President of Innovative Farmers of America to present as part of PRCHN seminar series

Mary HolmesThe Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) at Case Western Reserve University will continue its seminar series with a presentation by Mary Holmes, president of Innovative Farmers of America.

Holmes’ presentation, titled “Do We Have the Courage to Prevent Disease?” will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 8, from noon to 1:15 p.m. on the ground floor of the Bioenterprise Building.

Holmes has been involved with the local food movement in Cleveland since 1994 when she co-founded the North Union Farmers Market in Shaker Square. She served as that organization’s board president for eight years. In 2005, she wrote a report for The Farmland Center, “Entrepreneurial Farming: Part of the Plan for Economic Prosperity in Northeast Ohio.” In 2006, she became a SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University where she teaches an undergraduate seminar on the topic of changes to the American food system and diet since World War II and the promise of sustainable agriculture.

She is board president of Innovative Farmers of Ohio, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable farming in Ohio. While attending Slow Food International’s Terra Madre event in Turin, Italy, she created a blog, “Bounty of the Western Reserve” to capture the highlights of that amazing experience and continue the conversation in Cleveland about local food. She has also served on the USDA’s evaluation panel for Farmers Market Promotion Program grant requests.

Holmes became a certified Master Gardener through the Cuyahoga County Extension Service in 2013. She writes articles and builds relationships for Edible Cleveland, a magazine devoted to promoting local, seasonal foods from Northeast Ohio. As an independent consultant, Holmes has worked primarily with non-profits leading strategic planning and new product development efforts.

The PRCHN seminars are held the second Wednesday of every month.

Contact Kathy Kelly at for more information about the PRCHN seminar series.