January 1, 2019
Assistant Policy Director
Donale Richards was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. His American mother, Jamaican father and Gambian step-father were all seasoned cooks, preparing traditional meals for the family and for large gatherings. With a rich cultural upbringing, Mr. Richards was always inspired by his parents and understanding the power of connecting people through food. After graduating high school, Mr. Richards was accepted to UW-Madison and received a tuition scholarship through the PEOPLE Program. While at UW-Madison, Mr. Richards was involved in multiple student organizations (NSBE, MANNRS, WABM, STEM Ambassadors) that focused on supporting the professional development and networking of students of color. He has also spent time working for the PEOPLE Program, Dairy Forage Research Lab, UW-Extension and Dane County Extension. He graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering – Natural Resources. Before joining MFAI, Mr. Richards spent a few years working for Mentoring Positives, Inc., operating the business Off the Block Enterprises, as well as designing and managing the youth employment program. There he learned about social entrepreneurship, community engagement and food processing. Currently, Mr. Richards serves on the Board of Directors of the Madison Public Market Foundation and is developing his own businesses that support local food systems.