Below are the nominations for AFSA’s 2019 National Committee.
Office Bearer Positions
President – Tammi Jonas
Renominating for the role of President, in her bio Tammi writes:
I have been the AFSA President since 2014, I’m re-nominating for President in 2019 to continue to lend my strong female farmer’s voice to the fight for food sovereignty in Australia.
My darling hyper competent husband Stuart is Chief Farmer and I’m Chief Butcher here at Jonai Farms in the central highlands of Victoria, where we raise heritage breed Large Black pigs and a small herd of mixed cattle, as well as a small annual crop of garlic. I’m a former vegetarian academic turned pig-farming butcher, transforming whole carcasses into a range of fresh cuts, smallgoods, salumi, & charcuterie, and selling our produce predominantly through a thriving CSA (community-supported agriculture) to 85 wonderful households of ethical omnivores.
Jonai Farms is an ethically viable no-growth model – we need to multiply our farms, not scale them, to support more people working the land fairly and to revive rural communities and local food economies.
I’ve been worrying at the ills of industrial food since reading Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation in 1991, and writing about food culture, ethics and politics since 2006 at my blog Tammi Jonas: Food Ethics. Jonai Farms features in Australia’s first food politics documentary Fair Food, and I also have a chapter in the anthology Fair Food, published by UQ Press.
As President over the past three years I have worked solidly for fair and consistent regulation of farming and food production and distribution, and led the process to establish a Legal Defence Fund to protect and promote the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture systems, which has supported many farmers encountering legal obstacles in their work to grow a better food system.
I have helped AFSA establish its voice and authority on a range of issues and secured our position as a key stakeholder in food systems in Australia. Our work over the past four years has resulted in landmark reforms to the planning scheme in Victoria that acknowledges the lower risk of pastured livestock systems, strongly enabling the growth of this critical section of the food sovereignty movement.
My work has included strong representation for Australia in the global food sovereignty movement, including active participation in the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC), the Asia Pacific Regional Meetings of the FAO, Urgenci: the International Network for Community-Supported Agriculture, and the leading voice of the global food sovereignty movement La Via Campesina (LVC).
The extent of my work in Australia and internationally has deepened and broadened my understanding of the issues in the food system locally and globally, and I’m committed to continuing to apply that knowledge and experience to assist farmers and eaters, AFSA, and the global food sovereignty movement in the role of President.
Vice President – Katie Johnston
Currently acting as AFSA Vice President, I wish to renominate for the role in 2019/20.
I have been a member of AFSA and on the AFSA National Committee since 2015. Beginning mytime with AFSA as Communications Officer, I have undertaken duties pertaining to general communications and events coordination. I have represented AFSA and its members at the UNFAO in Rome, when I attended the Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers in2018. I am keen to be more involved in AFSA’s critical work within the international food sovereignty space, and with the IPC.
I am an avid gardener who currently works for CERES Community Environment Park in Brunswick, Melbourne. Here, I lead groups of interested participants on journeys to become truly global citizens on shared journeys of learning and exchange within our region. I studied Social & Environmental Science at RMIT, majoring in Plant Biology and Behavioural Change. I developed a passion for small-scale, regenerative farming while WWOOFing in North America in 2010, and subsequently undertaking a Permaculture Design Certificate.
I believe that small-scale agricultural systems have the capacity to help regenerate long-neglected ecosystems in Australia. Once a vegan, after studying food systems as part of my undergraduate degree(s) and integrating myself into my local farming and urban agriculture communities via work experience (on farms and for Melbourne Farmers Markets), programs (e.g. Farmer Incubator) and general hanging about…I began eating ethically sourced dairy and meat products again.
In my former life I was a Photographer and still retain a strong passion for communication and storytelling, particularly about farming.
Secretary – Ruth Morris
I wish to renominate to the role of Secretary for the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, which I have occupied for the past year. I am currently based in Bungendore NSW, Australia, where I work part-time to coordinate markets and aggregated produce boxes, and volunteer part-time as acting Secretary, for Southern Harvest Association (SHA). SHA is a not-for-profit organisation at the forefront, in our region, of increasing the availability of local food and fibre products, through farmer-consumer networking activities. During my 5 year involvement with this organisation I have worked to develop:
● Two new farmers markets in our region that provide opportunities for small scale farmers to attend weekly local markets, where they had previously been shut out of the existing large, mainly agent dominated, produce markets.
