HEAL Food Alliance

2023 School of Political Leadership 

Nourish Colorado

Laurel Smith


Farmer and Value Chain Coordinator, Nourish Colorado

We must grow a food system that is both ecologically-sound and socially just, designed by undervalued communities who have faced hunger disproportionately—BIPOC people, elders, children, people with disabilities, women and trans people, LGBTQ+ people, people living in the US without citizenship, and poor people. What is good for these communities will in turn be good for struggling ecosystems. Participating in HEAL's School of Political Leadership will be an opportunity for our team from Nourish Colorado to learn to grow community power for a more socially just and ecologically-sound 2023 Farm Bill and beyond.

Meet Laurel

Laurel is a white, gay farmer growing hazelnuts, strawberries, and asparagus in rural Colorado with the aim of sequestering carbon and introducing more perennial foods into the local food system. She also works for Nourish Colorado as a Value Chain Coordinator—supporting small grocers (grocers who offer Double Up Food Bucks to customers who use SNAP benefits) to sell more Colorado-grown produce.

Laurel is named for her two great grandmothers who homesteaded in New Mexico as widows. She looks to these ancestors for guidance as a feminist and farmer, but she aims to tell their stories in a way that unpacks their reliance on the homestead act of 1862 that secured the futures of white people while displacing and killing indigenous people across the US. She aims to be the kind of leader who can tell complete (if complicated) stories like these—ones that both honor liberation and acknowledge oppression.