The SiX’s Kitchen Table Advisory Committee is comprised of expert leaders in the food and farm community and have volunteered their knowledge and expertise to support SiX legislators navigate the complexities of food and farm policy. If you are a state legislator looking for support please reach out to us at [email protected]
Amalie is the Policy Director at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. She has more than 25 years of public and social service experience and focused on agriculture and food systems. With OEFFA She has worked in land use around farmland preservation including agricultural easement purchase and donation programs, transfer of development rights, cost of community services and agricultural zoning. Recent work focuses on organic and regenerative agriculture systems, soil health, structure of agriculture policy, the role of agriculture in climate change and local and regional food systems resilience.
Amy Wong is a Portland, Oregon based attorney who is serving as the Board Chair of Oregon Organic Coalition. She has previously advocated on behalf of a coalition of nonprofit organizations seeking legislative and agency protections for Oregon’s vegetable specialty seed industry and served as Chief of Staff to Oregon State Senator Jeff Golden.
Andrew is the Executive Director of Farm Forward where he advocates for safe, healthy, and humane animal farming. Andrew is an expert in animal welfare standards and certifications. He works closely with food companies, universities and cities to help them improve the welfare of animals in their supply chain. Andrew was responsible for creating and launching the Leadership Circle, a program aimed at helping institutions source more humane food and BuyingPoultry.com, an authoritative guide for consumers and institutions who are interested in buying higher-welfare poultry and plant-based products.
Beth Katz is co-founder and co-director of Food Insight Group. Food Insight Group (FIG) is an applied food systems research and policy firm based in the Triangle region of North Carolina and the Bay Area of California. FIG partners with anchor institutions, philanthropic foundations, community-based organizations, and other changemakers to identify root causes of and develop innovative solutions to food systems challenges. Beth specializes in school food systems and has provided program design, technical assistance, and research support for school food and farm to school programs across the country.
Bobbi grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and was drawn to agriculture when she worked on a diversified vegetable farm in Arizona during college. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Northern Arizona University. From 2018 to 2021, Bobbi was the Policy and Special Projects Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers Union. In that role she advocated for policies that fostered vibrant family farms and rural communities, and engaged WFU members in the policy process. Bobbi has expertise and has worked on a variety of efforts including efforts to curb overproduction and improve prices for dairy farmers, promote competition and transparency in agricultural markets, and promote environmental sustainability in agriculture.
Chris Hunt serves as deputy director for Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP), a national nonprofit that works to help communities protect themselves from the harmful impacts of industrial livestock production and advocate for a socially responsible food future. In this role, Chris provides oversight and strategic guidance on programs, communications, partnerships, and organizational development. Previously, Chris served as communications director and senior advisor for ReFED, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste in the U.S.
Dãnia Davy serves as Director of Land Retention and Advocacy at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund – the largest and oldest cooperatively-owned organization whose membership includes black farmers, landowners and cooperatives. Dãnia began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow at the NCABL Land Loss Prevention Project implementing a project she designed which provided community education and estate planning services to improve Black farmers' access to legal services in the rural South. She served on the inaugural North Carolina Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council and currently serves on the boards of the Southern Rural Development Center and the Farmers’ Legal Action Group.
Davon Goodwin grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has rooted himself in North Carolina for over a decade now, consistently evidencing his dual commitment to agriculture and community. While in college, Davon enlisted in the Army Reserve; he served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED). Since 2012, Davon has been working with Growing Change, a nonprofit organization that is transforming former North Carolina prisons into therapeutic farms and community centers where youth and veterans serve in leadership roles. Currently, Davon is the manager of the Sandhills Ag Innovation Center, a food hub in Ellerbe, North Carolina that is working to reinvigorate the local sustainable farm economy and support the next generation of farmers. He also owns and operates OTL Farms, a 42-acre sustainable farm located in Laurinburg, NC where he grows muscadine grapes, Blackberries and vegetables.
