Leads FaithLands advancing the mission of the FaithLands initiative and collaborating with stakeholders to actualize projects. Identification and collaboration of new and existing opportunities to engage with faith leaders, community stakeholders, faith oriented land owners.
Serves FaithLands Advancement & Expansion through identification of opportunities for partnership and inclusion in local and national movements that seek equity and justice across a number of sectors, with a goal of fostering connections for the Faith Lands mission to serve as a core pillar of movements for equity focusing on land access in the faith sector.
Supports cultivating relationships with cross sector and inter- faith leaders to actualize Faithlands projects across the country, leveraging and utilizing the Faithlands toolkit to inform discussion and design of projects through engagement and participation with faith communities to educate and inform and manifest land based transformation. FaithLands website and resource development to promote the toolkit and build a network of stakeholders.
Serves on board of Central Virginia Agrarian Commons
Click for Robin’s Full Bio
Leads grant-based fundraising
Serves organization through presentations, teaching, and engagement; additionally through Chipotle Aluminaries incubator.
Supports development, fundraising, and strategic growth; also involved in guiding organizational culture.
Serves on board of SE MN and Middle TN ACs.
Cultivates human and land reconnection and healing growing indigo and producing natural dye for his wife’s textile arts business.
Click for David’s Full Bio
Leads CA Agrarian Commons work.
Serves regional presentations and discussions and communications and content creation.
Supports Agrarian Commons development, advancement, fundraising, and growth. Agrarian Commons land transfer and conservation easement transactions.
Serves on the board of Capay Valley and Southeast Minnesota ACs.
Click for Kendra’s Full Bio
Leads Agrarian Commons, Fundraising and Transactions, and Commons Alliances; additionally leading, supporting, and guiding organization growth, vision, and operations.
Serves as National Agrarian Commons lead and organizational director.
Supports Organizational culture, Communications, Operations, and FaithLands.
Serves on board of VT, NH, ME, SW VA, WV, PS, and CV CA ACs.
Cultivates land conservation, food production, and education in community.
Click for Ian‘s Full Bio
Leads as Project Editor of the FaithLands Toolkit and supports FaithLands as a researcher, writer, and editor, developing tools to engage faith communities in ecological stewardship and reparative justice through the land.
Supports AT Communications with writing and editing.
Serves as lead editor for the Greenhorns New Farmer’s Almanac and co-editor of edible New Mexico.
Cultivates food in raised beds in her backyard in Albuquerque, NM.
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Eliza Spellman Taylor
Leads Agrarian Legal and Agrarian Commons growth and supports community through stakeholder committees, creating open-source resources, and presentations and discussions.
Serves as mid-Atlantic and central Appalachia Trust and Commons lead, and on the boards of SWVA, Central VA, WV, Middle TN, and Confluence ACs.
Supports organizational culture of the Trust and interconnection and co-learning across Agrarian Commons.
Cultivates food, fiber, and medicine as a farmer in Appalachia with her husband, who also leads Virginia Tech’s Catawba Sustainability Center. Nurtures healing and transformation through an acupuncture practice built off patterns of nature and life’s innate ability to heal (endless interconnections with farming and ecology!)
Click for Eliza’s Full Bio
Leads the management of communication systems and software.
Serves on board of Montana AC and with fiscal agency oversight.
Supports organizational structure for successful growth and the ability to meet the milestones and ultimate mission of the organization.
Cultivates a return to the land and the healing that it provides.
Click for Wendy’s Full Bio
Leads social media for Agrarian Trust; to engage and connect stakeholders and community members, and to broaden awareness of the organization’s mission and goals.
Supports communications strategies and messaging to increase awareness, engagement, and community support, and also supports grant writing.
Cultivates human and land reconnection, stewarding history, legacy, and future on a biodynamic farm with her husband.
Click for Kristina’s Full Bio
BOARD AND ADVISORS
Ted Bellinger has a background in finance, strategy and operations with a passion for sustainable food systems and social entrepreneurship. He currently works as a food business consultant with New Venture Advisors and runs his own consulting business. He was drawn to work in sustainable food and agriculture systems in order to have a positive impact on human and environmental health.
