California Food and Farming Network

Beth Spitler – Field Director (she/her)

Beth co-facilitates the California Food & Farming Network, a multi-sector collaboration centering racial equity in food and farming policy change. She supports grassroots advocates’ participation in state-level policy and builds network capacity to advance racial equity. Before getting a graduate degree in public policy, she worked for a decade as an organic farmer, garden and cooking teacher and farmer outreach coordinator. bspitler[at]

Beth Smoker – Policy Director (she/her)

Beth weaves together food and farming advocates doing state policy through the California Food & Farming Network. With a masters in Food Systems and Society, Beth has experience across the food system from advocating for farmers in climate and racial equity policy and serving as Board President for a local non-profit focused on food justice. bsmoker[at]

Angelica Sanabria – Narrative and Network Building Contractor (she/her)

Angelica works to strengthen and standardize messaging and communication strategies within the California Food and Farming Network. Her role also includes inviting and supporting cross-sector membership while centering racial equity. Before joining CFFN, Angelica was an Analyst for the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative. She earned her Master’s at the University of San Diego in Peace and Justice with an emphasis on sustainable community development. asanabria[at]

Past Fellows

2023: Kenzo Esquivel – Policy Fellow

Kenzo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley. He works with the Berkeley Agroecology Lab studying the barriers organic farmers face in adopting soil health practices, and the impact that these practices have on soil function and farm productivity. He is also heavily involved in efforts to create a more equitable and just system of higher education through the student workers’ union and departmental leadership positions. He deeply believes in centering racial justice as a core tenet of food system sustainability and is excited to learn more about the policy process in California with CFFN.

2023: Alexa Marin Benavente – Policy Fellow

Alexa Marin is excited to be joining CFFN as a policy fellow to learn about the food systems policy and advocacy efforts for BIPOC and underrepresented communities in California. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Conservation and Resource Studies with a focus on International Development and Agroecology. Alexa values the importance of the accessibility of healthy, nutritious, and culturally-appropriate food to all communities, agroecology, and immigrant farmworkers’ rights. She enjoys road-tripping with her dog Bonbon, watching documentaries, and doing yoga.

2022: Elias Berbari — Communications Fellow (he/him)

Elias joins CFFN with a deep appreciation for the importance of curiosity, compassion, and clear communication in building our food systems of the future. His Master’s program in Sustainable Food Systems gave him experience working with a food hub to communicate the importance of values-based procurement for local and regional food systems. He also helped build farm-to-school market opportunities for equity-focused suppliers in the Front Range of Colorado before relocating to the Bay Area.

2021: Christine Kuo — Policy Fellow (she/her)

Christine is an International Relations and Applied Animal Biology student from the University of British Columbia. She was first drawn to the California Food and Farming Network because of her interest in agriculture, sustainability, and food production. Recently, Christine has been enjoying the outdoors, experimenting with cooking, and watching a show about fermentation. She is looking forward to working with CFFN!

Network Members