Facilitator, Catalyst, Coach
Facilitation and leadership coaching has been the work of Michael’s life, which began in the mid 1980’s and has continued since. He has facilitated over 4,000 training events for more than 50,000 individuals.
Walton has been an advocate for Food Justice since 2009. With his wife Veronica, he initially converted a grassy field at the Hitchcock Center for Women into a thriving urban farm, which was visited by tours of local and regional visitors. At one period they were the largest urban agriculture supplier to City Fresh, a large local CSA which aggregates food from throughout Northern Ohio. He advocated for urban farmers in a congressional hearing which impacted the 2012 Farm Bill. Through the non-profit, Food Depot to Health (FD2Health), Michael and Veronica have trained numerous individuals in urban gardening techniques, urban homesteading, healthy food preparation – all focused on economic empowerment and sustainable living by growing and preparing healthier food. FD2Health has an active group of growers who identify as Urban Homesteaders. They have made rural/urban
connections, and collaborations with diverse stakeholders, reflecting common interest in transforming the food system.
Over the past 2 years, Michael has been transitioning, from being an active Urban Farmer, to focusing more on blending his passion for developing others into working on Food Systems Change. This allows him to lend his considerable facilitation and coaching experience and expertise to another issue that he is passionate about: reducing and eliminating race and place-based health and economic disparities.
10 years from now Michael will be 73. He wants to look back at this time in his life and see that he was able to inspire and empower others to turn passion into reality and make their contribution to the transformation of the food system. Michael is a member of the Project Team of Case Western Reserve University’s Nourishing Power Network, as a Co-facilitator of the Network Fellowship. Nourishing Power is a Community Action Research Project of the University’s Swetland Center for Environmental Health. He is committed to this project because of its alignment with his values relating to Food Justice.