● A multi farm aggregated produce box scheme. This model allows for small scale farmers, without the diversity necessary to run their own CSA or box scheme, to pool their resources with other farmers.
● The plans, and currently sourcing funding, for a community use coolroom and packing facility to service the small farmers involved in the produce box scheme and maintain the safety of our volunteers and the freshness of the food.
● The design and event management of festivals and events that increase community engagement and involvement in the local food and produce systems. These events provide a space where producers and consumers can interact on multiple levels, not just monetary transactions for goods. These include: Bungendore Harvest Festival – a weekend of markets, local food dining events, short courses and farm tours; The Australasian Permaculture Convergence – three day permaculture conference; Agriculture Shows – one or two day events showcasing local agricultural, horticultural and pastoral activities, Artisanal Produce Events – promoting our local member farms and increasing eater engagement with all aspects of growth and production; all of which required me to use my networking, communication, and organisational skills in order to ensure successful delivery.
● Education and advocacy for farmers and eaters. Part of my role is to facilitate access to local and regional information and support for both groups. I have been involved with facilitation, teaching and catering for many workshops and courses. I field enquiries on a daily basis regarding information such as local legislation, access to and availability of services, marketing and promotional avenues, and funding sources. I have also shared the models for markets, networks and produce boxes, that SHA has developed, with other groups wishing to start similar ventures.
● A greater public profile for our local farmers and the issues they are facing in delivering food to their communities. I have worked with TV and radio media to get these stories into the public space and collated data from our members for dissemination in written form. In my role with AFSA I have been exposed to many of the processes and mechanisms by which food sovereignty actions occur and have recently expanded my involvement by moving into the international space as the Australiasian member of the Coordination Committee of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism for relations with the Committee on World Food Security.
In my past I have worked as a registered nurse I have seen first hand the results of poor nutrition on health and welfare outcomes, across many social contexts. I have also farmed my own land and experienced the ups and downs of producing food and fibre for my community. Additionally, I have had a wide variety of experience working on many farms around the country with diverse enterprises. This places me in a position to be able to understand the struggles on both sides of the equation of farmer and eater and gives me a solid grounding from which to work to facilitate networks of farmers and eaters. I like to be actively involved in making change towards a better future.
Treasurer – Dan Cordner
Dan, along with his wife Leanne their 2 daughters Adele and Hayley run Bellasato Farm. Having served as a general committee member in 2019, Dan is nominating for the position of Treasurer. He writes:
“We’re custodians of 140 acres of farmland overlooking Hinchinbrook Island in tropical North Queensland. We farm premium Sommerlad meat chickens along with a small amount of sugar cane. We also grow a few veggies and an ever-increasing bounty of tropical fruits.
As everyone does from time to time, we came to crossroad – a stage in our lives where we really stepped out of our situation and asked ourselves what did we want to do for the next 5-10+ years? What environment did we want to raise our children in? If we could do anything without fear of failure, what would we do?
Having spent most of our collective years being city folks, we were by and large disconnected from the food system, who grew our food and how. That was until we were blessed with our first daughter – and somehow being responsible for another little life thrust many questions before us that we’d never truly delved into for ourselves. We wanted to provide great quality food for ourselves and the community around us. We wanted our kids to grow up in a great environment, learning about where their food came from while being able to climb trees or fish for tadpoles – just being able to be kids. We didn’t want “work” to get in the way of family – no more missed birthdays or special moments. After all, the kids are only this age once, there only ever is one 4th birthday. We share breakfast, lunch and dinner together almost every day, and love nothing more than a great meal that we produced with our community of friends and family.
There are a lot of reasons why we’re doing what we are, but it was inspiration from other producers doing amazing things that brought us to where we are today. Inspiration from Joel Salatin, Darren Doherty, Jeff Pow, Michelle McManus, and getting to know some of the community of local producers helped us gain enough knowledge and motivation to make it happen.
We moved onto the farm 2.5 years ago, having never farmed in our lives. We literally jumped in the deep end – both without any off-farm income, and completely reliant on the land to provide food and enough money to get by on. When moving onto the farm we’d always planned to farm chickens, and perhaps one day a few head of cattle to run in front of the birds. We made plenty of mistakes in our first years, and learnt a hell of a lot – you never do stop learning.
