Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant
Deborah Cavanaugh-GrantBoard Candidate
Deborah retired from the University of Illinois Extension after working 30 years in small farms, sustainable and organic agriculture, and local food. Deborah has been involved with several organizations working with food issues, including the Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Council, Spence Farm Foundation, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Organic Growers Association, the Illinois Farmers Market Association, and serving as the market manager for the Old Capitol Farmers Market (2018-2019). Deborah lives in Greenview with her husband, Mark. She enjoys being a Big Sister in BBBS, volunteering at Club Compass, Daily Bread, and SPI Micropantry Helpers.
Mitch Cave
Mitch Cave Board Candidate
Mitch Cave is a fourth generation farmer located in Cass County on farmland purchased by his great-grandfather who located to Cass County from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He is the owner/operator of 4 Lees Farm and proud to be following his life long dream of providing clean, organic meats and produce to Central Illinois. When Mitch is not tending to his pure grass finished cattle, pastured pork, and pastured chicken, you will often find him in the high tunnel tending to his organic produce. Most recently Mitch added industrial hemp to his list of crops to be processed into CBD oil. Mitch is currently on the Old Capitol Farmers Market Advisory Board and also a vendor at the Old Capitol Farmers Market. He is a Buy Fresh Buy Local member and an Illinois Stewardship Alliance member. Mitch lives near Virginia, Illinois with his wife of 30 years and his teenage daughter.
Michael Higgins
Michael HigginsBoard Candidate
Chef Michael Higgins is the executive chef & owner of Maldaner’s Restaurant. He has been a leader in sourcing menu items locally. Chef Higgins is a long-time gardener who keeps bees & grows herbs, flowers & vegetables on the rooftop at Maldaner’s. A native of the San Francisco area, Chef Higgins has lived in Springfield for over 30 years. His community activities include the board of Green Business Network, MacArthur Boulevard Association, Mayor’s Advisory Council for “Bicycle Friendly City”, Downtown Springfield, Inc., the Old Capitol Farmers Market& Buy Fresh Buy Local. He helped lead the way for city & state-wide smoking bans.
Linda Reid
Linda Reid Board Candidate
Linda is the Director of Education and Impact for Compass for Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the landscape of the local Springfield community through innovative after-school and summer programs to underserved children in Springfield Public Schools – District 186. In 2020, Linda spearheaded Meals the Matter and forged a partnership between Slow Food Springfield, local farmers, Snail of Approval chefs, and Compass for Kids to provide nutritious, inspired chef-created meals to Compass’ families each month. Linda’s been a passionate board member and Slow Food advocate since moving to Springfield in 2019; working to create community partnerships and support the growth and vibrancy of Slow Food Springfield.
Hannah Tomlin
Hannah TomlinBoard Candidate
Hannah Tomlin grows chemical-free herbs and produce at Moon Girl Farm in Pleasant Plains. In 2017, Hannah moved back home to the centennial Tomlin family farm and started applying the knowledge she gained from internships and local food systems research while working on her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation was titled “Food for Thought: The Role of Land Grant Institutions in Small Farm and Local Food Education.” During graduate school, Hannah also participated in WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and completed an internship at Cook Farm in Bloomington, IL shortly before starting her own operation. Moon Girl Farm works with local chefs and retailers, sells at the Old Capitol Farmers Market every Saturday, and provides customers with cold-hardy greens and radishes from their high tunnel during the monthly winter markets. They have also recently started beekeeping and growing edible mushrooms on logs from trees trimmed on the farm.