Local Root Strategies
We believe in a future that relies on authenticity over scale, fairness over greed, and equity over power.
Local Root Strategies strives to revitalize rural communities, build a better food system, and find innovative solutions to significant challenges. We have experience with market development, advocacy, public policy, and political strategies for change.
This site will serve as a home for our lessons from the road as we learn, are inspired, or on occasion, get pissed off.
We hope you will reach out. This work requires collaboration, and our vision is simply to do as much good in the rural, farm, and food community as humanly possible. If you share that goal, we will likely find ways to work together.
Who We Are
As farm kids from a small farm community, we moved to Columbia, Missouri to pursue a university education and build professional careers in the agriculture industry. Somewhere along the way, we discovered that the conventional food system was leaving farmers badly off, consumers sick, and the land we love so much in shambles, so we set out to fix it.
Jake Davis works as an entrepreneur, farmer, consultant, and policy advisor. With a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from the University of Missouri and a masters in public administration from the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, Jake has dedicated his career to building a better farm and food system through market development and policy reform.
Over the past decade, Mr. Davis has provided market and policy expertise to national NGOs like the National Audubon Society, Organization for Competitive Markets, The Berry Center, and most recently as the National Policy Director for Family Farm Action. Between 2018 and 2020, he collaborated in drafting four landmark pieces of legislation to create structural reform of federal farm policy and has advised political candidates from state house to presidential on farm and food issues.
His passion for revitalizing rural communities and safeguarding family farmers developed early growing up on a diversified farm in Southwest Missouri. He currently farms in central Missouri, producing pasture-raised pork and vegetables.
Chelsea grew up raising livestock in small town Missouri during a time of significant change in rural America. Experiencing the rise of factory farms and the continued economic decline of the place she grew up has shaped her life's work.
After receiving an agriculture degree from the University of Missouri, Chelsea set out to help others, working in a regional food bank. She quickly recognized that the same food system that was killing the small town she came from was leaving too many hungry and sick.
Since that time, she has developed her knowledge and skills to build better food systems. As a farmer in central Missouri, she has become a trusted source in local food production. Serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Root Cellar, a regional food hub, she has become an expert in supply chain management and local food marketing.
Ms. Davis also recognizes that we need structural change in our farm and food policy. She actively participates in advocacy at every level, most recently serving as the Communications Director for Family Farm Action, a National 501c4.
Independent Family Farmers
Growing up in rural southwest Missouri rooted, in a community with agriculture at the core, we have a deep passion for addressing the struggle of independent family farmers. Multinational agribusinesses have hijacked our food system and are extracting wealth from the farmers that were once the economic backbone of our small towns. Our work is directly focused on leveling the playing field for family farmers. This includes Jake’s effort as the National Policy Director of Family Farm Action to develop and fight for a Farmers Bill of Rights Resolution to Congress introduced in 2020.
Local and Regional Food Systems
One of the most promising ways to empower farmers, invest in our communities, and push back against the industrial agriculture model is the “buy local” movement. Unfortunately, supply chains and even our federal farm policy is often stacked against the development of local and regional food systems. As the Chief Operating Officer of our central Missouri food hub, Root Cellar, Chelsea gets hands-on experience with the joy and challenge of building a local food supply chain. Armed with over 15 years working in local food, we have consulted on projects from Hawaii to New England and advocated for better food policy at all levels of government.
Rural Communities and the Climate Crisis
Focusing on the challenges and opportunities climate changes pose to farmers and rural communities for over a decade, Jake co-founded one of the nation's earliest agriculture carbon project firms. Chelsea joined his efforts spending years learning about how the climate crisis would impact the communities we care so deeply about. In 2018, Jake collaborated with a wide range of organizations as well as Senator Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Haaland (D-NM) to draft the Climate Stewardship Act. A landmark bill focused on making sure farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, were part of the solution to addressing climate change. Jake also collaborated on the introduction of the Farm System Reform Act by Senator Booker in 2019 which focused on reforming livestock production, placing a moratorium on new factory farms, and paying farmers to transition to more sustainable livestock production.