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Board of Directors Comings and Goings

RAFI-USA is pleased to welcome three new board members to its roster: Helga Garza, Claire Kelloway, and Clif Slade. In other board news, we’d like to thank former Board Member Shirley Sherrod for her years of remarkable service. We are sad to see her leave the board and look forward to continuing to work with her in her capacity as the Executive Director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc.

Helga Garza is the Executive Director of Agri-Cultura Network (ACN), a South Valley of Albuquerque farmer-owned cooperative. The network includes 32 farms from urban and rural Rio Grande communities, all of whom are committed to sustainable growing methods. Helga is inspired by justice and guided by her ancestral ceremonial agricultural calendar while engaging her community through a holistic, intergenerational approach. Helga is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader 2018-2021, Castanea Fellow 2020 and 2021, Chair of the Governing Board of the New Mexico Food and Agricultural Policy Council, and Board President of South Valley Main Street.

Claire Kelloway

Claire Kelloway is a Senior Researcher-Reporter at the Open Markets Institute in Washington, DC. Claire is the primary writer for Food & Power, a first-of-its-kind website, providing original reporting and resources on monopoly power and economic concentration in the food system. Her writing on food and agriculture has appeared in ProPublica, Civil Eats, Pacific Standard Magazine, and other publications. Claire previously worked as a sustainability fellow with Bon Appetit Management Company. She has a BA in political science from Carleton College with a concentration in political economy and sustainable development.

Clif Slade is a third-generation farmer in Surry, VA, as well as a retired extension agent with Virginia State University. His Slade Farms grows a wide variety of certified organic sweet potatoes, elephant garlic, and hemp. He is also a member of the Southern Exposure Seed Cooperative, a network of over 60 small farmers in various parts of the U.S. who grow seeds that are sold online and via its catalog. 

Executive Director Edna Rodriguez said, “I am looking forward to working with our new board members. They each bring so much experience and knowledge with them; we feel fortunate they have joined us. We have been so lucky to have had Mrs. Shirley Sherrod on our Board and we are honored to count on her wisdom and experience as an advocate for farmers and social justice. We are grateful for her service and look forward to working with the Southwest Georgia Project to serve farmers of color in her state.” 

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