Why the Food Lab?

Why the Food Lab?

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The Sustainable Food Lab is staffed by a team of dedicated professionals with offices in Vermont  and supported by a partnership with Ag Innovations Network.  Ag Innovations Network (AIN) acts as the fiscal sponsor for the secretariatSustainable Food Lab. An Advisory Board, led by representatives of leading SFL members, provides oversight to the Lab, establishes budget priorities, assists with fundraising, and shares the Food Lab stories with a broader audience.

The Food Lab is staffed by the following:

Hal Hamilton, Co-directorHal skamania

Hal Hamilton founded and co-directs the Sustainable Food Lab. Hal helps lead projects on water and crop diversification, as well as occasional supplier summits and strategic planning initaitives. He is an adviser to organizations and coach to people whose jobs involve sustainability. He is also a co-founder and faculty of the Academy for Systemic Change.

Hal’s career began as a commercial dairy farmer in Kentucky, and one of his early awards was being named Master Conservationist. While in Kentucky he led the development of the first formal alliance among tobacco farmers and public health organizations, an alliance that paved the way for hundreds of millions of dollars of tobacco settlement funds to be invested in rural communities in the upper south. He has founded and directed rural development and leadership organizations, and was the Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute founded by Donella Meadows.

Hal is a frequent guest faculty at the MIT Sloane School of Management and other business schools. Hal has been an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative. At the invitation of the U.S. State Department in 2006 he gave the annual George McGovern address to the FAO at World Food Day. He has been a German Marshall Fellow, a Kellogg Fellow and received a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award.

Hal’s education was at Stanford University and the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has written numerous columns and journal articles and three chapters in books on agricultural policy and change, most recently: Why we need Metrics and why Metrics are Dangerous and Why Sustainable Food Needs Big Business, and Why Business Can't Do It Alone. Hal lives in a community in Vermont located on a farm that produces many products including an award winning cheese and maple syrup.

 

Don-bio-pictDon Seville, Co-director

Don is the co-director of the Sustainable Food Laboratory, a multi-stakeholder project with the mission of innovating ways to increase the sustainability of the mainstream food system. He is leading the Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative, which is developing partnerships between companies and NGOs to pilot innovations that improve the competitiveness and sustainability of small-scale farming systems.  Within the Food Lab Don is also managing the “New Business Models for Sustainable Trading Relationships” project, a 4 year project with NGO and corporate partners to improve market access and livelihoods of small scale producers in Africa in crops including cocoa, dried beans, bananas, and fresh vegetables. He talks about one such project in An equitable, sustainable supply chain (http://vimeo.com/106225100) produced by the Ford Foundation. 

Don received his M.S. in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994 and has worked extensively with the Society for Organizational Learning. In 1997, he helped found the Sustainability Institute and Cobb Hill Co-housing, a farm based “eco-village” in Hartland, Vermont where he currently lives with his wife, son and daughter and raises sheep. 
 
Steph_2Stephanie Daniels, Senior Program Manager, Agriculture & Development
 
Stephanie manages Food Lab value chain partnerships focused on impact and learning on sustainable livelihoods. She has a background in sustainable supply chains and ethical purchasing. Her expertise is in sourcing from smallholders in developing countries, with a focus on cocoa. Before joining the Food Lab, Stephanie consulted with companies and NGOs such as WWF Vietnam, Shell Oil, Oxfam America, Starbucks and Stonyfield Farms, on supply chain development in alignment with social and environmental impact goals. Prior to this, she managed procurement and farmer services at US confectioner OCP Chocolate.  She holds a B.S Environmental Studies/Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont, M.A. International Development from Clark University and a graduate certificate in Organizational Management from Boston College. 
 
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Daniella Malin, Project Director, Agricultural Climate Stewardship Project

Daniella directs the Food Lab’s climate work and serves as project manager for the Cool Farm Institute bringing together growers with multinational food companies, NGOs, and academics to measure the potential for agricultural practices to mitigate GHG emissions.  Daniella has a background in project management, cultural communications, journalism, environmental education, software engineering and farming. She received her B.A. in Literature and Society from Brown University.    Daniella has written numerous publicatons, most recently: 

