Ian’s career and his life’s work has been focused on the human connection to soil and food. He first worked as a social worker focused on developing and operationalizing outdoor experience based education programs and later sought more direct work with the connections to soil and food in real estate by founding a brokerage and consulting company to focus on prioritizing conservation, agriculture and community within typical land development. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of the Russell Foundation, a private foundation focused on assisting landowners and farmers through customized approaches to farmland ownership, conservation, management and stewardship.
During Ian’s tenure the Russell Foundation worked directly with 65 land conservation groups, 40 townships, and local, state and federal partners to assist 60 farms, complete 28 lease and/or management agreements and complete more than 100 farmland focused projects protecting over 12,000 acres and raising over $16,000,000, all aimed towards providing benefit to farmland, farmers, communities, and the local agrarian economy.
Ian has also participated in many farmland and food systems initiatives and has served as a consultant to a number of organizations, locally, regionally and nationally. He has served on zoning, conservation, planning and agricultural Boards and Commissions, County Conservation District, Regional Planning Commission and University Extension Coverts Program. Additionally, Ian speaks on farmland transfer, conservation, secure tenure, and fundraising models around the country. Ian has been recognized as a 40 under 40 leader in NH and selected for the Leadership Institute at Food Solutions New England.
Ian and his wife Liz protected their own small NH farm with a conservation easement, manage their forest as a Certified Tree Farm, lease their farmland to a Certified Natural vegetable grower, keep bees, mange habitat with a deep ecological focus, and spend as much time as possible with their two young boys, Dylan and Bridger.
Ian is deeply passionate and committed to bring about innovation to evolve farmland conservation work to holistically address equitable, secure, and affordable ownership and tenure arrangements, farm viability, conservation, and community resilience to ensure regenerative diversified food production that benefits soil, human, and community health. Ian recently founded Farmland Consulting LLC to Support Communities Through Farmland Preservation and is excited to lead Agrarian Trust as Organizational Director.
Land, Community & Education Director
Jamie is a land conservationist, food systems practitioner, and community organizer based in western Massachusetts. She is the Land, Community & Education Director at Agrarian Trust. Jamie brings her wealth of knowledge of farmland conservation and land access strategies to Agrarian Trust to help create and operationalize structures of AT’s national land access mission, vision, and program.
Jamie is excited to build off of her five years managing the Farm Conservation Program at the LTA accredited Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust where she continues to protect 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. Understanding the challenges of keeping small farms alive in the wake of our industrialized food system, Jamie developed and coordinates the Greater Quabbin Food Alliance, a regional network that facilitates cross-sector connections and empowers local stakeholders to work together on solutions-oriented projects around food access and health, market creation, economic development, and food waste recovery.
Jamie is deeply committed to a personal journey of anti-racism work, and to building anti-racist, reparative justice organizations that work to: amplify the voices and needs of people of color and indigenous communities; acknowledge the history of violence and racial and economic injustice around land issues; and, enact reparations through relationship building and creative redistribution of land and wealth.
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. Email Jamie at jamie [@] agrariantrust.org.
Community, Farm & Operations Director
Elizabeth is an advocate for small farm communities and rural livelihoods. Her broad perspective—developed through work from West Virginia to the San Joaquin Valley of California—stems from her faith in food systems as a catalyst for justice, health, and a new economy. She works on a range of farmer-focused and food access projects with nonprofits and social enterprises in Appalachia and the mid-Atlantic. Elizabeth is also on the Administrative Council of Northeast SARE and serves on the boards of Sprouting Farms, WV’s first farm incubator and InStill Mindfulness SW VA. She volunteers with Cooperation Central Appalachia and Roanoke Community Acupuncture. She and her partner own a diversified farm in the Sinking Creek Valley of southwest Virginia, Singing Spring Farm, where they are also building a home. She holds bachelor degrees from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. She’s thrilled to join such a passionate team at Agrarian Trust, and bring some of her organizing, legal, and farming perspectives to work as Community, Farm & Operations Director. Email Elizabeth at eliza [@] agrariantrust.org.
Organizational Development, Operations & Strategic Initiatives Director
Jean Willoughby is an organizational development consultant and operations specialist working with Agrarian Trust to improve all aspects of our operations and ensure that we pursue opportunities and initiatives that will build our capacity. She also works closely with our sister organization, Greenhorns. Jean is excited to bring her organizational and technology skills—as well as her background in writing, documentary arts and storytelling, and organizing—to furthering Agrarian Trust’s mission after serving as one of our advisors and Board members since 2013.
Jean previously spent five years managing the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund, a grant program for innovative and entrepreneurial small-scale farmers, and later served as a Project Director and Communications Manager. She also co-wrote and produced the feature-length documentary Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print. Her latest book is Nature’s Remedies: An Illustrated Guide to Healing Herbs (Chronicle Books, 2016). Her articles and essays have been published or are forthcoming in YES! Magazine, MAKE: Magazine, The New Farmers Almanac, and Food Tank. Jean earned a BA in Sociology from Wesleyan University. Email Jean at jean [@] agrariantrust.org.
Co-author Benevolent Investing Guide
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.
Co-author Benevolent investing guide
Kendra is a land access specialist, farmer and activist. As leader of California FarmLink’s Central Valley programs for five years, she helped farmers with land access, farm transitions and farm business needs. She has worked with Yolo Land Trust in the development of an unusual small-farm easement, and currently coordinates “One Farm at a Time,” a farm preservation campaign in the Sacramento Valley. She serves on board of directors for FarmLink. Kendra’s first efforts to do something practical with her environmental studies degree got her a solid background in horticulture, urban ag-education, landscape design and landscape restoration. Her interest in beginning farmers developed over four years operating a successful market garden and community supported agriculture (CSA) project in the Bay Area. Later, Kendra earned a Master of Science in Community Development from UC Davis, where she researched ways in which agricultural conservation easements can improve land access for farmers. Now married to a salmon conservationist and back in her home county of Sonoma, Kendra raises their two-year-old twins.
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.
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.
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.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES LAW CENTER (SELC)
SELC cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. SELC provides essential legal tools — education, research, advice, and advocacy — so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community.
SEVERINE VON TSCHARNER FLEMING
Board President and Startup Catapulter
Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York. She is a founder of Agrarian Trust and director of the Greenhorns, a grassroots organization with the mission to recruit, promote and support the rising generation of new famers in America. Severine has spent the last seven years gathering, bundling and broadcasting the voices and vision of young agrarians. Greenhorns runs a weekly radio show on Heritage Radio Network and a popular blog. They produce many kinds of media, from documentary films to almanacs, anthologies, mix-tapes, posters, guidebooks and digital maps. They are best known the 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 National Young Farmers Coalition which now boasts 23 state and regional coalitions. She serves on the board of the Schumacher Center for New Economics. Severine attended Pomona College and the University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/Agroecology. Email Severine at Severine [@] agrariantrust.org.
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. She can be reached at events [@] agrariantrust.org.
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.
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.
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.
Kendra is a land access specialist, farmer and activist. As leader of California FarmLink’s Central Valley programs for five years, she helped farmers with land access, farm transitions and farm business needs. She has worked with Yolo Land Trust in the development of an unusual small-farm easement, and currently coordinates “One Farm at a Time,” a farm preservation campaign in the Sacramento Valley. She serves on board of directors for FarmLink.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’re looking for more writers! If you’d like to contribute please email office [@] agrariantrust.org with a writing sample and resume.