Hello, my name is Devora Kimelman-Block and I’m thrilled to be the Agriculture Policy Specialist for Waterkeepers Chesapeake and its Fair Farms campaign. You may have already met me as a contractor for Fair Farms when I focused on building regional agriculture centers by fostering coalitions that advocate and apply for new public funding.
I am eager to meet and learn from you! But in the meantime, here is me…
I am an activist. My activism consists of supporting regenerative agriculture, which works in concert with nature to enable a resilient future for food and farming.
In 2007 I was inspired by regenerative agriculture’s potential. So I found funding, quit my job, and started a company out of my apartment in Silver Spring, MD. To this day, KOL Foods, which produces grassfed meat for the kosher marketplace, enables me and all its customers to live by our values of better animal, human, and soil health.
I founded KOL Foods through a desire for change. I moved into the regenerative agriculture space 15 years ago when it was not well known, and created supply chain systems including production and distribution, negotiated partnerships and vendor relations, and set the vision and budget. As a small business start-up owner, I was a jack-of-all trades – educating and recruiting partners, actualizing solutions, and solving problems.
In 2019, I stepped down as the CEO of KOL Foods and am no longer in charge of its day-to-day operations. Stepping down enabled me to concentrate on a new set of approaches to support regenerative agriculture. It enabled me to step into the world of agriculture policy and Fair Farms.
Although I am new to policy work, I am not new to grassroots political organizing. Alongside running KOL Foods, in December of 2016 I started a social justice activist group. With 200 volunteers and 10 leaders, we delivered messages to members of congress, wrote get-out-the-vote letters, published a weekly informational newsletter for our members, and more.
With the political organizing, and my on-the-ground experience as an agricultural supply chain specialist and food business entrepreneur, I am looking forward to helping shape policy that alleviates the barriers to farmer adoption of regenerative agriculture.
I look forward to talking to you and learning your stories! Please know that you can always send me your questions and ideas on how Fair Farms can help you as farmers, business owners and consumers. My email devora(at)waterkeeperschesapeake.org.