Power to the People!  

An informed and engaged citizenry is fundamental to achieving an agricultural system that rewards supports sustainable growers and family farmers, links more children and low-income communities with healthy, locally-grown/produced foods, and supports innovative, public research in the organic research arena.  Come hear from seasoned food policy experts on how our food futures are being shaped by government policy at the local, state and federal levels—and we can all better tap into our inner food activist.


Marty Mesh


In 1987, Mesh helped form Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers (FOG), a nonprofit organization, and, in 1995, became FOG’s Executive Director. Mesh has served on the Board of Directors for many organizations, including multiple terms on the Organic Trade Association and the Accredited Certifiers Association. He was on the Organic Steering Committee for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and then later on the Campaign Board. He served as a charter board member for the widely-utilized Organic Materials Review Institute. Mesh was also on the steering committee that helped form the Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group and served on its board for nine years.


Rylee Daddio

Rylee is a fourth year Sustainability Studies student at the University of Florida from St. Petersburg, Florida.  She is taking minors in Organic & Sustainable Crop Production, Agricultural and Natural Resource Ethics & Policy, and Management & Sales in Agribusiness. Rylee is passionate about protecting the quality of our environment and preserving our natural resources, and finds agriculture to be a perfect link between the two efforts. In her free time, she enjoys rollerblading, collecting minerals, and getting out in nature. Rylee's ultimate goal is to have her own organic farm one day. She has been working with Florida Organic Growers as a policy intern since January and looks forward to expanding her efforts with them in the future.


Joe England

Joe England is the Sustainability Project Manager at City of Orlando and a PhD student of environmental science and policy at the University of South Florida.

His research interests include: food policy, community food security, local food systems, and evaluating the effectiveness of food policy councils. I am particularly keen on bridging the gap between academic research and public policy. He is currently a member of Good Food Central Florida, local food policy council for Orange County, FL.

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Rachel Shapiro

Florida Food Policy Council