Ted began his career as an investment banker and private equity investor in New York City. In 2013, he moved to Colorado and joined Craftsy, a Denver-based online education and e-Commerce startup. He has also spent time traveling and living in Southeast Asia where he worked at Kopernik, an international development NGO in Indonesia that distributes clean technologies to remote communities across Southeast Asia. Ted also served as Director of Finance at Pasture One, a distributor of domestic, grass-fed beef that supported ranchers who techniques that promote grass-lands regeneration and carbon-sequestration. Ted has a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Sallie knows about software and ranchland. An engineer by training, she spent twenty-five years growing a software company with her husband which they sold in 2000. Then they did the craziest thing they’d ever done: they purchased a 7600 acre ranch south of San Jose, Ca. Sallie’s adventures include raising grass-fed beef, running a packing plant, and making loans to support sustainable agriculture. Sallie is Board Chair of Holistic Management International, an organization dedicated to helping farmers, ranchers and land managers use and conserve their land effectively. In addition to their philanthropic plans to give all of their money away during their lifetime, Sallie and her husband are in active inquiry about what it means to shift their investment portfolio to align with their mission.
Zoey Fink is a native New Mexican with a passion for local food systems and the communities that support them. She is Coordinator for the Refugee Agriculture Partnership Program in Albuquerque, NM: Tres Hermanas Farm. Previously, Zoey was Interim Director for Agrarian Trust and managed the Albuquerque Downtown Growers’ Market and Rail Yard Market. She currently sits on the Agrarian Trust Board, the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust Board, and remains an active member of the Albuquerque Growers’ Market Alliance. In her free time you’ll find her running along acequia banks, climbing mountains, strumming the mandolin, and sharing meals with friends and family.
Alex Jensen is a research associate and project coordinator at Local Futures/ISEC (International Society for Ecology and Culture). He has co-ordinated Local Futures’ Ladakh Project intermittently since 2004. He is also an associate of the Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics in Himachal Pradesh, India, and is a member of the core group of Vikalp Sangam/Alternatives India. He holds an MA in Globalization and International Development from University of East Anglia, UK. His research interests include political ecology and environmental ethics. He has worked with cultural affirmation and agro-biodiversity projects in campesino communities in a number of countries, and is active in socio-environmental movements including degrowth, environmental health/anti-toxics, and zero waste.
Keefe Keeley comes from the Kickapoo Valley of Wisconsin. He holds a degree in Biology from Swarthmore College, an MS in Agroecology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and is a University Fellow and PhD candidate at the UW in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Currently, as co-Executive Director of the Savanna Institute, he leads participatory research, education, and outreach to advance farming systems that mimic native oak savannas of the upper Midwest. Recently, Keefe co-edited The Driftless Reader, a bioregional anthology. He has worked in various capacities on diversified organic and incubator farms, and has worked with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection in local food system development. He has also worked, studied, and served with farmers in a dozen countries worldwide, including as a Watson Fellow.
Jamie Pottern is the New England Program Manager with American Farmland Trust, facilitating projects and programs that address farmland loss and support farmers and conservation organizations across New England. Jamie served as Land, Community & Education Director at Agrarian Trust, during 2018 and 2019. Jamie coordinated the national FaithLands initiative, including the Eastern North Carolina FaithLands Inventory Project and also brought her wealth of knowledge of farm conservation and land access strategies to the developing local Agrarian Commons model. Jamie previously managed the Farm Conservation Program at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, facilitating the protection of working farms and forests across north central and western Massachusetts, focusing on innovative mechanisms that address farmland affordability, housing, and farmland transfer to the next generation. Jamie is deeply committed to the mission and values that Agrarian Trust embodies, especially commitments to racial and economic justice around land and agroecological and regenerative land management practices. Jamie holds a Masters in Sustainable Landscape Planning & Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design, a B.A. from Brandeis University in Environmental Studies and International & Global Studies, and a certificate from The Farm School’s Learn to Farm Program.
Thomas Rippel is a biodynamic farmer with a background in finance, community supported farming and IT. He is passionate about creating a kind of agriculture that works in harmony with the soil, plants, animals, and society. Thomas is a lecturer at the biodynamic farming education in Switzerland, co-founder of OpenCrowdInvest, a crowd-investing tool specifically designed for community-funded and commons projects and the head of project development at Kulturland-Genossenschaft, a Germany-based cooperative which provides farms the legal and technical (IT) framework to enable community-funded purchases of agricultural land, which is permanently taken off the market.
