2018 Speaking Schedule
Michelle Howell is a wife, mother, writer, speaker, and advocate helping women overcome the obstacles in their lives in order to have better birth experiences, make healthier habits and connect more deeply within their community. Michelle offers a fresh perspective, having grown up in a home that depended on supplemental nutrition programs to becoming an unexpected local food advocate who now depends on local food to sustain her family financially. She is specifically motivated to find creative, realistic solutions for:
- Helping women pursue their unique calling in life.
- Overcoming obstacles to good birth and breastfeeding experiences.
- Connecting local small-scale farmers with diverse consumers.
- Balancing good, healthy progress with a look at the past.
- Uncovering our stories in order to build connections.
Today, Michelle works alongside farmers and volunteers at Community Farmers Market (CFM) to promote local food access to a diverse group of consumers including, but not limited to: low income individuals, moms with young children, college students, single professionals, and refugees. Leveraging a partnership with Western Kentucky University, the Barren River District Health Department and a USDA Value Added Promotion Program grant, CFM has launched a mobile farmers market that brings fresh, locally grown food to low-income neighborhoods on the West Side of Bowling Green. CFM has accepted over $100,000 in SNAP benefits since it's launch in August 2013.
She is an active member of the BRADD area Community Health Planning Council, Barren River Food System Alliance. Kentucky Food Policy Council, and Community Farm Alliance. Representing a diverse group of consumers, she voices their stories, barriers, and needs in order to advocate for better resources and when needed, policy change. She has been invited to share her stories across Kentucky and Tennessee including at the Kentucky Public Health Conference, Kentucky Green Living Fair, OAKS Conference, Kentucky Fruit & Vegetable Conference, AASHE Sustainability Conference, American Farmland Trust and various organization development meetings and trainings.
Michelle has assisted in securing more than $550,000 in federal grant funds that directly benefit small-scale farmers and women of childbearing age. She specializes in grassroots projects that produce long-term success. Her efforts are always inclusive and careful consideration is given to who benefits from the work she engages.
Michelle farms at Need More Acres with her husband Nathan and their four children. Together they have invented a means of sustainable food production to support their family while sustaining the health and filling the plates of 12 households through an inclusive CSA. In addition, they have an on-farm small business incubator program that allows beginning farmers and entrepreneurs to take their next step in the local food system. Michelle met her husband Nathan as they were pursuing agriculture degrees at Western Kentucky University and later hired by the University of Kentucky to assist tobacco farmers transitioning to fruit and vegetable production. You can read more of their story here.
"Michelle is dedicated to helping and serving our community in many ways - from her involvement in the Farmer's Market with organizing and marketing programs and promotions to her passion for mothers, babies and children. Michelle has contributed a number of articles to Bowling Green Parent magazine as well as other publications in our area. Not only is she a great writer, she's passionate in her endeavors and puts everyone before herself. I'm confident that any organization she becomes involved with will greatly benefit from her knowledge, experience, connections and talents."
- Katie Frassinelli, Publisher & Owner of Bowling Green Parent Magazine