“We were excited to find such an established organization with a focus not only on organic but regenerative organic agriculture.”
This was the first thought of Lianna Levine Reisner and Elnatan Reisner–New York city parents, professionals, and community leaders–when they first stumbled upon Rodale Institute.
The couple, who have been interested in plant-powered nutrition since 2017 and sustainable living for many years prior, read a new white paper from The Plantrician Project, released in partnership with Rodale Institute.
Entitled “The Power of the Plate,” this 2020 white paper assembled the knowledge and promise of regenerative healthcare, a system in which farming and healthcare work together to inform a prevention-based approach to human and environmental health, focusing specifically on what we eat.
Lianna and Elnatan determined that they connected with the mission of Rodale Institute and became supporters that year. Their focus on supporting organizations making a difference in the health and nutrition of others was founded in Lianna’s realization that resources on transforming health and wellness through diet and agriculture had been difficult to find, requiring much personal research and tenacity.
“[The Power of the Plate] was our introduction to Rodale Institute,” said Lianna. “The more we’ve learned about how the Institute trains farmers, researches the impact, and inspires the field, we’ve been truly impressed.”
Lianna is a regenerative leader in her own right, using her experiences in plant-based nutrition, chronic disease reversal, and multicultural community engagement to become a social entrepreneur in New York City. In 2019, she co-founded Plant Powered Metro New York, a nonprofit organization that empowers people to find better health and overcome chronic disease through whole food, plant-based nutrition.
Despite their metropolitan locale, Elnatan became deeply interested in the process and impact of growing foods. It was the holistic worldview of Rodale Institute’s work that inspired the couple to give.
“We are both amazed at the symbiosis of soil health, human health, and ecosystem health,” explained Lianna. “We felt that any organization not just practicing regenerative organic agriculture but also teaching others how to transition to it would be in line with our values and our aspirations for the future of food.”
However, Lianna and Elnatan’s connection to Rodale Institute didn’t stop with their gift. After visiting the Rodale Institute headquarters with their three children in 2021, the family was so impressed with the work of Vegetable Systems Trial Director Dr. Gladis Zinati that they knew she had to be included in the next Plant Powered Metro New York program.
When the organization brought a group to Dr. Ron Weiss’s Ethos Farm Project in New Jersey, Lianna invited Dr. Zinati to present on the impact of healthy soil on nutrient density and the quality of our food, bringing the Rodale Institute message to an entirely new audience.
“Our visitors were tremendously grateful to learn with Dr. Zinati and get their hands in the soil,” said Lianna. “Her expertise is remarkable and made us realize how much there is to know–and how much we don’t know–about promoting healthy soil.”
At the end of the day, Lianna and Elnatan have decided to put their support behind the type of future they want to see for their children.
“Regenerative organic agriculture needs to be the norm across America,” stated Lianna. “We think that Rodale Institute is doing the right work at the right time. We hope that we can not only leave a better world for our children, but also inspire them to become activists in their own right, to have reverence for the natural world, and to reclaim our Earth for the health of all.”
Join our community of committed donors
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the regenerative organic agriculture movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and education. Our groundbreaking science and direct farmer-support programs serve as a catalyst for change in farming and food production worldwide. Over our 75-year history, we have proven that organic farming is not only viable, but essential to humanity’s survival.