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Beef to Institution: How one hospital is investing in local ranchers in California

Health care systems can be lucrative markets for small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers looking to earn a fair price for their healthful products. Hear how hospitals in California are buying locally-produced and organic foods, featuring the ins and outs of the relationship between a California regenerative grass fed beef rancher and UC Davis Medical Center. Join the speakers for a live Q&A following the presentation. This is the first installment of EcoFarm’s three-part webinar series on farm to institution.

Tuesday, August 3

12 - 1:30pm PT


Chef Santana Diaz, UC Davis Medical Center
Seasonal. Local. Creative. These words fully define the passion and characteristics that guide Executive Chef Santana Diaz at UC Davis Health. Chef Diaz’s vision has always been to bring a true farm-to-fork, restaurant-style culinary experience to all facets of every food venue that he has had the privilege to lead. Chef Diaz joined the UC Davis Health team after setting up and executing the Golden 1 Center food program with the most successful farm-to-fork production in sports. His drive to create an impactful program via health care intrigued him and offered him more opportunity to impact the local farming and rancher community. His experience with fine-dining restaurants and hotel management in the California Bay Area, coupled with large-volume sports and entertainment work, have yielded Diaz the opportunity to bring the high-volume “eats” to a healthier platform – while not losing the most important aspect of the meals: taste.
Kyle Meniketti, Richards Grassfed Beef
Kyle Meniketti is Vice President of Sales/Operations at Richards Ranch Meats, where he has worked since 2014. The Richards family has been ranching for four generations, running 100% grass fed beef cattle on what is now 6,600 acres of foothill countryside. Located next to the Yuba river about 70 miles northeast of Sacramento, their cattle graze year round above the valley fog layer and below the Sierra snow line. Richards Grassfed Beef is certified by the American Grassfed Association and is the first beef company on the west coast to receive the Savory Institute's Ecological Outcome Verified certificate. 


Courtney Crenshaw, Health Care Without Harm
Courtney works at the intersection of food, climate and health and is particularly interested in institutional food procurement, environmental sustainability, and building a food system that centers racial equity, climate justice and food sovereignty.  She earned a Master’s in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and brings over a decade of experience working in the social service and nonprofit sectors. As Regional Program Manager for the Healthy Food in Health Care program at Health Care Without Harm, Courtney coordinates the California health care network of approximately 180 hospitals, facilitates the regional hospital leadership teams and manages the ProCureWorks cross-sector purchasing initiative. She also leads special projects, including the 2022 Anchors in Action Standards Alignment project.