Our Team

Board and Staff

Joe Maxwell_Photo credit Michael Cali
Joe Maxwell
President, Board of Directors

Joe Maxwell is a co-founder of Family Farm Action Alliance. He focuses his work on a vision of an inclusive U.S. economy that works for all people, providing them an equitable opportunity to share in the prosperity they help build, rather than an economy that works for just a handful of individuals and multi-national corporations.

Over the last three years, Joe has co-authored six policy briefing papers focusing on the abusive power monopolies have over our food and agriculture sectors. His work has been profiled by Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Politico, and The Nation. He has been cited by CNN, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Washington Post, and many agriculture and regional outlets.

Joe has held key positions in both political and initiative petition campaigns. During the current election cycle, he has assisted Presidential, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representative candidates in developing their antitrust, agriculture and food policy positions.

Joe holds degrees in agriculture economics and law from the University of Missouri. He served as a Missouri state legislator, as Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor, and is retired from the Army National Guard, where he served as a First Sergeant in the Field Artillery. Joe and his brother, Steve, are Missouri family farmers.

Angela Huffman
Vice President of Programs and Development, Board of Directors

Angela Huffman is a co-founder of Family Farm Action Alliance. She brings unique experience in integrating research, communications and advocacy which has led to successful policy reforms for economic justice. Her winning strategy centers on building capacity through broad-based, diverse collaborations.

Angela has co-authored six research briefing papers in the past three years focused on the impacts of consolidation in agriculture. She has appeared on NPR and Fox News, and has been cited in Forbes, The Washington Post, Politico, and dozens of regional outlets.

Angela holds an M.A. in Public Policy and Management from the Ohio State University. Her experience also includes financial and grants management and more than 10 years in public service and advocacy.

Angela is renewing her family’s 200-year tradition by becoming the sixth generation to live and farm on their Northwest Ohio homestead.

Anim Steel

Secretary and Treasurer, Board of Directors

Anim Steel is the executive director and co-founder of the Real Food Generation, which harnesses the power of youth and universities to build a fair and sustainable food system (programs include theReal Food Challenge, the Real Meals Campaign, and Uprooted & Rising).

Prior to Real Food Generation, Anim led national initiatives at The Food Project in Boston, consulted with Economic Development Assistance Consortium, and developed employment training programs at the Bowery Residents Committee. 

Anim holds a B.A. in Astrophysics and History from Williams College and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  

He is the recipient of a James Beard Leadership Award and received an Echoing Green award for social entrepreneurship. Born in Ghana, Anim grew up in West Africa and Washington, D.C.

Cody Atkinson
Cody Atkinson
Outreach and Engagement Director

Cody’s experience in candidate, petition, and initiative campaigns brings vital experience to our team. He believes the most effective way to produce change is to build diverse coalitions with a unified voice.

Cody is a former medic in the United States Army and the descendant of five generations of Missouri farmers and ranchers. He holds his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Arkansas State University. His experience also includes field management, message development, and event coordination.

Cody and his wife plan to continue his family’s long tradition of land and animal stewardship by raising bison and practicing regenerative agriculture.

Emily Miller
Policy and Research Manager

Emily Miller fiercely believes in using food and farm policy to fight for a more equitable world. She centers social and economic justice for those exploited by the agricultural system of today, while helping shape the inclusive agricultural system of the future.

Emily previously worked at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Missouri Science and Technology Policy Initiative, and the Iowa House of Representatives. She holds a M.S. in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri, and a B.S. from Iowa State University where she double majored in Animal Science and Agriculture & Society. Coupled with her coalition building and advocacy experience, she uses a holistic lens to transform on-farm challenges into robust policy opportunities.

A rural Iowan at heart, Emily now lives in St. Louis, MO where she supports her community’s farmers and urban agriculture initiatives.

Anna Straus

Communications and Development Coordinator

Anna (she, her, hers pronouns) brings her knowledge and experience in program development, communications and social justice to the team. Anna grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City and obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychology and English at Rutgers University.

After working in mental health and public education with multiple organizations including national non-profit City Year, she could not ignore the lack of access to healthy food in schools and an increasing disconnect between urban centers and the rural lands and communities that feed them.Anna obtained a Masters in Social Work at The University of Denver, with a focus in Sustainable Development and Global Practice. At the same time, she began working with a Denver food justice non profit, The Grow Haus, and cultivated skills in fundraising, marketing and social media development.

Following this, Anna worked with The Institute For Human Animal Connection, leading the development and execution of multiple research projects. Anna hopes to use her experience working with diverse groups of people to regenerate environmentally sustainable local food systems and heal rural and urban communities through fair access to nutritious foods.

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Jake Davis

Senior Policy Advisor

Jake Davis works as an entrepreneur, farmer, and policy advisor at the state and national level. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Missouri and a Masters of Public Administration from the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, Jake has dedicated his career to building a better farm and food system through market development and policy reform.

Over the past decade Jake has provided market and policy expertise to national NGOs including the National Audubon Society, the Berry Center, and many more. In 2019, he collaborated in drafting four landmark pieces of legislation to create structural reform of federal farm policy.

His passion for revitalizing rural communities and safeguarding family farmers developed early growing up on a diversified farm in Southwest Missouri. He currently farms in central Missouri, producing pasture-raised pork and vegetables. Jake and his wife, Chelsea, own Root Cellar, a local food hub in Columbia, Missouri.