Food & Agriculture Policy Advisory Committee


 Patty Emmert

Community Relations and Marketing Manager – Duncan Family Farms


Patty Emmert is the Community Relations and Marketing Manager for Duncan Family Farms, a certified organic farm specializing in leafy greens and specialty vegetables.  Their growing operations are located in Arizona, California, Oregon, and New York.  Since joining the farm in 2010 her main responsibility has been to develop a distribution platform for the farm’s Specialty Vegetable crops, increase brand identity, develop a marketing program for the farm and community outreach programs and oversee the business development and sales for their Specialty Vegetable crops.  

 Additionally, Patty is the current Director for Slow Food Phoenix which is the local chapter of a global non-profit organization that is focused on good, clean and fair food. She was a US Delegate to Terra Madre in Turin, Italy.  She is a member of Blue Watermelon Project where the focus is taste education and healthy food in schools.  She is the Production Chair for the AZ Farm to School network.  Her dedication is deeply rooted in building vibrant local food supply systems and making sure that everyone has access to healthy, fresh food. 


Representative Charlene Fernandez - Ex Officio Member
Arizona House of Representatives (2015 – Present)

Charlene Fernandez is a Yuma native who graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University. Currently, she serves the state as a representative for Legislative District 4. She is proud to work for a large portion of the agricultural community in Arizona at the Capitol. Food security is high on Rep. Fernandez's list of legislative priorities, as is identifying and finding solutions for food deserts across the state.



Elyse Guidas, MPH
Executive Director
Farm Express

Elyse serves as Executive Director of Farm Express, a fleet of nonprofit, mobile produce markets that sell high quality, affordable fruits and vegetables in communities with limited access to healthy food. She is Vice Chair of the City of Phoenix Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission and is also adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, where she teaches courses in the areas of budget and finance for healthcare organizations. Elyse is a passionate proponent of health in all aspects of public life and works tirelessly to make Arizona inclusive and equitable for all.  


Bruce Gwynn, Director of Food Sourcing

Yuma Community Food Bank

Bruce is a native of Yuma, Arizona (his family has been in Yuma County since 1858).  He went to U of A College of Agriculture and received a B.S. in Animal Science.  His employment experience includes the following:  2018 to Current - Director of Food Sourcing, Yuma Community Food Bank; 2014 to 2018 - Executive Director, Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association; 2009 to 2014 - Manager, Helena Chemical Company; 2007 to 2008 - Area Business Manager, Makhteshim Aghan of North America; 1997 to 2007 - General Manager, the Dune Company; 1978 to 1997 - Sales Representative, the Gowan Company; 1976 to 1978 - Sales Representative, Barkley Company; and 1970 to 1976 - Manager, Mill Iron Cattle Company.  He serves on several Boards, including the Yuma County Historical Society (Past President and Treasurer), the Rio Colorado Chapter of the AZ Historical Society (VP), the Yuma Union High School Governing Board (Past President), the AZ Western College Foundation Board, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Board (City of Yuma Appointment) and the Yuma County Cooperative Extension.


Senator Siné Kerr - Ex Officio Member 

Arizona State Senate (2018- Present)

Managing member
Kerr Family Dairy, LLC.

The Kerr Family Dairy is run by a fourth generation dairy farm family and is located in Buckeye. The family is passionate about caring for our cattle, land and providing high quality milk from their family to yours. Siné serves as the Arizona Farm Bureau's Women's Leadership Chair and on the Arizona Farm Bureau board of directors, Maricopa County Air Quality Hearing Board and the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce board of directors.


Dr. Glenna McCollum, DM, MPH, RDN, FAND 

Dr. McCollum served as the President of the national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – the largest food and nutrition organization serving over 100,000 credentialed practitioners nationwide.  With 20 + years of experience in the field of nutrition and nutrition education, Glenna currently consults with selected agricultural companies who are focused on soil health and sustainability -  to enhance, protect and restore the nutritional quality of crops and our food supply. 

