John E. Peck grew up on a 260 acre farm in central Minnesota, has a B.A. in Economics from Reed College and a PhD in Land Resources from UW-Madison. He has been the Executive Director of Family Farm Defenders for the last decade, and is also a part-time instructor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Madison Area Technical College (MATC). His graduate research focused on community-based management of common property resources in Zimbabwe. He attended the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and participated in global justice events surrounding the WTO meeting Seattle in 1999, as well as FTAA meetings in Quebec in 2001 and Miami in 2003. He has been part of solidarity delegations to Ainaro, East Timor in 2005 and Oaxaca, Mexico 2008, and also participated in the 2007 Nyeleni Food Sovereignty Conference in Selengue, Mali, the Fifth Conference of La Via Campesina in Maputo, Mozambique in 2008, as well as the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Board of Directors
John Kinsman is an organic dairy farmer and forester from Lime Ridge, Wisconsin. He raises 36 cows on a 150-acre farm – 80 acres of which are devoted to rotational grazing and hay production, while another 70 acres is devoted to woodland. John Kinsman is president of Family Farm Defenders (FFD), a group he helped found in 1994 to promote sustainable agriculture, fair trade, workers rights, animal welfare, consumer safety, environmental stewardship and – above all - food sovereignty. He is also the secretary of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC). Through FFD, John also works to relocalize food/farm economies and forge new economic relationships between consumers and farmers. One example of this is the Family Farmer Fair Trade Project that enables FFD to direct market cheese from Cedar Grove in Plain WI, giving farmers a fair price while providing a healthier rBGH free alternative to consumers. John remains one of the leading U.S. critics of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and is also an outspoken critic of corporate globalization. As one of the farmer leaders involved in Via Campesina, the largest umbrella organization for farmers, fishers, foresters, hunters, gatherers, and indigenous peoples in the world – he has also traveled extensively around the world to share the message of food sovereignty.
Joel Greeno (WI), Vice President
Joel Greeno farms in Kendall, Wisconsin. In addition to feeding, milking and managing 100+ head of dairy cattle, rotating 160 acres of pasture, raising a two-year old daughter with his wife, Laura, and contributing as a founding member to one of the better functioning dairy cooperatives (Scenic Central Milk Producers) in the country, Joel Greeno has made it his calling to fight against corporate manipulation of the free market and for a fair price for family farmers. To this end, in his “free” time Joel dons the hats of president of the American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association and vice president of Family Farm Defenders, and sits on the executive board of the National Family Farm Coalition. And, every so often (we wonder when?), he finds some time to sleep.
Kat Becker & Tony Schultz (WI), Executive Board Members
Tony and Kat operate Stoney Acres Farm, a 3rd generation family farm located in Athens WI serving North Central WI. Their highly diversified CSA operation offers over 170 varieties of fruits and vegetables, 100% grassfed cattle, meat and egg chickens, pastured pigs, mushrooms and maple syrup. As young farmer activists, Kat and Tony are both strong advocates of food sovereignty and have represented FFD overseas at various Via Campesina meetings. They also believe that the family farm has been a central form of economic democracy in the U.S. and around the world, and they hope to reinforce this tradition to support a healthy and socially just world.
Hiroshi Kanno (WI), Executive Board Member
Hiroshi Kanno lives in Wisconsin. Hiroshi’s exposure to global issues and concerns began in a very innocuous way. After retiring to a farm in south central Wisconsin in 1996 after 30 years of government service, he and his wife, Arlene, learned that a major bottling company planned to build a large bottling plant covering over 80 acres of land across the road from their farm. The transnational corporation was Perrier- owned by Nestle, one of the biggest food companies in the world. Neighbors learned that the plant would deplete the groundwater from rural communities for miles and organized to successfully fight back. During their fight against Nestle, Hiroshi and his wife realized that Nestle’s local taking of their water was part of a greater struggle going on around the globe. To learn more they traveled around the world attending water forums and world social forums in Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Miami, Venezuela and Canada.
Patty Lovera is the Assistant Director of Food and Water Watch. She coordinates the food team. Patty has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Michigan. Before joining Food & Water Watch, Patty was the deputy director of the energy and environment program at Public Citizen and a researcher at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.
Ruth Simpson grew up on a family farm in West Central Minnesota, where her parents still farm today. Farming is in her blood — her family has been farming in this country for 8 generations. Ruth graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with degrees in Political Science and Speech Communication and received her law degree from the University of South Dakota. For many years, Ruth has been a farm organizer and activist, working for rBGH labeling legislation and on the Dump the National Dairy Board campaign. She is a founding member of the Family Farm Defenders. She also serves as Chair of the Dane County Food Council and on the REAP Food Group Board. Professionally, Ruth is the Research Director for the Wisconsin Association for Justice.
Bob St. Peter (ME)
Bernard Bernaud (SD)
Jim & Rebecca Goodman (WI)
Paul & Lana Rozwadowski (WI)
Fred Matthews (NY)
Mike Moon (WI)
Frances Bartelt (FL)
Stephen Bartlet (KY)
Amy Mall & Sherwin Ovid (IL)
Christina Schiavoni (NY)