As the State Policy Campaigns Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition, David supports farmer-led campaigns for equitable state policy change. In the ten years prior to joining Young Farmers, David served in various roles for former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Obama administration. David has expertise in developing policies using a racial equity analysis that speak to the needs of young farmers.
Debbie is founder and lead strategist for Food Climate Strategies, dedicated to advancing food systems solutions to address the urgent social, environmental, health and economic challenges facing our society. Debbie's training and experience in law, media, policy and advocacy combined with subject matter expertise in the sustainable food & agriculture sector provides a broad understanding of food and ag policy, and a depth of experience catalyzing long term systems change.
Elyse is the Executive Director of Activate Food Arizona, a nonprofit which creates both urban and rural community-based solutions to unique food system challenges in Arizona. She contributes to public policy efforts as a member of the Food and Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee with the Arizona Department of Agriculture and is active with various state and national food coalitions and organizations.
Erin is the Director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) at the University of Arkansas School of Law, the singular national legal research and policy analysis center focused on supporting Tribal governments exercising their sovereignty in the space of food and agriculture law and policy. Erin previously served as the Initiative’s Research Director, and has worked in Indian Country for all of her career as a food and agricultural lawyer.
Haley is an organizer with Dakota Rural Action located in Rapid City, South Dakota. DRA is a grassroots family agriculture and conservation group that organizes South Dakotans to protect our family farmers and ranchers, natural resources, and unique way of life. At DRA, Haley organizes on local foods, community energy development, and legislative issues.
Jim currently serves as the Senior Energy Policy Analyst for Food & Water Watch. In this capacity, Jim works with state and national organizations to educate decision makers on national policy campaigns that help facilitate and rapid and just transition off fossil fuels. While at Food & Water Watch, he has led efforts and overseen campaigns focusing on banning fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure, as well as pushing back on the fossil fuel industry backed false solutions to the climate crisis including carbon pricing, offsets, carbon capture, and factory farm biogas.
Jonathan Lovvorn is Faculty Co-Director of the Yale Climate, Animal, Food, and Environmental Law & Policy Lab, which develops innovative legislative and litigation strategies to address animal, human, and environmental exploitation within the food system. He has taught courses on animal law, wildlife law, and climate policy at Yale, Harvard, NYU, and Georgetown, and published several articles concerning the intersection of animal law, environmental law, and food policy. He also serves as Chief Counsel for Animal Protection Law at the Humane Society of the United States, and as a board member and legal advisor to several animal and environmental protection organizations.
Jose is the Campaigns Director at HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture and Labor) Food Alliance, a multi-sector coalition representing over 50 organizations in food and agriculture. He was born in Xelaju, Guatemala. As a result of his mothers’ involvement in social justice issues, they were forced to flee Guatemala in 1985. Previously, Jose has organized day-laborers in Chicago’s street corners as the Executive Director of Casa Guatemala and is the Founder of the Chicago Interfaith Workers’ Center and Co-Founder of the Food Chain Workers Alliance a national coalition of food-worker organizations that collectively represents over 350,000 workers.
Judith is the Founder of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance and is an attorney, activist, and sustainable farmer. The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance promotes common-sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems. Judith has served as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health and is also active with Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the Weston A. Price Foundation, and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.
Karen is Policy Director at the National Farm to School Network. She brings over a decade of experience in the world of food justice and food policy. After working to improve community food access in her home state of Michigan, her interest in systems-level change towards food justice led her to pursue policy advocacy. Prior to joining NFSN, Karen served as Food Policy Action's Director of Policy and Program Operations, spearheading their Congressional scorecard program, federal policy advocacy, and digital outreach.
Lucille Contreras is the CEO and founder of the Texas Tribal Buffalo Project that is working to restore the traditional relationship between the Lipan Apache and their relatives the Bison and provide the indigenous communities of Texas a pathway to tribal and food sovereignty. Lucille works for the New Green Economy and currently caretakes a small but growing herd of bison on 77 acres.
