Meet Max

MaxGreen_photoMax Greene is a Staff Attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation, and one of our incoming cohort of Council members who started serving on RIFPC in 2016. We sat down to talk about his work and what brought him to the Council.


SC: Tell us a little about what you do.

MG: I am a lawyer for an environmental non profit. My work touches on a lot of different areas including food. In terms of issues specific to food or agriculture, I am currently working with the City of Central Falls on supporting urban agriculture in the city, and drafting an ordinance that will hopefully help them convert some of Central Falls’ underutilized areas into productive greenspace. I have also done some work around trying to keep food and other organic waste out of the landfill and instead productively reuse that material. Another food-related project that I am excited to share is that we are laying the groundwork right now to establish a legal services food hub here in Rhode Island, based on a model we have already launched in MA and ME. It pairs small food growers and businesses with pro bono legal advice to help navigate complex regulatory matters that arise in this field, and is one way that we can support the Rhode Island food sector.


SC: How did you get interested or involved in food systems and food policy matters?

MG: The first time I can remember getting interested in food policy was reading Michael Pollan and Wendell Berry in law school (not for a class but just on my own) and thinking wow, I really love food and there’s a lot that could be done to make our food system better and healthier. I started exploring opportunities to get involved in food policy. I talked quite a bit with Katherine Brown at Southside Community Land Trust, who invited me to work with them on passing a chicken ordinance for the city, and everything sort of snowballed from there.


SC: What skills/qualities/experience are you proud to bring to the Council, and what, in turn, do you hope you will gain from your time serving on the Council?

MG: I have quite a bit of legal and policy experience and I think that could be helpful, especially for getting big ideas reflected in laws, regulations, and policies, and making sure these initiatives are supported by the system within which we work.

In terms what I think I can gain from the Council, in my day job as a lawyer, I spend a lot of my time on litigation rather than out there in the world engaging with people in the food system. I am excited that working with RIFPC is an opportunity to interact with so many great people and learn about all the ideas percolating in RI. There is so much going on, and I get really excited when I read about all of the things happening in the food system. I can’t wait to meet more people and learn more about what they are doing.


SC: What’s your favorite food-related thing about Rhode Island?

I love a lot of RI food traditions. Before I moved here a decade ago, I was not a big seafood eater, but I have been fully converted by living in The Ocean State. If I had to highlight one food-related experience, it would be taking a clamming lesson that was organized by DEM, digging up clams and cooking them that night with a bottle of Newport Storm, some chorizo, and some garlic that we picked up at the farmers market, just having an all out Rhode Island dinner that was fantastic.


Thank you, Max, for taking the time to share, and we are thrilled to have you aboard!

Please check back on our blog for more profiles as we continue the series of introductions to our newest group of Council members.

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