Calendar of Events - North American Food Systems Network
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In this popular and free webinar series, NAFSN provides participants with connections and insights to help them identify next steps for their careers. This four-part series for Spring 2024 highlights job creators across the food systems profession.
 



In this episode, we feature: 

Roberta Cosentino, Co-Founder of The Best Route

Roberta Cosentino, a first-generation Italian-American, draws inspiration from her family’s traditions and a passion for growing, preparing and preserving food. Armed with a degree in Anthropology and Sociology, Roberta spent months with soybean farmers in rural Argentina, witnessing the impact of industrial food production on local culture and systems. After working as a Program Evaluator and Researcher in government and nonprofits, she settled in Chester County, PA. Driven by her passion for food, Roberta dedicated seven years to growing and managing a Mobile Market program, eventually overseeing multiple healthy food access initiatives. Roberta continues her food system work as a consultant helping organizations build impactful mobile market programs. She also serves on the Leadership Committee of the Mobile Market Coalition and is chair of the Research Committee. 

LOCATION: Coatesville, Pennsylvania 

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Justin Barclay, Global Education Operations Manager & Veterans Program Manager at the Rodale Institute

 

 

As the Rodale Institute’s Education Manager, Justin Barclay spearheads the educational and curriculum development for the Rodale Institute Farmer Training (RIFT) program which also incorporates the Veteran Farmer Training Program (VFTP).  He ensures a smooth day-to-day operation that provides hands-on training for military veterans and non-veterans interested in learning about organic agriculture. Recognized at both state and federal levels, Justin secured a substantial $589,000 USDA BFRDP grant and raised over $600k for the VFTP. His commitment goes further, with the incorporation of mental health advocacy efforts and entrepreneurship initiatives for comprehensive veteran support. In addition to these responsibilities, he manages the Rodale Institute Farmer Training (RIFT) online portal, collaborates on Rodale Virtual Campus tasks, and provides curriculum assistance for Rodale partners.

LOCATION: Kutztown, Pennsylvania

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Zachary Korosh, PhD, Urban Planning, The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture



Zachary Korosh is currently a second-year Ph.D. student in the City and Regional Planning program at Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture, with a particular focus on community development and community economies. He pursued his undergraduate studies in environmental design and political science at the University at Buffalo, where he continued to get his master’s degree in Urban Planning. Zachary's academic interests extend to cooperative living, alternative economic solutions, and advocating for a more accessible planning process. Beyond his academic pursuits, he served as the founder and graduate advisor for doubleASAP, a club dedicated to African American students in architecture and planning. In his leisure time, Zachary enjoys indulging in hobbies such as reading comics, playing video games, and painting.

LOCATION: Columbus, Ohio 

 


more info...
2/21/20246:00pm to 7:00pm


In this popular and free webinar series, NAFSN provides participants with connections and insights to help them identify next steps for their careers. This four-part series for Spring 2024 highlights job creators across the food systems profession.
 



In this episode, we feature: 

Delaney Gobster, Capstone Lecturer at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies,
University of Wisconsin–Madison




Since December 2022, Delaney Gobster has served as the Capstone Lecturer for the Nelson
Institute for Environmental Studies, instructing Env St 600: From Excess to Access. In this
course, Delaney explores a range of topics, focusing on local to global solutions in food
recovery, redistribution, and recycling with students.

LOCATION: Madison, Wisconsin

***

Kathia Ramirez, Policy Advocate at Pinelands Preservation Alliance

 

Kathia joined the Pinelands Preservation Alliance in May 2022 after dedicating almost 8 years to her role as a Food Justice Coordinator at a grassroots non-profit, collaborating closely with immigrant and farmworker communities. In this prior position, she gained knowledge from successful social movement models that prioritize the well-being of people and the environment. While overseeing a smaller community garden, she integrated sustainable practices, cultural elements, and other dimensions into advancing a fairer food system. Although not as expansive as Rancocas Creek Farm, her management experience provided meaningful perspectives. Identifying as indigenous Zapotec, with roots in Oaxaca, Mexico, though born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, she holds a B.A. in Spanish and Latino Studies from Mount Holyoke College. Kathia looks forward to connecting various communities with PPA's mission and raising awareness about issues affecting our communities and the environment. Recently delving into homemade medicine and maintaining a beginner's approach, she also enjoys baking in her free time.

