Michelle is a former hog farmer from New Haven, Connecticut, with a background in agriculture policy. Before serving as Co-Executive Director, Michelle has served in a number of roles at the Coalition beginning as a Farm Bill Organizer in the summer of 2017. From there, Michelle served on the federal policy team as Federal Policy Associate after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. Working on federal farm policy reinforced Michelle’s desire for equitable change for young farmers and inspired her to design a framework for the organization’s racial equity transformation. As Equity and Organizational Change Director, Michelle conducted a comprehensive racial equity impact assessment of the organization’s internal workflows and external programming, which identified gaps in our programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices. Michelle’s leadership on this work created space for our organization to rethink and redesign the way we provide service to our farmer network as we finalized our strategic plan, including our guiding principles and organizational values. To learn more about our racial equity transformation, check out the Young Farmers Accountability Report. In her most previous role as Operations and Impact Director, Michelle worked with Young Farmers leadership to develop long-term operations strategy and evaluation plans to successfully continue our work to become an anti-racist organization from the inside. Michelle has recently extended her work on internal structure reform with USDA in her appointment to the Department’s Equity Commission, Agriculture Subcommittee. Alongside a number of revolutionary leaders in agriculture, Michelle’s work on the Subcommittee will work to address a history of discrimination at USDA by providing recommendations to the Department to better serve young farmers of color today. For more information on the Equity Commission and the intention we’re setting for our involvement, see our blog post “USDA awards a seat at the table to Young Farmers on its newly formed Equity Commission’s Subcommittee on Agriculture.” Prior to completing her M.A. in Food Studies at New York University in 2019, Michelle worked in swine reproduction at the University of Pennsylvania and with a number of food and farm non-profits and start-ups in NYC and the Hudson Valley, and served on a program evaluation team for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Food Policy.