2014 Summit Keynote Biographies

Friday, January 31, 2014 – Ladonna Redmond

Saturday, February 1, 2014 – Tony Schultz

LaDonna Sanders Redmond is the founder and lead organizer of the Campaign For Food Justice NOW!  CFJN is an emerging national membership organization whose mission it is to advocate for the human right to food and to create a national food and agriculture platform and organize civil society to engage politically in public policy formation that supports the U.S food system.

Ms. Redmond is also Outreach and Education coordinator for Seward Co-op in Minneapolis MN. Ms. Redmond is organizing the campaign to build a co-operative grocery store in South Minneapolis.

Currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota – La Donna Redmond was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.  Ms. Redmond grew up volunteering at Operation PUSH. While at Operation PUSH, Ms. Redmond learned about community organizing through working on the election of Harold Washington-Chicago’s first African American mayor.

She is the mother of two children: Wade (boy) and Taylor (girl).

The reason that Ms. Redmond is working in the area of food justice security is because she is a mother. Her son, Wade was born with severe food allergies and asthma.  Wade began having food reactions when he was 7 months old.  One year later and after numerous hospitalizations and doctor visits; Wade was finally diagnosed with asthma that was induced by food allergies.  Wade is allergic to all dairy products, eggs, and peanuts. When trying to create meals that were healthy, nutritious and free from pesticides, Ms Redmond discovered that the only way to do this was to purchase organic food. The store offering organic foods closest to Ms. Redmond was 15 minutes away in an up scale neighborhood.  The closest store to Ms. Redmond sold liquor, chips, etc and a limited variety of conventional produce.

While Ms. Redmond had the resources to travel any distance she needed to buy food, she wondered how did mothers that did not have access to information or the resources (car, internet access, collage education) feed their children.

However, Ms. Redmond does not use or advocate the use of the phrase, food desert, to describe her community. Ms. Redmond believes the term is really the “Trojan Horse” used to increase corporate control of the food system in urban communities thereby robbing urban communities the opportunity to self-determine. Being labeled a food desert will not solve the problems of urban food access.

Ms. Redmond has successfully worked with Chicago Public Schools to evaluate and remove junk food from its menus, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities.  In 2009, Redmond was one of 25 citizen and business leaders named a Responsibility Pioneer by Time Magazine.  Ms. Redmond is also a 2003-2005 IATP Food and Society Fellow. In 2007, she was awarded a Green For All Fellowship.

Working with youth, Ms. Redmond developed a grocery store called Graffiti and Grub. The store and urban agriculture training program was designed to engage the hip-hop generation in healthy food choices. As a result of this project, Ms. Redmond worked with Quench restaurants as the Director of Operations to develop a local food-purchasing program for 10 restaurants.  As Director of Operations, Ms. Redmond also launched the Family Fresh grocery store.

In the winter 2011, Ms. Redmond moved to Minneapolis to launch a national food and justice program at the Institute For Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Spring 2013, Ms Redmond left IATP to launch the Campaign for Food Justice Now! WWW.CFJN.ORG

Ms. Redmond is an engaging public speaker. In 2013, she has spoken at Tedx Manhattan, University of California, University of Minnesota, Oregon Department of Public Health Conference, Organic Valley WomanShare conference and National Council on Foundations annual meeting.

Currently, Ms Redmond writes a bi-monthly column, Being Black and Green, for the Spokesman Recorder, the oldest African American Newspaper in Minnesota. She is also the host of a weekly radio program, Its Your Health, on KMOJ-FM in Minneapolis, MN.

Ms. Redmond attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Tony Schultz and Kat Becker own and operate Stoney Acres Farm in Athens WI. Stoney Acres is a 3rd generation family farm now in its 9th season of production under the ownership of Tony and Kat. Stoney Acres is a highly diversified organic farm focusing on CSA but featuring maple syrup, pastured beef, pork and eggs, organic small grains, and seasonal farm to table pizza. Tony has three children, Riley (6), Ted (3), and Maple (newly born this fall).

Stoney Acres has a broad set of community, economic, environmental, and social goals as guiding philosophies including becoming energy neutral within 6 years, diversifying to more year round marketable crops, recruiting and supporting new sustainable farmers locally, and presenting a worldview and model for farming that competes with and replaces commodity industrial agriculture.

Tony Schultz has a B.S. in Education from UW-Madison and taught for several years before returning to the family farm. He is active in the Wisconsin Farmers Union and on the Board of both the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at UW-Madison, and Family Farm Defenders. He is the president of the Wausau Farmers Market and recently organized the Wausau Area Winter Farmers Market to expand access to local foods regionally and seasonally.

Tony believes in the family farm as a democratic institution, along with cooperatives, trade unions, and non-profit social justice organizations as a means to bring about a dynamic, egalitarian and sustainable economy and society.