Severine von Tscharner Fleming
Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in Downeast Maine. She runs Smithereen Farm, a MOFGA certified organic wild blueberry, seaweed, and orchard operation which hosts summer camps, camping, and educational workshops.
She is a founder and board member of Agrarian Trust and current director of the Greenhorns, a 10 year old grassroots organization whose mission is to recruit, promote, and support the incoming generation of famers in America. Greenhorns produce media and publications for and about the young farmers movement from documentary films to almanacs, anthologies, mix-tapes, posters, guidebooks, and digital maps. They are best known for The New Farmer’s Almanac, now in its fourth edition, their documentary film, “The Greenhorns,” and the raucous young farmer mixers they’ve thrown in 37 states and 14 grange halls. Severine is co-founder and board secretary of Farm Hack, an online, open-source platform for appropriate and affordable farm tools and technologies, as well as a founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition, which now boasts 23 state and regional coalitions. She serves on the board of the Schumacher Center for New Economics, Eat Local Eastport Cooperative, and on the advisory board of Savanna Institute.
Severine attended Pomona College and the University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/Agroecology.
CONTRIBUTORS AND SUPPORTERS
Peter Barnes is an entrepreneur and writer who has co-founded and led several successful businesses and written numerous articles and books about capitalism, the commons and other topics. His latest book, With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay Enough, proposes universal dividends from shared wealth as a practical solution to economic inequality. Barnes grew up in New York City and earned a B.A. in history from Harvard and an M.A. in government from Georgetown. He was a Washington correspondent for Newsweek and west coast correspondent for The New Republic. In 1976 he co-founded a worker-owned solar energy company in San Francisco, and in 1983 he co-founded Working Assets (now Credo). In 1995 he was named Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including the National Cooperative Bank, the California Solar Industry Association, Businesses for Social Responsibility, the Rainbow Workers Cooperative, Redefining Progress, Greenpeace International and the Center for Economic and Policy Research. His books include Pawns: The Plight of the Citizen-Soldier, The People’s Land, Who Owns the Sky? and Capitalism 3.0. His articles have appeared in The Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the American Prospect, the Utne Reader, Yes! and elsewhere. In 1997 he founded the Mesa Refuge, a writers’ retreat in northern California.
Jake is a New York City-based attorney and strategic consultant with experience in sustainable food & agriculture, environmental conservation, social enterprise and philanthropy. He is currently a Program Analyst with the Open Space Institute, a $200m regional land conservancy, and has previously worked on the Legal Team at the Acumen Fund, a $100m global social venture fund. He was also, once, a professional cook. Beinecke serves on the Board of Directors of the Prospect Hill Foundation, the Global Greengrants Fund, and Page73, and is a former Executive Director of the Law and Social Entrepreneurship Association. A lifelong New Yorker, Beinecke graduated from Trinity School, Columbia University and New York University’s School of Law. He has traveled extensively, but currently lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn with his girlfriend Julia, where he does his best to go after it, often on skis or a fish, wearing hiking boots or with a golf club in hand.
Joe is the founder of Vermont Bean Crafters, a four-year-old company that creates products that fill the niche of what people are actually eating, with foods that can be created from locally-grown ingredients, and prepared in a more inspiring manner than what is currently available in the food system at large. Bossen is enrolled in the Vermont Farm Viability Program, in which he is initiating a project to bring Vermont’s staple food economy to the next level with support from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, the University of Vermont’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the state’s Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
Ali Budner is the editor for Agrarian Trust’s Benevolent Investors Guide. She is an independent radio journalist who also has a background in farming and gardening. As a journalist, she’s worked in collaboration with The Kitchen Sisters, Latino USA, The Fukushima Reporting Project, and local San Francisco Bay Area stations, KPFA and KALW. Most recently, she was a 2015 reporting fellow with Michael Pollan’s Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship at UC Berkeley. Ali has also worked as an intern at Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley, taught gardening to elementary school students, and studied herbal medicine.
Liz Burrichter works at Main Street Farms in Cortland and Homer, NY as well as with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Cortland County as an Organic Dairy Educator. She graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Cornell University, where she co-managed Dilmun Hill Student Farm and also minored in dance. She now enjoys living in a small town very close to where she can grow vegetables, hike with her dog, and participate in the diverse food and farms culture of the Finger Lakes region. She contributes to the Agrarian Trust blog by helping to write farmer profiles.
