With a background as the former owner of a Santa Cruz-based local, organic apple juice company, Live Juice, Arty went on to work with Odwalla, in charge of fruit sourcing and working with farmers in the US, Mexico and Costa Rica.
Arty also served as the former Board president of the Ecological Farming Association, and was a member of the Santa Cruz County GE Subcommittee that passed the Precautionary Moratorium on growing genetically engineered crops in 2006.
Arty joined the Bioneers team in 1998, and shortly thereafter worked closely with John Mohawk as project manager of the Iroquois White Corn (IWC) Project, designing and setting up a scale-appropriate milling and roasting facility on the Cattaraugus Reservation in Western New York. The IWC Project’s mission was to help keep native farmers growing their traditional crop and ensure that a supply of the healthy staple was available to the Iroquois community. The project sold IWC to some of the country’s best-known chefs including Charlie Trotter and Bobby Flay, and to well-respected restaurants like Angelica Kitchen in NYC and White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia. As a result, IWC was listed on the Slow Food Ark of Taste as an at-risk traditional food of cultural importance.
Arty also worked with African American farmers in Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina producing some of the first organic agriculture and medicinal herb cultivation trainings in the Deep South. He helped start the first farmers market in Green County, Alabama to develop local markets for small farmers. As a result of that work, Arty was honored by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in 2002 for providing resources to Black Farmers to help them stay on their land. Black farmers have been systematically discriminated against, and as a result, their numbers have declined dramatically over the decades. While working in the South, Arty met civil rights lawyer JL Chestnut and invited him to speak at Bioneers where, as lead attorney for the Black farmers discrimination case against USDA, Chestnut shared the story of his victory of the largest civil rights settlement in the history of the US.
For Bioneers, Arty produced a number of “Wisdom at the End of Hoe” workshops, 3-day ecological agricultural intensives featuring innovative eco-farming masters, permaculturists and biodynamic experts training approximately 1,000 people in cutting edge farming and land use practices. Arty also collaborated with the Traditional Native American Farmers Association producing farm tours and a workshop on bringing traditional native foods to market.
For Bioneers’ Dreaming New Mexico (DNM) project, Arty conducted a series of video interviews with Indigenous and Hispano farmers and leaders that formed the basis of the DNM work on biocultural crops and traditional farming. These programs were shown on Public Access TV in Albuquerque, Los Alamos and Santa Fe.
Arty conceived of and has organized for 5 years the Seed Exchange, held every year at the Bioneers National Conference in San Rafael, CA. The Seed Exchange brings together 500 gardeners and farmers to exchange open-pollinated seeds to preserve the genetic heritage of food crop biodiversity and to help develop regional food sovereignty. The Seed Exchange is a lively and popular feature of the conference every year.
Arty also started the Bioneers Just Us for Food Justice (JU4JF) program, which brings together Bay Area youth involved in food and farming projects devoted to providing access to healthy food in food-desert communities. JU4FJ provides leadership training around issues like the Youth Food Bill Of Rights.
Arty also co-designed and implemented the Bioneers Community of Mentors program that leverages the power of the wisdom and experience of the Bioneers community by pairing youth – including Brower Youth Award winners – and Bioneers presenters in small group mentoring sessions.
|Pictured left to right: Permaculturist Larry Santoyo, author Toby Hemenway, Arty Mangan, and co-founder of People’s Grocery Brahm Ahmadi|
To learn more about any of the programs Arty is involved in, you can contact him at arty (at) bioneers.org or 1-877-BIONEER x134.