LOCATION: Southampton Township, NJ

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Ben Rasmussen, Executive Director of the National Center for Frontier Communities

Ben currently serves as the Executive Director at the National Center for Frontier Communities, a position he has held since 2015. During his tenure with NCFC, he initiated groundbreaking regional food system studies and successfully launched the Frontier Food Hub in 2018. With a diverse background in programming, food systems, rural and frontier communities, and policy, Ben brings a wealth of experience to his role. Prior to joining NCFC, Ben dedicated his efforts to supporting rural veterans through the VA Hospital System and served as a Corpsman in the US Navy for four years. In Minneapolis, he cultivated his expertise in the local food scene, engaging in urban farming. This passion led him to work on various farms across the country before finding his way to Silver City and the National Center for Frontier Communities. 

LOCATION: Silver City, New Mexico 

 


more info...
2/27/20246:00pm to 7:00pmKim Hines


NAFSN's Leadership Circle Meeting is held virtually on the first Wednesday of each month, 12pm-1:30pm ET. All are welcome, including members and those interested in membership. Newcomers will be given the floor during the first part of the meeting to introduce themselves to participants.

At this meeting, a Leadership Monthly Report is shared and includes updates from our four programmatic circles: ACRE, CARAT, COM-FED and PRODUCTIONS.

Please register to receive the link.
Contact kim@foodsystemsnetwork.org with questions or concerns.

more info...
3/6/202412:00pm to 1:30pm


Members of the ACRE Community of Practice will meet for their quarterly virtual gathering on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.
At this meeting, we will:
* congratulate new graduates of the ACRE Facilitation course
* welcome graduates into the ACRE Community of Practice
* arrange continuing education opportunities for ACRE CoP members 
* share the new CARAT website
* share details about NAFSN's new Community Food Systems Consultants referral tool


 

more info...
3/19/20243:00pm to 4:00pm


In this popular and free webinar series, NAFSN provides participants with connections and insights to help them identify next steps for their careers. This four-part series for Spring 2024 highlights job creators across the food systems profession.
 



In this episode, we feature: 

Marion Mosby, Graphic Designer, Tennessee State University SNAP-Ed



Marion is a graphic designer for Tennessee State University’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP Ed) program and a lead creative of the TSU SNAP-Ed Diversity Photo Database. This database is a collection of professional images, taken by the TSU SNAP-Ed team, of individuals, families, and communities of color engaged in exercise, healthy eating, shopping, playing, and enjoying family time together. The database can be licensed by other SNAP-Ed agencies to increase representation in their programs. 

LOCATION: Nashville, Tennessee 

***

 

David Gianino, Program Manager, Office of Plant Industry Services, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

 

David Gianino has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Georgia with a focus on organic agriculture production, control environment systems and efficient lighting for greenhouse production. David serves as the Program Manager for the Office of Plant Industry Services at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The office is responsible for protecting Virginia consumers through various

inspection programs, including nursery and apiary inspections, as well as registration and inspection of animal feed, seed, fertilizer, liming products. Additionally, the office focuses on surveying, identifying, and managing invasive species, implementing early detection measures. David’s day-to-day responsibilities are diverse. He collaborates with state partner organizations, different state and federal agencies, and institutions such as Virginia Tech and Cooperative Extension. He also liaises with other state agriculture departments and is a member of the National Plant Board, a non-profit whose mission is to provide regulatory oversight for plant pests. Beyond these collaborations, David ensures that inspection staff are well-equipped with the necessary tools and software in the field, staff are trained and educated on how to perform their work tasks, and that staff are diligently performing all required inspections. With an appreciation for the ever-evolving nature of the challenges presented to the department, he finds genuine satisfaction in his work. Whether contending with a new pest, addressing a new disease, or assisting a new business seeking product approval, each day presents fresh and meaningful challenges. His focus extends beyond the immediate tasks, demonstrating a sincere concern for the environmental and ecological impacts of their work. For David, this isn’t just a role—it’s a dedicated commitment to the well-being of Virginia’s agricultural landscape and economic vitality, all while protecting Virginia’s agriculture and environments.