Sarah has a deep love of restorative agriculture built during her childhood on the Kansas prairie and work on several diversified, perennial farms in Minnesota, Kansas, and Vermont. She most recently worked with the Land Stewardship Project’s Farm Beginnings program, focusing on land access for new farmers and federal farm policy. These days Sarah is operating a small fruit tree nursery and establishing a diversified orchard with her partner John in western Wisconsin, as well as filling bulk bins at a food co-op and planting trees with a Minnesota permaculture design company.
Vanessa García Polanco
Vanessa García Polanco has served at the local, state and regional level to promote democratic empowerment, racial equity and visibility of immigrants in food systems as a network member of Food Solutions New England and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. Vanessa is an alumna of the Food Solutions New England Network Leadership Institute and the University of Rhode Island and she is currently a graduate student in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. Vanessa is a New American. As a woman of color and immigrant from the Cibao Valley in the Dominican Republic, she brings her identity and experiences to inform her research and advocacy activities.
Originally hailing from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Erin now resides in Gunnison, Colorado where she is completing a Master in Environmental Management degree at Western State Colorado University. Erin returned to school after spending five years as an environmental educator throughout the United States, from Northern Vermont, to the misty Oregon Coast, to the sunny Rocky Mountains. In graduate school, Erin focused on the complexities of local food economies and non-profit management. As a concluding project in partnership with Guidestone Colorado, Erin organized the 2016 Colorado Land Link Forum, a 2-day event designed to spark conversation and connections around farmer land access and support in Southwest Colorado. When not working to support local food economies, Erin can most likely be found outside on a bike, on skis, on foot with a field guide, or with hands in the soil.
Ella farms and writes from the UK, though her love for the land in the US the was kindled in 2008 when she cycled the States coast to coast. After reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Warwick, Ella completed a two year apprenticeship on a horse-powered biodynamic farm, working with young adults in a programme of therapeutic education. She is now travelling the land and working with the Biodynamic Land Trust to facilitate entrant farmers and communities connecting to the land.
Elizabeth has been farming at Peacework Farm in Wayne County, New York, and has been producing organically grown vegetables for the fresh market for over 30 years. She is a founding member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) in Massachusetts, has been on the Board of Directors of NOFA-NY since 1989, and represents NOFA in the national discussions of organic standards and on the Management Committee of the Agricultural Justice Project. She chairs the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board in Wayne County and helped organize the Domestic Fair Trade Association. Henderson has been honored by the organic industry with one of the first “Spirit of Organic” awards (2001), by Abundance Co-op with its Cooperating for Communities award (2007), and by NOFA-NY with a Lifetime Achievement Award (2009).
Her writings on organic agriculture appear in The Natural Farmer and the NOFA-NY Food, Farms and Folks. One of the authors of The Real Dirt: Farmers Tell about Organic and Low-Input Practices in the Northeast, she is also lead author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (Chelsea Green, 1999, with a new edition in 2007) and wrote A Manual of Whole Farm Planning (2003) with Karl North. With her former farm partner she wrote A Food Book for a Sustainable Harvest for the members of the Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture Project (GVOCSA). Peacework Organic Farm supplies vegetables to the 300-member GVOCSA, now in its twenty-fourth year.
Dave Henson is a Sowing Circle Community member and Executive Director of OAEC. He also directs OAEC’s Ecological Agriculture Program and co-directs the Center’s Intentional Communities Program. With a background in environmental studies, sociology and law, Dave has worked for over 25 years with many environmental, agricultural and social justice organizations, and has lectured and led training programs around the U.S. and in over 20 countries. Dave is also a co-founder and steering committee member of the Wild Farm Alliance and Californians for GE-Free Agriculture, and serves as a facilitator, strategic planner, and organizational consultant to many other nonprofits.
Wes is the founder and current president of The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. He resigned a tenured professorship to found The Land Institute in 1976 in order to focus on refashioning agriculture to mimic natural systems. Jackson is a Pew Scholar, MacArthur Fellow, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award. His books include Man and the Environment, New Roots for Agriculture, Meeting the Expectations of the Land (edited with Wendell Berry and Bruce Colman), Altars of Unhewn Stone,Becoming Native to This Place, Consulting the Genius of the Place, and Nature as Measure. Life magazine named Jackson one of 18 individuals it predicts will be among the 100 “most important Americans of the 20th century.” He was named one of Smithsonian magazine’s “35 who made a difference” in November 2005.