  • Climate change adaptation, mitigation and livelihood benefits in coffee production: where are the synergies? Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change (Impact Factor: 1.86). 01/2014; DOI: 10.1007/s11027-013-9467-x
  • Methods for the quantification of GHG emissions at the landscape level for developing countries in smallholder contexts Environmental Research Letters (Impact Factor: 3.58). 02/2013; 8(Res. Lett. 8 015019). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015019
  • A farm-focused calculator for emissions from crop and livestock production. Environmental Modelling and Software (Impact Factor: 3.48). 09/2011; 26(September):1070-1078. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.03.014
  • Using Biogeochemical Process Models to Quantify Greenhouse Gas Mitigation from Agricultural Management Projects. March 2011. Lydia P. Olander and Karen Haugen-Kozyra, with contributions from Stephen Del Grosso, César Izaurralde, Daniella Malin, Keith Paustian, and William Salas: http://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/ecosystem/t-agg/using-biogeochemical-process
  • C-AGG, T-AGG, and M-AGG:  A model of building collaborative actions and common understanding on agricultural GHG mitigation. July 2011 Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) working paper by Lydia Olander, Debbie Reed, Daniella Malin, and Karen Haugen-Kozyra

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Elizabeth Reaves, Progam Associate

 

As a member of the Sustainable Food Lab team, Elizabeth provides project management, research, analysis, and support for the Food Lab’s efforts to develop landscape level collaboration to achieve more sustainable agricultural practices. Her work is informed by deep listening, community-based research, and an appreciation for the complex interactions between social-economic systems and the environment. Having spent the early part of her life on a dairy farm in Vermont, and then later on a large organic vegetable operation, Elizabeth carries farming and food systems close to her heart and believes that farmers are integral to the stewardship our working lands. She has worked on behalf of private businesses, Trust for Public Land, Donella Meadows Institute, and US Senator Patrick Leahy. Her advanced degrees are in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.

croppedESprofilenewEmily Shipman, Program Associate

As a member of the Food Lab’s agriculture and development team, Emily provides project management, research, analysis, and support for the Food Lab’s efforts to implement more sustainable agricultural practices throughout value chains.

Over the past 11 years, Emily's work has bridged many integrated areas, including economic development, food security, sustainable agriculture, food systems, community development, marketing, and communications. Emily has spent considerable time working with small-scale farmers both abroad and at home in rural Vermont. She believes these farmers are a fundamental part of the solution to some of the most pressing issues facing our planet. Both her graduate and undergraduate theses focused on the implementation and evaluation of timely and culturally appropriate development initiatives. Emily holds a B.S. in Public Policy and Anthropology from Hobart & William Smith Colleges, an M.S. in Management from Marlboro College Graduate School, and a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Marlboro College Graduate School.

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Susan Sweitzer, Operations Manager

Susan has been part of the Sustainable Food Lab staff since it’s founding in 2004. Initially she was the Learning Historian, documenting the challenges and discoveries in the words of the members of the Lab. More recently she has been instrumental in  leading Learning Journeys and managing communications and management systems for the Food Lab. Previously, Susan was a writer, researcher and program evaluator for the Sustainability Institute. In that capacity she wrote the Learning Histories for the Sustainable Food Lab, the CDC Diabetes Systems Modeling Project and the Meadowlark Project as well as authoring the monthly Sustainability Institute newsletter. For 10 years in the 1990s Susan developed and managed low income rural/urban public health projects and served as a clinical nurse in a public health setting. Susan has a B.S. in Psychology from Earlham College and a B.S.N. from Eastern Kentucky University. Susan currently lives on a farm based eco-village where she raises Icelandic sheep and produces maple syrup.

 

McIntyre_head_copyJoseph McIntyre, Senior Associate, Sustainable Food Lab, Ag Innovations Network Director, Master Facilitator
 
Joseph is Senior Associate with the Sustainable Food Lab as well as president of Ag Innovations Network, a non-governmental organization, focused on the sustainability of the food system. Ag Innovations Network convenes and facilitates multi-stakeholder efforts to improve the performance of the food system for producers, consumers, and participants in local, regional, and global food supply chains. Joseph is a trusted intermediary between diverse interests in the food system and is the leader of multiple projects for Ag Innovations Network including the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment, and the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply. Mr. McIntyre holds an M.A. in economics from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in psychology/organization development from Sonoma University. Ag Innovations Network is headquartered in Sebastopol, CA. 

LAG0337 copy1LeAnne Grillo, Learning Journey and Meeting Production

LeAnne helps diverse groups of people act together to address the complex social issues they are frustrated with and passionate to change. She is co-founder and a partner in Spaces for Change, a firm that specializes in creating the conditions for people to connect in meaningful ways, enabling them to take effective action together around challenges that matter to them. She works closely with the Sustainable Food Lab and the SoL Education Partnership. LeAnne was a co-founder of Reos Partners LLC and worked at its predecessor company, Generon Consulting, contributing to a range of projects using the Change Lab and U-Process methodologies. Before joining Reos Partners, LeAnne was vice president and conference director for Pegasus Communications, the premier resource provider in the fields of systems thinking and organizational learning. Prior to Pegasus, LeAnne spent ten years working for Girl Scouts Patriots’ Trail  Council in Boston, Massachusetts in a variety of management positions.

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
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