My interest in AFSA came about when we started farming, as a community we wanted to be a part of to share experiences and learn from others. I’m experienced in financial governance and management through managing our own business, and as the treasurer for Ingham State School for the last 2 years
International Liason – Anisah Madden
Anisah is renominating to serve as the international liaison officer, a role she has held since 2018. She says “As ILO I have worked to strengthen AFSA’s participation in the Civil Society and Indigenous People’s Mechanism (CSM) for relations with the UN committee on World Food Security and wish to to support AFSA’s work connecting UN policy guidelines into regional, national and local governance to support our members and allies in our collective work for food sovereignty and regenerative farming.
My background as a herbalist, organic market gardener, and agri-food co-operative worker/owner and member in Canada drew me into food sovereignty advocacy work in my early twenties. Apprenticing with herbalists and farmers in the woods and field, and working in an organic food home delivery service as a grocery purchaser taught me about the possibilities and challenges faced by those seeking agency over their food systems.
I became involved in community agricultural development in a small rural town in British Columbia, Canada. Here I was a founding member of the Kettle Valley Food Co-op, a multi-stakeholder food cooperative with an online ordering system. With three friends, I helped to form a workers co-op permaculture food forest market garden (Filbelly Forest), and also initiated a community seed-saving project (The Boundary Seed Bank) which is now housed in the Grand Forks Public Library.
My interest in food and seed sovereignty and environmental justice grew during these involvements, as did my frustration with political and economic policy that placed corporate interests above people’s right to food. I completed a B.A.H. in International Development Studies in 2013, which allowed me to develop analytical and discursive tools to understand, think, and articulate more effectively for advocacy and action. Building that intellectual, organisational, and ethical leadership capacity.
I am currently a PhD Candidate at Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society. My PhD research explores the ways ethical commitments to self, others, and ecological integrity affect solidarity-building and mobilisation efforts of food sovereignty movements across the world to shape policy conversations at local, national, and global scales.
Membership Officer – Nick Holliday
Nick is a small-scale grassfed beef and pastured poultry farmer, living and working on Jinibara land in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland. He has a long history of organising community and worker collectives and believes passionately that the only way we can make the changes we need in our society is to increase our membership, make sure that membership is educated on issues and solutions and above all is prepared to take action in support of our goals.
I became involved with AFSA during the 2017 Convergence as a general member and then filled the position of Secretary from Aug-Oct 2018. In spite of currently approaching the harvest season for my 4Ha of fruit trees, I would like to nominate myself for the position of Secretary for 2018/19. I have had an incredible time working with AFSA and learned a great deal about food sovereignty, collectivism and active optimism. I believe in the potential influence of our struggle and see the importance of achieving food sovereignty in restructuring food and agriculture systems for the good of the earth and its diverse communities.
I will be very busy over summer running a CSA from my farm, attending farmers’ markets, working with our organic farming co-op etc but the critical nature of the work AFSA does drives me to continue to be involved. I hope to work with you all in 2018/19.
Along with my family, I am a full time farmer growing vegetables and cattle near Stanthorpe in southern Queensland.
Our farm direct markets to people in our local community and in Brisbane collaboratively with other small farmers in our area.
My background includes a degree in horticultural technology, and employment in: large and small farms; department of agriculture research; orchard agronomy; contract research and development; and industry development for a mainstream farmers organization.
I believe the future of farming must include small scale family farmers and I want to support the work of AFSA in the food sovereignty movement.
Amy Pagett nominates to join the AFSA National Commimttee as a general member.
Amy grew up on her family’s fourth generation sheep property in Central West NSW. As one of four girls, she took the early cues to look further afield for a life in the city. After attending boarding school in Sydney, she studied Media & Communication Studies in Wollongong and then years later completed a Master of Sustainability at Sydney Uni. Professionally, work always seemed to involve food – from a boutique Italian fruit and veg grocer, to the glossy pages of delicious. Magazine, the e-commerce world of HelloFresh and now working in Melbourne at Yume Food – Australia’s first and only online marketplace for surplus commercial-scale food waste. Amy hopes to one day go full circle, roll up her sleeves and return to producing nutrient-dense food with a focus on regenerating ecosystems and sharing knowledge. She understands that food is the source of our health and happiness and believes that it is the most powerful medium through which we can demonstrate the kind of environment and society to wish to live and take part in.
Amy is Tammi and Stuart’s current intern on Jonai Farms, and said that after hearing all the great work AFSA has done over the years, she wants to put her hand up to muck in and help