Florida Food Policy Council Introduction
“Florida Food Policy Council will make possible the growth of functional (i.e. resilient, self-sufficient, whole, just and ecologically sustainable) local, community foodsheds that bring communities throughout the state of Florida closer to true food security. “
Mission Statement – “Florida Food Policy Council will encourage the development and expansion of the capacity of local food systems (foodsheds) to meet food security needs in communities across Florida through advocacy, network-building, training and providing tools designed to increase production, distribution and consumption of healthy, local foods for the planet, ecosystems and people. “
FFPC Board Members
Trish Strawn (Chair) - Trisha serves as the current Chair of the FFPC Board. She is the Sales Manager for Beyond Health and Wellness, a sustainable agriculture operation in Missouri, with offices in Georgia and Florida. Serves on the Board of Directors for Deep Creek Ranch, a grass fed beef and lamb ranch in DeLeon Springs, FL. Ms. Strawn just completed her term as Co-Leader of Slow Food Orlando with Rebecca Reis-Miller. Under their direction Slow Food Orlando had the first annual Eat Local Week in the Central Florida. And provided funding for 5 of the 11 Florida delegates who attended the International Slow Food Conference, Terra Madre in Turin, Italy. Ms. Strawn and her father, David Strawn, were selected as Innovative Farmer of the Year during the Small Farms Conference in 2010. Ms. Strawn was the only rancher representing the farmer when 700 Chefs/Artisans/Writers attended the Let’s Move Champaign held on the Front Lawn of the White House. Her varied accomplishments have meant that Trish is often requested to speak at different events throughout the state. Ms. Strawn is also a new member of the Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami.
Trish is the epitome of a local food activist. Her personal tagline is “Feed Florida from Florida.”
Florida native: Born 1954 in West Palm Beach Florida Served in the U.S. Marine Corps 1974-1978 Upon his return he enrolled in Culinary Arts School and started his career as a chef.
Rick Hawkins – Rick is a 36 year veteran of the hospitality industry and currently Director of Materials Management of The Breakers Palm Beach Inc. Rick leads the hotel “Green Team” and led the effort to make the hotel the first certified green lodge in Palm Beach County. He is a cofounder of Localecopia, a Florida not for profit dedicated to make communities more sustainable and eliminating the disconnect between growers and consumers.
Rick grew up on a small farm in Minnesota and witnessed the demise of this way of life in this region as it evolved into a corporate agricultural system. A bad economy and severe winters led to a move to south Florida in the 70’s. He resides at his small farm near Indiantown and maintains a garden and some livestock for friends and family. He and the hotel green team are now maintaining a community garden in Lake Worth with the harvest going to a local food pantry and a weekly teaching session to illustrate gardening fundamentals and sustainable practices to a group of young children from a local urban school
RWJF Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Project
The School District of Palm Beach County
3300 Forest Hill Blvd C-225
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Voice: 561-969-5880 (px 45880)
Erica Whitfield received her Master of Public Health from Emory University, Atlanta, GA in 2003. Her specialization is in Behavioral Science and Health Education. Ms. Whitfield worked at the Palm
Peter Kennedy, Esq. - President of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and Vice President of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, Pete is an attorney in Sarasota, Florida who also works on dairy issues for the Weston A. Price Foundation, particularly, the right of farmers to distribute raw milk and raw milk products direct to consumers. He has represented or assisted in the representation of dairy farmers facing possible state enforcement action in Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. He has helped farmers get started in the business of distributing raw milk and raw milk products in many other states.
Pete has written articles for Wise Traditions Joournal and Graze Magazine, primarily on the interstate ban on raw milk products for human consumption and on the legality of selling raw milk interstate for animal consumption. He compiled the state raw milk laws and state raw milk summaries posted at www.realmilk.com.which is now summarized by the “Raw Milk Nation Map” ©. He is currently working with others to challenge the federal ban on the interstate shipment of raw milk for human consumption.
