Liz O’Gilvie is a 60-year-old black produce farmer based in Springfield Mass. While developing 40 Acres Farm as a cooperatively managed venture, Liz serves as the director of the Springfield Food Policy Council and the interim director of the youth-driven, urban agriculture organization Gardening the Community. She is also a member of the Steering Committee and Advisory Boards of the statewide Massachusetts Food System Collaborative and Massachusetts Farm to School. Supported by Liz’s leadership, the Springfield Food Policy Council serves as a partner, advisor and driving force behind efforts to build a healthier food system in Springfield, including Springfield Public School’s efforts to increase fresh food access in the school food program through the development of a Culinary Nutrition Center designed for scratch cooking, staff and student training, economic development and growing the school garden program while increasing STEM curriculum alignment.
A later-in-life farmer, Liz believes the land called her home so that she could feed her family and community. She is deeply grateful for the support of others who are helping her to manifest the dreams of her ancestors. She knows “when we feed ourselves, everybody eats.”