Gus Schumacher, born August Schumacher, Jr., currently serves as the VP of Policy at the Wholesome Wave Foundation in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is also a member of the 21st Century Sustainable Agricultural Task Force of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2007, Schumacher, along with Cathy Bertini, former Director of the World Food Programme and Professor Robert Thompson, Gardner Professor of Agricultural Economics at Illinois, oversaw the preparation of the Task Force Report of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, titled “Modernizing America’s Food and Farm Policy: Vision for a New Direction” (2006).
Schumacher was a Consultant to the Food and Society Initiative at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. He also directs the Washington operations of SJH and Company of Boston, Massachusetts, an agri-strategy firm, and serves as the Contributing Agricultural Editor of Food Arts magazine
As former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the United States Department of Agriculture from 1997 to 2001, Schumacher oversaw the Farm Service Agency, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the Risk Management Agency. He was also President of the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Prior to his appointment, Schumacher served as Administrator of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, worked as a senior agri-lender for the World Bank, and served as Commissioner of Food and Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Schumacher is Vice President of Policy of the Wholesome Wave Foundation of Westport, Connecticut, serves on the boards of FreshFarm Markets in Washington DC, the Environmental Power Corporation, Tarrytown, New York and GrainPro, LLC of Concord, Massachusetts.
On September 22, 2008, he was selected for the 20th Anniversary Food Arts award for outstanding service to the American food and farming system at a ceremony in New York City.
Schumacher met Michel Nischan with Food Arts Publisher Michael Batterberry, who introduced the two men. They both had common interests in local, healthy food sources and the expanding work of new refugee farmers in New England growing unique Asian vegetables. Schumacher and Nischan soon began visiting these new growers and started links between New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC restaurants to source vegetables from the refugee farmers for local chefs’ menus.
This work evolved, culminating in the formation of Wholesome Wave Foundation as a way to link other local farmers around the country to supply healthy, sustainably grown produce at farmers’ markets to under-served neighborhoods. Wholesome Wave’s “double voucher” program aimed to provide greater food access for vulnerable families dependent on SNAP (food stamp), WIC and Social Security Income.
Schumacher has a degree in economics from Harvard College, studied at the London School of Economics and was a research associate in agribusiness at the Harvard Business School who worked with Professor Ray A. Goldberg.