PCantrellB&W_ Patty Cantrell researches, writes, and speaks nationally about local food as community economic development. She also offers strategic communications, facilitation and project development through her business Regional Food Solutions LLC. Cantrell spent 12 years developing and leading regional food programs in Michigan, including the 10-county northwest Michigan Taste the Local Difference and Food and Farming Network initiatives.

She recently returned to live and work in her home territory of the Missouri Ozarks. Current writing includes Good Food Economy Digest blogs for the Wallace Center at Winrock International, home of the National Good Food Network. Other recent work includes Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening Tool, which won a 2013 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations, and Food Hubs: Solving Local, a report for the Wallace Center on wholesale regional food marketing.

In 2012 Patty brought her food system insights and expertise to the TEDx Manhattan stage. She devoted significant time to food and farm policy outreach in 2007-2009 as a Kellogg Food and Society Fellow.

She holds a masters degree in business administration from Drury University and bachelors’ degrees in economics and political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her background includes a Fulbright Scholarship to study economic systems in Europe and newspaper and magazine work as a business journalist.