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The mission of the Food Systems Workgroup (FSW) is that everyone has equitable access to safe, healthy, and affordable food.
Randy Bell (Co-chair)
Alex Bryan is the Garden Project Manager at the Greater Lansing Food Bank
where, among many other things, he oversees Lansing Roots – a land-based
farm business development incubator and a community garden program
supporting over 120 community gardens and 450 home gardens. Alex is the
current Board President of the National Young Farmers Coalition, a farmer led
national non-profit that focuses on first-career farmers and creating a viable
career pathway in farming. Lastly, Alex is himself a young farmer and co-owner of
Food Field, a 4-acre urban farm in the city of Detroit going into its fifth season.
Melissa Lott’s areas of experience include environmentalsustainability, urban
agriculture, land use, economic development and humanservices. She is currently
the Marketing Coordinator at the East Lansing FoodCo-op. This position allows
her the opportunity to promote a community-ownednatural food grocery store that
sells local produce and other products whilealso advocating for environmental
sustainability and social justice. PreviouslyMelissa was a Technical Associate at
the Delta Institute’s Michigan Officeworking on programs with a focus on
phytoremediation and reforestation amongothers. Melissa also served as the
Garden Program Coordinator with the InghamCounty Land Bank’s Garden
Program where she worked with the community, providing a connection between
land andother resources in helping residentsto develop and maintain gardens.
Additionally, Melissa spent over ten years inthe restaurant business in varying
roles and gained perspectives in food service and was also employed with
theFood and Nutrition Office at SparrowHospital. She is a yoga teacher and an
avid urban homesteader. These experienceshave expanded her perspectives
inhealth and wellness.
Lynne Martinez, Martinez Consulting Group, LLC
Lynne is a backyard and community garden grower, a Member of the Lansing
Planning Board and an active and involved community member. I work with a
variety of neighborhood based groups across the City. She is interested in a
regional food system as an economic development opportunity and social justice
issue. She is particularly interested in addressing the logistics of getting better
food, year round into “food desert” areas, many of which are also economically
Nancy McCrohan, Ph.D.
Nancy is a long-time member of the Eastside community, and as a systems
thinker. Nancy has many years of experience in policy development and research
in the areas of public health, education, workforce talent, and community
economic development. As a project manager at Public Policy Associates, her
work has included several food related projects, including the evaluation of a
sustainable agriculture demonstration project, and she currently facilitates the
place-based community investment workgroup for the Michigan Sense of Place
Bob Pena lives on the eastside of Lansing, Michigan. He raises vegetables and
berries at his home. He has a small flock of chickens that he keeps for egg
production. The hens, Anna and Elsa, lay enough eggs in the winter to share with
family and neighbors. He also keeps bees for honey and wax to be used in candle
making and soap. During the summer of 2014 he also kept Dairy Dwarf Goats,
named Obidiah (Obi) and Adelaide (Adi)—who could produce one quart of milk a
day. Bob is an activist who believes that urban residents have the right to keep a
grazing animal in a household setting. Currently he is working with public officials
to allow for the keeping of goats and sheep at a residence. With rising food prices
and questions about food quality, he advocates that urban residents have
opportunity and freedom to be responsible for their own food consumption.
Dave Finet has served as the General Manager of the East Lansing Food Co-op
since 2005. He is passionate about cooperative economics, food sovereignty,
community organizing, and social justice. In addition to his time on the FSW
steering committee, he has served on numerous co-op boards, the Central
Corridor Steering Committee of the National Cooperative Grocers as well as their
National Advisory Committee, and was one of the organizers of the first mid-west
gathering of worker cooperatives while in Madison, WI. Dave has worked in
bakery, taxi and printing co-ops as well as a collectively run restaurant. Serving
on the FSW provides Dave another opportunity to look for ways to meld a number
of his passions and apply them to the question of access to healthy food in a way
to creates meaningful systemic change.
Randy is an Extension Educator for Community Food Systems for Michigan State
University Extension. While he works in all areas of the food system on both the
producer and consumer sides, his specialty is working to establish local and
regional food as an economic driver for communities in the mid-Michigan area.
Randy is a founding member of the Food Systems Workgroup. Among other
projects, he is currently working on the development of MSU’s Food Processing
and Innovation Center, a place for established food manufactures to innovate and
develop new products and processes. He’s also helping a private developer in
Okemos, MI to establish a food business cluster which plans to attract and house
food-related business who value the synergistic aspects of co-location with other