Glenna served as Director of Nutrition for Central Arizona College for 17 years, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Rural Leadership (Project CENTRL), and has served on numerous committees, task forces and public policy initiatives at the state and national level. Dr. McCollum has participated in strategic collaborations from public health to agriculture, from food technology to global food distribution and production.  Dr. McCollum received her Doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix where the win-win of collaboration was the focus of her dissertation.  She also received her Master’s in Public Health from Loma Linda University, and two Bachelor of Science degrees from Arizona State University. 


Dave Richins
President/CEO United Food Bank
Dave Richins has worked in nonprofit, government and corporate roles. Most recently, he served as a Mesa City Councilmember for District 1, completing two terms. He also worked for Resolution Copper, working with the Government and Community Affairs team performing outreach and education to Congress, the Arizona Legislature and local government. In that capacity, he also worked with local nonprofit organizations to help build their capacity to better serve the community. Richins helped start the West Mesa Community Development Corporation and served as its first Executive Director. He also helped launch the Sun Corridor Legacy Program at the Sonoran Institute, a think tank on western policy issues. Richins holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Community Development with a minor in Leadership from Prescott College.

Rafael Tapia, Jr., a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, is the Vice President of Programs at Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA). PWNA is a non-profit organization serving 60 reservations in 12 states. PWNA’s six pillars of service are administered through partnerships with approximately 1,000 community based tribal partners – 4 of the 6 service pillars are food related.

Rafael’s public and private sector experience is concentrated in the areas of human, economic, workforce and community development. He has served as the senior advisor to the office of the chairman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Arizona Department of Commerce Tribal Liaison to the 22 Arizona Indian Tribes, business development consultant and small business owner.


Elizabeth Taylor, Ph.D
Green Verde Verte

Green Verde Verte makes small loans to and invests in Flagstaff food businesses in order to grow our local food economy. Elizabeth Taylor currently serves on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) and on the board of TerraBIRDS. She is an emeritus board member of Flagstaff Foodlink. 



Sharma Torrens 

Sharma, a native Arizonan, owns her own company, Ag-Conserve Consulting, LLC, and she is a consultant for the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) and Central Arizona Land Trust (CALT). As the Conservation Education Director for the AACD, Sharma spearheads educational efforts, works with the educational centers, and pursues grants and funding. With CALT, acting as the Conservation Specialist, Sharma works with farmers and ranchers to keep the agricultural operation in place with conservation easements while maintaining open space and wildlife habitat, etc.  In both roles with these nonprofit organizations, Sharma can pursue her two passions of conserving agriculture and natural resources.

Sharma has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from A.S.U. and a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.  She graduated from Project CENTRL (center for rural leadership), is a U.S. Bureau of Land Management AZ Resource Advisory Council member, and is on the International Leadership Alumni Conference Advisory Board, the AZDA’s Food & Ag. Policy Advisory Committee, the Coalition for Farmland Preservation, and the Board of Slow Food Phoenix.




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Minutes FAPAC and Other Documents

2017-02-28_Meeting_Minutes_Approved.pdf Download
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE POLICY ADVISORY COUNCIL 07-25-2017 Meeting Minutes.pdf Download
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE POLICY ADVISORY COUNCIL 09-06-2017 Meeting Minutes.pdf Download
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE POLICY ADVISORY COUNCIL 11-08-2017 Meeting Minutes.pdf Download
April Agenda.pdf Download
Approved 11-27-18 Mtg Minutes.pdf Download
April 2019 Approved Mtg Minutes.pdf Download
Map of Food Access Wkshops 06-19.pdf Download
Scan Signed 11-9 Revise Ltr + PP for Recommendations.pdf Download
August 14 2019 Agenda.pdf Download
August 14 2019 Draft Mtg Minutes for Approval.pdf Download
Unapproved 09-05-19 Mtg Minutes.pdf Download
Approved_June_2019_Meeting_Minutes.pdf Download
Unapproved notes 12.10.2019FAPAC.pdf Download
FAPAC AGENDA 120723.pdf Download
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