Regenerative Farmer, NA
Luke Ippoliti has dedicated over 15 years of service to social equity, environmental resilience, and models of abundance to overcome scarcity. His previous work experience includes: the relief camps of Emergency Communities in Post-Katrina Louisiana, the Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) Food Bank in Pacoima, California, the innovative “gleaning” organization Food Forward in Los Angeles, and regenerative farms in Houston, Texas. While working on the Grow Together Project at MEND, an effort to foster food security, promote health, and build community through the creation of vegetable gardens in family homes, a model akin to a “decentralized community garden”, Luke experienced firsthand the transformative power of solidarity-based approaches to justice work. Working alongside families, non-profit staff, master gardeners, chefs, master food preservers, and volunteers was proof positive of how a multicultural approach to food sovereignty can provide a pluralistic alternative to anglo-conformity cultural assimilation. Compelled by a desire to seek “upstream” solutions to structural inequities within the food system, Luke set about learning the craft of regenerative farming, as a way of gaining the skills to produce and create access to flavorful, nutrient dense, culturally varied foods, with the least environmental impact, and a holistic way of measuring social impact. Beginning in the Spring of 2021 Luke will continue his practice of regenerative farming in the Hudson Valley. He’ll seek to build on his prior justice and farming work, stay true to a grass roots disaster relief ethos, and hold close a “waste not want not” abundance mindset, as he explores issues of power, access, appropriation, and sustainability in our contemporary agricultural system.