Wendy is a Buddhist meditation teacher and organic gardening mentor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been practicing Zen meditation for thirty-five years and has led meditation retreats nationwide since 1992 as an ordained lay dharma teacher in the traditions of Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and the San Francisco Zen Center. Wendy is one of the founders of the organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, where she lived with her family from 1975 to 2000. She has been teaching gardening and environmental education to the public since the early 1980s. In 2000 Wendy and her husband, Peter Rudnick, received the annual Sustainable Agriculture Award from the National Ecological Farming Association. Since 1995 Wendy has written a quarterly column, “On Gardening,” for Tricycle Magazine, a Buddhist Review. She was honored in The Best Science and Nature Writing 2000, published by Houghton Mifflin. Wendy is a mentor and advisor to the Edible Schoolyard program of the Chez Panisse Foundation, a project that she has been involved in since its inception in 1995.
Tianna has many interests including farming, writing, organizing, art, radio, cello, the life aquatic and education. She is interested in public spaces and the space of possibility. She and Walter Riesen run Star Route Farm in the Northern Catskills of New York. Outside the farm, she’s most interested in projects that create points of access to increasingly privatized/corporatized resources. Some projects she has managed in the past include: Vermont Sail Freight, SWOON’s Swimming Cities of Serenissima, CADE’s New Farmer Education Project, Empty Vessel Project (action, art, and design in the Gowanus Canal), and various radio groups including Ladio and Wave Farm (defining the genre of transmission arts). She holds a Masters in Performance Studies from New York University. You can find her in the fields, on the water or in the desert.
Lisi is a professor of economics at the State University of New York, Cortland. Her areas of specialization are labor economics, the political economy of women, environmental and resource economics, and ecological economics. For her doctoral dissertation, she undertook an institutional analysis of the shortage of professional nurses in U.S. hospitals. She has published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, The Journal of Economic Issues, and Contemporary Sociology. Her present research concentrates on U.S. land policies with an emphasis on the influence of those policies on the settlement and land use of the western United States. Krall received her B.S. in anthropology from the University of Utah and her Ph.D. in economics, also from the University of Utah, in 1989. She is the author of Proving Up, a history of the domestication of land in the United States.
Kathryn works with land trusts, local governments, nonprofits and farmers to conserve farmland, create state and local policies that support urban-edge farming, promote local agriculture and build a sustainable local food system in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2003, Kathryn has worked with the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust to permanently protect Contra Costa farmland and promote local farming through regional marketing and agricultural enterprise zoning. Before joining BALT, Kathryn practiced public finance law for ten years. Kathryn currently serves on Bay Area Open Space Council Advisory Committee and the Harvest Time Board of Directors. She convenes the Bay Area Agricultural Conservationists and is a co-convener of the Contra Costa Food System Alliance. Kathryn was a 2008 Roots of Change fellow and a rural representative on the San Francisco Urban-Rural Roundtable.
Lisa is an organization development consultant, social entrepreneur, and farmer committed to building a vibrant agricultural future. She is co-owner of First Light Farm, a thriving 20-acre organic vegetable and flower farm in both Petaluma and coastal Valley Ford, Ca. and is co-founder of Lopez Community Farm and Chica Bloom Farm. For the last decade, Lisa has transformed collective visions into community realities, launching food systems initiatives and innovative sustainability start-ups in the West. Lisa consults across sectors with companies, government, and non-profits on managing change, leadership development, organizational learning, engagement, and strategy.
Rachel Payne is a volunteer with FaithLands. She grew up in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she got to pay regular visits to beautiful Caretaker Farm. She’s working on her master’s in divinity at the Boston University School of Theology. Her aim is to use her degree to help people heal their relationship with the land and with each other. Prior to starting school, she wrote grants and other content for the corporate watchdog group Corporate Accountability. She also coordinated a network of rebel academics challenging institutions that perpetuate poverty. As a college student, Rachel was an organizer in the youth climate movement and led freshman trips to Connecticut organic farms.
