Who We Are
The Northumberland County Food Policy Council is a diverse group of community partners who envision a vibrant, sustainable, food-secure Northumberland County. Individual member bios can be found below.
Russ Christianson – Chair
For three decades, Russ has worked with farmers, consumers, retailers, distributors, processors, co-operatives, governments and environmental organizations to increase the market share for local organic food. As the General Manager of the Ontario Federation of Food Co-ops and Clubs, he led the organization’s re-positioning as a premier organic food distributor. He worked with Kaviwiosa Manomin, an Ojibway owned wild rice co-op, to develop Canada’s first domestic fair trade product. Together with Mary Lou Morgan, Russ founded Origins Co-operative, creating a national brand for organic foods. Russ was also instrumental in negotiating a separate pool for organic milk in Ontario. He was a member and Co-Chair of the Toronto Food Policy Council during its first four years of operation and currently volunteers on the Northumberland County Food Policy Council. Russ lives on a reforested farm near Campbellford, Ontario with his partner Heidi Schaeffer.
Lucas Cleveland – Vice Chair
Nicole Beatty – Community Partner
Margaret Appleby – Chair Codrington Farmers Market.
Arlene Dorland – Farmers’ Federation/Union Rep
Lynn Phillips – CAO Representative
In my role as CAO for the Municipality of Trent Hills I oversee the operation of the municipality with a view to improve quality of life and further develop Trent Hills as the ideal destination to live, work and play. With over 15 years experience in the public sector, primarily in business development and rural economic development, I was the Community Development Officer for Trent Hills prior to accepting my current position. As a lifelong resident of Trent Hills, I am invested in the health and prosperity of this community and interested in the important role that agriculture and local food production can play.
Heather Candler – OMAFRA Representative
I work with rural Eastern Ontario communities in both Northumberland and Haliburton Counties on economic development initiatives in my role with the Ministry, including committees like Northumberland County’s Food Policy Committee. My academic training includes an M.Sc. in Rural Planning & Development from the University of Guelph. This training thrusts most grads into a varied and exciting career in economic development, myself included. I have worked as a consultant on land claims with First Nations, as Manager of Economic Development for the City of Belleville, and most recently for 10 years as the general manager of a very unique, sustainable rural community development project in Batawa. I draw experience from the public sector, private sector, and even my own agricultural background as an alpaca farmer. When working with rural communities, I understand the challenges at each of these levels, and the power of collaboration to overcome them. I have experience in all these arenas managing projects, and clients, to achieve positive results.
Sarah Tanner – Manger, Northumberland County Community & Social Service
Kimberly Leadbeater, Registered Dietitian – HKPR District Health Unit Representative
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit works with residents of Northumberland and Haliburton counties and the City of Kawartha Lakes to prevent illness, protect against disease and promote healthy lifestyles. As a HKPR District Health Unit staff member, I work together with community partners to provide programs designed to create healthier communities and healthier residents. As a Public Health Dietitian, I strongly believe that in order to have a healthy, vibrant community, all residents must be food secure. Food security means more than just having enough to fill you up. In a food secure community, everyone has sufficient access to fresh, nutritious, affordable food that meets their nutritional needs and cultural preferences, produced in a way that minimizes impact to our environment. When not working as a Public Health Dietitian, I enjoy long distance running, walking, downhill and cross-country skiing.