Margaret is a Senior Program Manager and chair of the Policy Team at RAFI-USA, working to connect the experiences of farmers and community stakeholders to policy solutions. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, she worked as a farm hand and manager on farms in the Triangle, and ran the SNAP/EBT program at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.
Marla Karina Larrave
Marla heads up HEAL’s School of Political Leadership and works alongside members to build political education and alignment for a just food and farm system. Having grown up in Los Angeles with deep farming roots in Guatemala, her previous experience includes progressing community-led policy and advocacy initiatives with people of color, migrants and indigenous communities both in the U.S. and abroad. Marla holds an M.A. in International Development from American University and a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Patty is the policy advisor for the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment. Before joining CFFE, Patty helped start and grow Food & Water Watch (FWW), serving as their Food and Water Program Director for 14 years, working on policy issues including organic standards and food labels, GMOs, food safety, meat inspection, farm policy and fighting consolidation in agriculture.
Pete is the Co-Director of Resilient Agriculture and Ecosystems at the Wallace Center at Winrock International. His work has focused on supporting family farms and other working lands to be financially successful while producing positive environmental impacts and healthy food. Prior to joining the Wallace Center, Pete was the Director of Food Systems at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy where he supported a range of activities spanning institutional procurement of regionally produced foods to the implications of international trade agreements on agriculture.
Renata is the co-founder and Executive Director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network, CalCAN, a statewide coalition founded in 2009 that advances state and federal policy to realize the powerful climate solutions offered by sustainable and organic agriculture. She is also the founder of the National Healthy Soils Policy Network, a group of state-level farmer-centered organizations sharing resources on healthy soils policy. Prior to CalCAN, she served as the Director of Californians for GE-Free Agriculture, a coalition of sustainable agriculture and environmental organizations that provided education on genetic engineering in agriculture.
Sherri Dugger is the executive director of Socially Responsible Agriculture Project and Coordinator of the Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. Previously she has been the Executive Director of both Women, Food and Agriculture Network and Indiana Farmers Union and as a consultant with Earthjustice and the American Grassfed Association. On behalf of local and regional food systems, environmental sustainability, humane animal agriculture, and diversified farming, she is a frequent advocate at the Indiana Statehouse and on Capitol Hill.
Tim is an organizer with the Western Organization of Resource Councils, WORC. WORC a network of eight grassroots community organizations located in CO, ID, MT, ND, OR, SD, and WY). With WORC, Tim organizes on agriculture and food issues and also helps staff WORC's Grassroots Democracy Program. He has extensive experience managing canvass teams and recently worked as an organizer with Dakota Resource Council, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer working with family farmers in Zambia on regenerative agriculture and forestry.
Vanessa Garcia Polanco
Vanessa is the federal policy associate at National Young Farmers Coalition. She has worked with Food Solutions New England, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Vanessa is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, and she brings her identities and experiences to shape her advocacy and research on urban agriculture and issues that impact farmers or color, and young and small farmers. Find her on Twitter as @vgpvisions.
Willa is the Organizing Co-Director with the Pesticide Action Network. She has organized alongside farmers, beekeepers, and rural residents experiencing pesticide drift, many of them Indigenous people organizing with the Toxic Waters Coalition. She is currently working on PAN’s Farm Policy Commons project, which leverages regional resources and strategies to build power between communities in different states and communities. She grew up on a small farm in rural Oregon, and her work today is informed by early experiences with ecological destruction, an affordable housing crisis, farmworker wage theft, and industry’s exploitation of working-class people in her community.
Zoe Hollomon has over 18 years of experience in Food and Environmental Justice organizing and community-based planning and policy. Her work has focused on racial equity, working with communities in New York State, Minnesota, and some national organizations. Zoe is a coop owner of a Farm & Retreat land-based Equity Coop, Rootsprings, in Annandale, MN and is a co-founder of the Twin Cities Good Food Purchasing Coalition. In 2020, Zoe co-founded the Midwest Farmers of Color Collective, that works to connect BIPOC farmers in the midwest, bring equitable resources through organizing and policy work. Zoe lives in Minneapolis with her partner, Erin and dog Luci.