Vanessa Garcia Polanco co-designs the strategy and implementation of the National Young Farmers Coalition government relations campaigns, ensuring equity-driven, farmer-centric research, policy, and programmatic interventions for a more just food system. She also serves as the organizational council member of the US National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. She has previously worked with the US Department of Agriculture, and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.  She is an alumna of Michigan State University and the University of Rhode Island.  She is a James Beard Foundation Scholar, an Agriculture, Food, Human Values Society Innovation Leader, and a 2023 Grist Fixer.  As an Afro-Dominican immigrant, she brings her experiences and identities to her policy and advocacy activities. She leads a #DominicanFoodStudies research project on Dominican food ways and ethnobotany and funnels financial and agricultural resources to Dominican food sovereignty projects.