Matt Russell

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Matt has spent his career working in non-profits and advocating for social justice. He spent the beginning of his career training and working in ministry and after changing careers, spent 16 years focused on economic and environmental sustainability in the nonprofit sector. Every day since he started in April 2018, Matt has been energized by the work of Iowa IPL and being able to draw on his diverse background.

Before coming to Iowa IPL, Matt worked at Drake University's Agricultural Law Center. He focused on retail agriculture, land tenure, conservation, climate change, farmer veterans, rural development, state food policy, and federal farm policy. Before his 12 years at Drake, he was an organizer for Iowa Citizen Action Network, worked for the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, and taught religion at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has taught Sociology at Des Moines Area Community College and Drake university. Matt's work on sustainability has taken him to 26 states, the District of Columbia, Scotland, Italy, and Cuba. He served on the Iowa Farm Service Agency State Committee of the USDA from 2010 through 2017.

Matt studied for the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines at the University of St. Mary of the Lake's Mundelein Seminary from 1994 to 1996. He holds a M.S. in Rural Sociology from Iowa State University and received a B.A. from Loras College in Dubuque (where he was a member of St. Pius X Seminary).

He joined the Biden-Harris administration as the Iowa State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency serving at U.S. Department of Agriculture in Iowa. In accepting this position, Matt left his role as Iowa IPL's executive director at the end of the October 2021.

Matt is a fifth generation Iowa farmer. He and his husband Patrick Standley operate Coyote Run Farm, a 110 acre farm in rural Lacona. They raise fresh produce, heirloom tomato plants, and grass-finished beef.

“The Most Important Thing We Can Do to Fight Climate Change is to Talk About It”

“The Most Important Thing We Can Do to Fight Climate Change is to Talk About It”

Iowans of faith and conscience, we are all called to climate action! As we prepare for the third annual Called to Climate Action event on Saturday, I’m reminded that the enormity of the climate crisis can overwhelm us into believing there isn’t enough time, enough resources, enough people, enough political will, or even enough faith to prevent the consequences of global warming. It can feel like nothing we do will be enough.

Clean Cars Make for Smart Climate Action

Clean Cars Make for Smart Climate Action

Our nation has a history of advancing smart, win-win public policies when it comes to improving personal transportation. From seat belts and airbags to unleaded gas, we have come together many times to improve the automobile for individuals, communities, and the environment.

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