LOCATION: Richmond, Virginia

***

Raghela Scavuzzo, Associate Director of Food Systems Development, Illinois Farm Bureau

Raghela Scavuzzo is dedicated to transforming the food system, ensuring universal access to fresh and wholesome foods with equitable pricing for farmers. Beginning her journey as the Local Foods Program Manager at the Illinois Farm Bureau in 2017, Scavuzzo spearheaded the management and development of all local foods policy and programs. She initiated strategic plans, voiced key initiatives, conducted training, and led local campaigns. Offering support to farmers through business development, regulation reform, and advocacy became a pivotal aspect of her role. Since 2019, Raghela has held the position of Associate Director of Food Systems Development at the Bureau. In this role, she actively contributes to developing and implementing programs and projects aimed at assisting Farm Bureau members and industry stakeholders in food system business development and specialty crop production. Her focus extends to fostering viable markets for small to midsize farmers through activities such as market development, advocacy, policy reform, and training. Raghela’s overarching goal is to collaboratively revolutionize global eating habits.

LOCATION: Bloomington, Illinois


more info...
3/20/20246:00pm to 7:00pm


In this popular and free webinar series, NAFSN provides participants with connections and insights to help them identify next steps for their careers. This four-part series for Spring 2024 highlights job creators across the food systems profession.
 



In this episode, we feature: 

Joe SewallCo-Executive Director for Operations and Administration, Central Coast Food Web

 

Joe presently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Operations and Administration at Central Coast Food Web, a newly founded organization established in 2023. Leveraging his MBA in Social Impact and extensive experience in non-profit administration and programming, he is driven to enhance the local food system in his hometown. Joe is actively engaged in constructing infrastructure and overseeing facilities at the Yaquina Lab, dedicated to facilitating local producers in efficiently processing harvests and managing inventory.

LOCATION: Newport, OR

***

Nathalie America MunozCommunity Engagement Program Manager, Berkeley Food Institute 



Nathalie A. Muñoz, (UC Berkeley 18') is the Community Engagement Program Manager for Berkeley Food Institute, a UC Berkeley interdisciplinary research center focusing on urban and rural agroecology, fair and healthy jobs, racial equity in the food system, and good food access. Nathalie is tasked with weaving community engagement into BFI's research, education, and policy programs. As a first-generation transfer student at Cal, Nathalie also contributed as a student researcher for the Berkeley Food Institute on the Foodscape Mapping Project. Beyond her academic and professional pursuits, Nathalie's passion is deeply rooted in her heritage as the descendant of a Bracero farmworker, fueling her commitment to amplify the voices of marginalized individuals in the food labor force. Bringing a unique perspective and dedicated advocacy to the intersection of environmental sciences, food systems, and social justice, Nathalie stands as a passionate advocate.

LOCATION: Berkeley, California

***

Lina Ghanem, Executive Director, Saba Grocers Initiative 

Lina Ghanem serves as the Executive Director of Saba Grocers Initiative, an initiative that establishes the food supply-chain infrastructure to empower small immigrant businesses with access to economies of scale. Through collaborative partnerships with Resident Leaders, the initiative directs financial support to residents for food purchases at nearby corner stores. As a versatile leader, Lina is dedicated to community organizing, local policy advocacy, and implementing local solutions to address public health and economic injustices within the food supply chain. With a background in public health research and policy, her motivation stems from personal health conditions related to diet and sugar consumption. In 2019, she successfully organized store owners to support the Soda Tax. Prior to her current role, Lina contributed to a research grant funded by the National Institute of Health, investigating the operations of Alcohol and Tobacco industries in corner stores, leading to the publication of several peer-reviewed articles on this subject. 

LOCATION: Oakland, California


more info...
3/26/20246:00pm to 7:00pm


NAFSN's Leadership Circle Meeting is held virtually on the first Wednesday of each month, 12pm-1:30pm ET. All are welcome, including members and those interested in membership. Newcomers will be given the floor during the first part of the meeting to introduce themselves to participants.

At this meeting, a Leadership Monthly Report is shared and includes updates from our four programmatic circles: ACRE, CARAT, COM-FED and PRODUCTIONS.

Please register to receive the link.
Contact kim@foodsystemsnetwork.org with questions or concerns.

more info...
4/3/202412:00pm to 1:30pm


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