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Matt Russell

Des Moines, Iowa
Matt Russell has spent his career advocating for social justice—the first 11 years training for and working in ministry and 16 years doing secular work focused primarily on economic and environmental sustainability. He draws on both backgrounds to lead Iowa Interfaith Power & Light since April 2018. He studied for the priesthood with the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines from 1994 to 1996 and earned an M.S. in Rural Sociology from Iowa State University in 2003. Matt worked at the Drake University Agricultural Law Center (2006-2018) on issues concerning retail agriculture, land tenure, conservation, climate change, farmer veterans, rural development, state food policy, and federal farm policy. He served 8 years on the Iowa Farm Service Agency State Committee. His work on sustainability has taken him to 26 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Scotland, Italy, and Cuba. Matt is a fifth generation Iowa farmer. He and his husband Patrick Standley operate Coyote Run Farm. They raise fresh produce, heirloom tomato plants, and grass-finished beef.