Food Tank recently had the opportunity to speak with with Coach Mark Smallwood of Rodale Institute, who was one of the speakers at the 2015 Food Tank Summit
Coach Mark Smallwood has been dedicated to promoting organic agriculture, environmental stewardship, efficiency and conservation for more than 30 years. He is a long-time organic farmer and biodynamic gardener, raising chickens, goats, sheep and pigs, and driving his own team of oxen.
As Executive Director of Rodale Institute, Coach has focused his efforts on training a new generation of organic farmers. In partnership with Delaware Valley College, the Institute hosts a one-year organic farming certification program designed for military veterans. In addition, Coach began the Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC) program at Rodale Institute which brings fresh, high-quality organic food to underserved communities and provides an intensive training program for new and established farmers.
Coach has expanded research efforts at Rodale Institute to explore the connection between soil, food and health. He brought heritage livestock back to Rodale Institute’s 333-acre farm, created a Honeybee Conservancy to train and steward backyard bee keepers, and launched “Your 2 Cents,” a national campaign to support and promote new organic farmers.
Prior to joining Rodale Institute, Coach served as the Mid-Atlantic Green Mission Specialist and Local Forager at Whole Foods Market, and was the first Environmental Coordinator at MOM’s Organic Market. As his name suggests, Coach was also a public school educator and basketball coach.