Kyle shows commitment to contributing towards resilient localized foodsheds through his work and educational pursuits. He is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture through Goddard College with the focus of his senior thesis on land access for new farmers. His experience with food production ranges from starting a small CSA, working with orchard crops for market and biodynamic growing with Winter Green Farm. Kyle also sits on the board for the Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Alliance in Eugene, Oregon where he lives. He is excited about food and the land which sustains us.
Katie Shelly is a designer and illustrator focused on material with civic, social and educational value. She’s had the privilege to work with orgs like Left Forum, Just Food, Third Root Community Health Center, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, distinguished scientists at Oxford and Northwestern Universities, and many more. She has illustrated award-winning books such as the genre-bending cookbook Picture Cook (Ulysses Press, 2013) and Nature’s Remedies (Chronicle, 2016). She has a BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University (CT) and an MA in Experience Design from Hyper Island (UK). She lives and works in Barcelona.
You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @interkatie and on Facebook at Katie Shelly Illustration. Her portfolio is available at: https://katieshelly.art/
Rebecca is the West Coast Director at the Center for Food Safety. Spector has been working in the environmental and agricultural sector for more than 20 years, with expertise in policy development, grassroots campaigns, fundraising, and organic farming. She joined Center for Food Safety in 2000, and as West Coast Director champions policy initiatives at the state and federal level and coordinates public outreach campaigns to promote healthy, safe and sustainable food systems. Her experience includes establishing regulations to limit the production of genetically engineered (GE) fish in California, and writing and sponsoring numerous legislative initiatives including state bills to require labeling of GE foods, labeling of GE fish, labeling of food from cloned animals, and farmer protections from GMO contamination. Previously, she served as director of development at Green Seal, the first U.S. product eco-labeling organization, and at Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet she spearheaded its organic cotton marketing campaign.
Spector is associate editor of Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. She has authored numerous articles and essays including “Livestock Cloning and the Quest for Industrial Perfection” in CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories and “Fully Integrated Food Systems: Regaining Connections between Farmers and Consumers” in Fatal Harvest. For ten years, Spector was co-owner of the first certified organic farm in Half Moon Bay, California, and created its community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers’ market programs that served hundreds of families in the Bay Area. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Shakara Tyler is a returning generation farmer, educator and activist-scholar who engages in Black agrarianism, agroecology, food sovereignty and climate justice as commitments of abolition and decolonization. She obtained her PhD at Michigan State University in Community Sustainability (CSUS) and works with Black farming communities in Michigan and the Mid-Atlantic. She also serves as Board President at the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) and a board member of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op (DPFC).
Darby Weaver is a grower, a seeker, and a student of the Earth. After growing up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Darby attended Sterling College in Northern Vermont where she received a degree in Sustainable Agriculture. She has since spent the last decade growing Biodynamic produce in the Southeast and teaching holistic and ecological methods to learners of all ages and backgrounds through articles, agriculture intensives, workshops, and lectures.
Darby’s passion for this work is derived from an endless curiosity for the complex and dynamic relationships that build our natural world. She finds her greatest meaning from sharing with others the tools necessary to engage with these living systems to create nourishing food for the body and mind. Her most recent project finds her in a tiny house on 20 acres in Northern Vermont where she is developing an Agroecology system with her husband, Elliot Smith.
Caroline Woolard is an artist and organizer. Making sculptures, furniture, and events, Woolard co-creates spaces for critical exchange, forgotten histories, and plausible futures. Her practice is research-based and collaborative. In 2009, Woolard cofounded three organizations to support collaborative cultural production; three long-term infrastructure projects to support short-term artworks: a studio space, a barter network, and Trade School. From 2008-2013, Woolard was also supported by unemployment benefits, a Fellowship at Eyebeam, a residency at the MacDowell Colony, Watermill, iLAND, and funding from the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund. Woolard has been an Artist in Residence at the Queens Museum, a lecturer at Cooper Union, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the New School, and a member of Trade School and the Pedagogy Group.
Woolard’s research includes: the rise of the BFA-MFA-PhD, the relationship between art and property in New York City, footnote systems for research-based art, socially engaged failure, and incommensurability. Forthcoming writing will focus on a project at MoMA that closed in June, as well as the implications of debt and duration for social practices. By 2018, Woolard hopes to establish a community land trust in New York City with community organizers, computer engineers, and artists who are dedicated to lifelong commoning.