Healthy Food Retail Coordinator
Liza Dobson is the Healthy Food Retail Coordinator for the Virginia Cooperative Extension's Family Nutrition Program. She works within the Food Access and Availability Initiative, designed to ensure that all Virginians have access to enough healthy, culturally appropriate food in their communities through access to farmers markets, gardening, and healthy retail outlets. She received her master's degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech in 2016. Her graduate research focused on the relationship between home food production and food security in rural Appalachian Virginia. Before attending graduate school, she worked as a farm-to-school coordinator in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, and as the Backyard Gardens Coordinator for GRuB's Kitchen Garden Project in Olympia, Washington. During graduate school, she also interned on a small, certified-organic flower and vegetable farm in Giles County, Virginia. She is passionate about small-scale, community-based food production and increasing local food access for low-income families. She is very excited about opportunities within the Food Access and Availability Initiative to not only improve health outcomes through healthy food retail access, but also to connect these projects to Virginia's growing local food system.