Sarah Larson is the Acting Director of the Food Finance Institute (FFI), part of UW System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. FFI provides finance-focused training and technical assistance to growing food, farm, and food systems enterprises.
Sarah is passionate about creating better communities through food. Her focus has evolved: from nutrition and health to local food market development and entrepreneurship to investing and wealth. Her role at FFI, and a desire to align her personal investment practices with her values, led her to seek additional knowledge and community related to innovative finance and investment models that can support food and agriculture. In particular, which consider important influences such as: how systematic racism affects funding decisions, how capital and cultural norms influence investing and measuring decisions, and current as well as impending climate issues.
Before FFI, Sarah spent time helping launch and grow food brands, including Wisconsin Specialty Protein (WSP) and the tera’swhey® brand, Death’s Door Spirits, and Tribe 9 Foods. Additionally, Sarah managed the Wisconsin statewide AmeriCorps Farm to School Program and served as the Farm to Business Program Director at nonprofit REAP Food Group.
Sarah holds an MPH and a BA in English and Philosophy. She currently serves on both the Willy Street Coop and FairShare CSA Coalition’s Board of Directors, as well as the Madison Food Policy Council.
Based in Madison, WI, Sarah spends her free time reading science fiction and fantasy novels, playing euchre and board games, attending concerts, and being active in a wide array of sports, such as roller derby, soccer, and softball.