Brooke Kahl Joins the Swetland Team as the foodNEST 2.0 Program Manager!

Brooke Kahl Headshot

Please extend a warm welcome to our newest team member, Brooke Kahl! Brooke has stepped into the role of foodNEST 2.0 Program Manager and is excited to continue the legacy of the Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study (foodNEST 2.0). You can learn more about Brooke's education and experience on her 'Meet the Team' page or by reading below!

Where are you from? I am a fourth-generation Clevelander, who grew up on the west side of Cleveland. I have spent the last 7 years living in Michigan, Arizona, and Colorado, and I am excited to return home and join the Swetland Center. 

What is your background in? I dove into food systems work during my undergraduate study at the University of Michigan. At that time, I explored the field through volunteering and lectures on food justice. To attain more hands-on experience, I decided to work on a farm -The Chef’s Garden in Milan, Ohio - and in a family nutrition center in Buenos Aires. These experiences, solidifying my commitment to food systems and food justice, led me to support research at the University of Michigan on the impact NAFTA had on small- and mid-size growers in Mexico. I then worked as a FoodCorps Service Member in Flagstaff, Arizona in an elementary school community to advance nutrition equity and food sovereignty. Through FoodCorps, I developed a no-cost grocery program, supported the Coordinated School Health Committee, oversaw the certified school garden in conjunction with Indigenous elders, and came to understand the challenges of the school food system in America. Most recently, I supported philanthropists interested in advancing regenerative agriculture and representative agricultural leasing in Boulder County, Colorado. 

What excites you about joining the Swetland Center? There are many things that excite me about joining the Swetland Center. The chance to collaborate with the impressive individuals currently at the Swetland Center, the mission that embodies my values, and the opportunity to work on issues related to food systems equity in my hometown are some of the things I am most excited by. 
What is your favorite outdoor space in Cleveland? My favorite outdoor space in Cleveland is Edgewater Park. I love the lakeshore with the backdrop of the city skyline. I also love that it is a space where our community comes together to enjoy the lake, the green space, and the oversized porch swings. 

What is a piece of advice you have been given or quote/statement that is significant to you? “Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein