. Gordon, Ph.D. | Program Leader, USDA National Agricultural Library

Speaker Bios

Stephanie Ritchie is the Lead Librarian for Customer Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library (NAL). In this role, she oversees services to both government and public researchers including systematic review support, outreach and training for library resources, scientific publishing, and customer experience. She has been involved in agriculture work on-farm, at the policy level, and in libraries for over twenty-five years. Prior to this position, she served as the liaison librarian to the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and supported the research information needs of faculty and students, and managed the UMD collections in agriculture and related disciplines. Stephanie earned a Master of Library Science at the University of Maryland and an undergraduate degree in environmental studies from Macalester College, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Vanessa GordonVanessa S. Gordon, Ph.D., is a Plant Breeder/Molecular Geneticist who serves as Program Lead for the National Agricultural Library’s Alternative Farming Systems, Water and Agriculture, and Rural Information Systems. She is a United States Navy active duty veteran with a wide range of outreach experience with multiple audiences over the past 30 years. She serves on the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Outreach Subcommittee; helps represent NAL in Environmental Justice undertakings; and, is actively involved in creating new relationships promulgating a greater intersection and understanding between USDA agricultural research pursuits and their meaningful integration with taxpayer farming goals.



FINE Fall & winter Webinars

FINE’s Farm & Sea to Campus webinars create peer-to-peer learning opportunities for dining program directors, chefs, foodservice operators, supply chain businesses, and community partners who procure and promote New England food. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don't miss future events!

From Boat to Food Bank to Dining Hall: How Local Chowder Became a Community Solution // Recording available

Labor in Farm to Institution Supply Chains Part 1: Prison Labor and the Need for Transparency // Recording available

Campus Food Security Part 1: Creating and Sustaining Food Pantries // Recording available

Campus Food Security, Part 2: Bunker Hill Community College and Food Link’s Community-Focused Partnership // Recording available

Labor in Farm to Institution Supply Chains Part 2: Incorporating Worker Values into Local Food Procurement // Recording available

Why You Need USDA's National Agricultural Library for Your Farming and Food Systems Work // Recording available

FINE Fall & winter Webinars