VIROQUA, Wis., Jan. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based research group and watchdog that investigates and champions organic food and farms, voted unanimously to promote longtime staff member Melody Morrell as the organization's next executive director.
Prior to joining Cornucopia in 2012, Morrell spent 15 years in nonprofit event planning, communications, operations, and direct programs. Her history includes a formative five years at Echo Valley Hope, an educational non-profit "raising the voice of peace and sustainable living." Her time spent in the kitchen, pastures, woods, and gardens at Echo Valley Farm strengthened Morrell's abiding appreciation for food as medicine.
The roots of her food story took hold in her family's Spicer, Minnesota supper club. She watched her father lovingly nourish the community with weekly free meals during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. Morrell had a front row seat to the exploitation of migrant fieldworkers and the perilous finances of conventional turkey farmers on contract with Jennie-O, a subsidiary of the Hormel Foods Corporation.
"My deep love of food, and the soil it comes from, have made me a fierce protector of organic integrity," she says.
Morrell's promotion follows many months of intense teamwork to navigate a foundation transition. During that time, she has co-led the process to create Cornucopia's first-ever strategic plan, spearheaded the non-profit's policy positions, and built and enhanced relationships with partners and stakeholders across the movement.
"She has been the Gorilla Glue of the Cornucopia Team during its recent transition, positioning the institute to vault into work that continues to fulfill its mission statement," says longtime board member and Vice President Helen Kees.
Morrell will work closely with Interim Executive Director Jonathan Rosenthal to finalize Cornucopia's leadership transition in the first quarter of 2021.
"This year and beyond, Cornucopia will incorporate new technologies into our industry investigations and deepen our policy efforts, strengthening our position in the good food movement as a trusted ally and a catalyst for meaningful change," she says. "We will continue pointing to the most ethical organic farmers, helping community members, co-ops, and natural food stores find and support farms and products they can trust, while giving our supporters more concrete ways to step into the role of food system advocate."
CONTACT: Michele Marchetti, Deputy Director, [email protected], 814-574-7952
SOURCE The Cornucopia Institute