The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program Manager will receive national recognition this weekend for her work in promoting health and nutrition. Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe is the recipient of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior”s (SNEB) Health Promotion Policy Award, which will be presented at the 46th SNEB Annual Conference in Portland this Sunday, August 11.
“I am honored to receive the award, as it reflects statewide efforts to successfully promote good health and nutrition in ways that enhance our economy,” says Ratcliffe. “It is heartening to see a health policy award presented for work that relates to agricultural policy and economic development. We are lucky to have a strong partnership between ODA and the Oregon Department of Education's Child Nutrition Programs to accomplish farm to school goals and objectives. Farm to school is one of those areas of work that is a win-win approach to policy. It supports the health of our children, and helps our farmers and communities prosper.”
Heading up ODA’s Farm to School Program since 2010, Ratcliffe directs a wide-range of initiatives that enable schools to feature healthy, locally sourced products in cafeterias, and provide students with food and garden-based learning opportunities. At ODA, Ratcliffe works within the areas of product development, procurement, promotion, distribution, education, and research and evaluation. She also serves as an advisor to the National Farm to School Network, School Food FOCUS, and manages the FoodCorps program in Oregon.
Ratcliffe received a PhD in Agriculture, Food and the Environment from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She lives on a 4-acre Willamette Valley farm with her husband and two young boys. She is passionate about good food for all, and the transformative power of planting, tending, harvesting, and consuming locally produced foods.
This award is given to individuals or groups who have significantly contributed to creating and/or implementing policies or policy-based changes that support and positively impact the food and physical activity environment.
The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior is an international organization of nutrition education professionals who are dedicated to promoting effective nutrition education and communication to support and improve healthful behaviors with a vision of healthy communities, food systems and behaviors.
For more information, contact Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe at (503) 709-5360.