Val Leitner – Val, a native Mississippian by nature rather than by birth, currently resides in Gainesville, Florida. Val is President of Blue Oven Kitchens, a not-for-profit kitchen incubator serving North Central Florida. Its mission is to incubate local, food-based entrepreneurs; provide and promote local foodways and foodshed education; and foster a whole-system approach to the sustainable growth of the North Central Florida food economy. Val most enjoys volunteering with small farmers to learn more about their needs and how best to sustainably grow their access to facilities and markets to bring more delicious local food to more people in North Central Florida.
Currently Dina is VP of InterNatural Marketing and President of Agvocacy,
LLC., where her mission is to offer proactive support of
organic/sustainable agriculture, urban agriculture, promote small farms and
contribute to the growth of a local and regional foods distribution system.
She has been a contributing writer to Nutricula Magazine and member of the
Health Advisory Board.
Dina has also worked with Destiny Organics, as an independent consultant. Since its inception she proudly serves on the fundraising committee for the Small Farms/Alternative Enterprises
Conference; hosted by University of Florida/ IFAS Extension and FAMU. In
2009 she served the City of West Palm Beach, in the revision and authoring
of zoning ordinances to permit urban agriculture.
Dina has also become an integral part in the development of Urban Growers Community Farm; assisting in bringing an essential urban farm to the City of West Palm Beach.
Through tenacity and a great belief in what is possible when individuals
pull together; Dina will assist in creating a progressive and cohesive plan
for the future of Florida foods.
Marty Mesh - Marty became committed to organic agriculture and sustainable food systems while a farmworker in 1972, and in 1976 helped start Bellevue Gardens Organic Farm in Archer, Florida. Marty helped form Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers, Inc. (FOG) in 1989 and has served as Executive Director since 1995. In its early years, FOG focused on education and cost-effective organic certification to increase farmers’ access to markets, and was also heavily involved in the development of the National Organic Program regulations governing organics. FOG started certifying organic growers in 1989 and received its USDA accreditation in the initial 2001 list. Today FOG operates two programs: Quality Certification Services (QCS) and Education & Outreach. In 2004, Marty was named among the 25 people who influenced the organic industry, due in part to the past 35 years he has dedicated to a more environmentally responsible and socially just form of agriculture. Marty is a board member of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Accredited Certifiers Association and Florida Food Policy Council. He recently completed a nine-year term on the board of the Organic Trade Association, and is a past charter board member of the Organic Materials Review Institute and National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture.
Francisco Rodriquez - Born in West Palm Beach, Francisco grew up in Palm Beach Gardens where he attended Jupiter Christian School. After attaining a Bachelor of Science degree from Pensacola Christian College in biology, he came back home to Palm Beach to marry his sweetheart, Stacy, and raise a family. Today, they live in Jupiter with their Wheaton Terrier, Macie, and baby girl, Eden Claire.
Currently Francisco is a sales manager for a Nutrition Ingredient company. His passion for farming, specifically local farming, came from his family history as well as the influence of a History professor in college. After understanding the tragedies that occur when the people don’t control their food supply he has passionately engage in the local food movement. In 2007 Francisco, along with his good friend Douglas Irvine, started a weekly farm basket delivery service in the Palm Beach Garden area of Florida. The service was discontinued because of lack of interest from the community at the time, however the passion remained.
Francisco is a firm believer that local food can be one of the most effective Health and Financial impacts to a community. As a Board member the Florida Food Policy Council and with the inspiration of friends who work that land in Florida Francisco is as passionate as ever to help people make the transition to local food.
a) Programs and Services of FFPC
i. Central statewide organizing group for food policy and local community foodshed development in FL
ii. Mapping of statewide food sources and food policy groups and resources in FL
iii. Support, e.g., logistical, educational, etc., of local Food Policy Councils in FL
b) Needs of FFPC
i. Networking with local food policy councils in FL
ii. Diverse membership of stakeholders from FL community foodsheds who support the vision and mission of FFPC
iii. Member volunteers for committees and projects identified by the FFPC Board
iv. County representatives and organizers of general membership in FFPC