Our Team

Pictured above: 2016 staff retreat.

NYFC is led by a board of directors, including farmers, farm service providers and social entrepreneurs.

Here is the growing list of people who are central to NYFC and the future of farming in the US:

 NYFC Staff  |  Board of Directors  |  Advisory Council


Lindsey Lusher Shute
Lindsey Lusher Shute Executive Director and Co-Founder Clermont, NY

With a background in organizing and state policy, Lindsey co-founded NYFC as a platform for young, progressive farmers to have a meaningful influence on the structural obstacles in the way of their success. Lindsey is a respected speaker and an expert on the structural issues facing family farms. In 2014, she was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House. She and her husband own and operate Hearty Roots farm in the Hudson Valley.

Sophie Ackoff
Sophie Ackoff National Field Director Hudson, NY

Sophie leads our grassroots campaign work, helping young farmers across the country make their voices heard in the federal policy process. She also manages our chapter network, corporate partnership program and membership program. Sophie studied biology and environmental studies at Wesleyan University and has farmed on several CSA farms in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Caitlin Arnold
Caitlin Arnold National Chapter Coordinator Hudson, NY

Caitlin has been farming for the past 10 years and recently moved to Hudson from Washington state, where she was growing vegetables and flowers with a team of draft horses. She was also an active organizer with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition chapter. She is currently working on a Masters in Sustainable Food Systems through Green Mountain College in Vermont.

Andrew Bahrenburg
Andrew Bahrenburg National Policy Director Washington, DC

Andrew worked for years as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives before returning to his native Vermont to work on organic vegetable farms. Andrew has served as an instructor in the University of Vermont's Farmer Training Program and most recently as the organizer & advocate for Rural Vermont. He holds a B.A. in political science from Macalester College.

Michael Durante
Michael Durante Land Access Program Associate Hudson, NY

At any moment in Mike's career, he could be equally likely found growing, cooking, selling, writing about, or teaching about food. He relies on those varied experiences, along with degrees in Accounting and Operations Information Management from Georgetown University, to manage NYFC's Land Affordability Calculator project.

Erin Foster West
Erin Foster West Policy Specialist Washington, D.C.

Erin joins NYFC with broad experience across food and agriculture with a focus on conservation. Before joining NYFC, Erin worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. She started at USDA as an intern at Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, a local and regional food systems initiative. Before her time in government, Erin has worked on an organic vegetable farm and at nonprofits whose missions address conservation, local food and food insecurity. Erin holds a M.S. in agriculture, food and the environment from Tufts University and a B.A. in environmental studies from Macalester College. Erin grew up in an agricultural community in southwestern Montana.

Cara Fraver
Cara Fraver Business Services Director Peekskill, NY

Before joining the NYFC team, Cara owned and managed a diversified vegetable farm with her husband in upstate New York. Through work with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Just Food in NYC, and the New York State Berry Growers Association, she's connected farmers with resources and education to improve their businesses for more than 15 years.

Kate Greenberg
Kate Greenberg Western Program Director Durango, CO

Before joining NYFC, Kate worked and volunteered on CSA vegetable farms, wineries, and ranches, and managed western field programs and native tree greenhouses. She graduated from Whitman College in 2009. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Quivira Coalition.

David Howard
David Howard New York Land Access Policy Director Albany, NY

David pursues local and state land access policies that ensure New York farmland is available, accessible, and affordable for young farmers. David served on former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's staff for many years and most recently served in the Obama Administration under former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack as an appointee in various roles. He hails from the small town of Marble Rock, Iowa and holds a BA in political science from the University of Northern Iowa.

Michelle Hughes
Michelle Hughes Director of Investments and Partnerships Hudson, NY

Michelle has been creating programs that increase knowledge, collaboration and equity across the food system for 15 years. As the director of the New Farmer Development Project in NYC, she helped 20 immigrant families establish independent farms on a combined 400 acres. Michelle has a BS in Conservation Ecology and Agroecology, and was a 2016 Good Work Institute fellow. She also teaches Advanced Enterprise for Farm School NYC.

Theresa Hughes
Theresa Hughes Executive Assistant

Theresa graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Italian and Pre-Veterinary Studies. Post-grad, she worked in swine reproduction at the University of Pennsylvania's large animal facility, where she became fascinated by agricultural production. Currently an MA Food Studies student at New York University, focusing on food and agricultural economics specifically, Theresa has worked with both non-profit organizations and food and agriculture start-ups in NYC and the Hudson Valley.

Maggie Kaiser
Maggie Kaiser Food Safety Trainer New Orleans, LA

After graduating with a BA in Spanish from College of the Holy Cross, Maggie moved to Mexico to lead service learning trips for high school and college students. She moved back to Seattle to become a birth doula and has since worked in the food industry in many capacities, finally deciding that growing food was how she wanted to serve her community. She now lives in New Orleans, where she started Too Tall City Farm with her husband Jacob.

Mai Nguyen
Mai Nguyen California Organizer San Diego, CA

Mai owns and operates a heritage grain and seed farm in California and works with fellow agrarians to cooperatively meet on- and off-farm needs. That work includes fostering young and beginning farmer empowerment, which is why Mai joined NYFC as the California Organizer. They also chair the Asian American Farmers Alliance.

Holly Rippon-Butler
Holly Rippon-Butler Land Access Program Director Schuylerville, NY

Holly grew up on her family's third-generation dairy and beef farm in Upstate New York, where she continues to farm with her parents. Before joining NYFC, Holly worked with the American Farmland Trust and Agricultural Stewardship Association. She holds an M.E.M. in sustainable land use and agriculture from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Natana Roots
Natana Roots Operations Manager Hudson, NY

After graduating from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and before joining NYFC, Natana spent six years working as a livestock farmer and food systems educator at farms and organizations in central and western Massachusetts. When she is not at our Hudson headquarters, she is busy practicing fiber arts and raising sheep.

Will Yandik
Will Yandik Director of Philanthropy Hudson, NY

After graduating from Princeton and Brown, Will returned to his family’s 102-year-old fruit and vegetable farm near Hudson, NY. When he's not farming with his brothers and family, Will serves in local government, advocates for regional clean energy policies and land preservation, teaches ecology, and works as a journalist. In 2016, Will was a candidate for New York’s 19th U.S. Congressional District.


Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman markbittman.com Cold Spring, NY
Tess Brown-Lavoie, President
Tess Brown-Lavoie, President Little City Growers Cooperative Providence, RI
Alex Bryan, Treasurer
Alex Bryan, Treasurer Food Field Detroit, MI
Katharine Butler
Katharine Butler katharinebutler.com New York, NY
Tierney Creech
Tierney Creech Washington Young Farmers’ Coalition Olympia, WA
Brian Depew
Brian Depew Center for Rural Affairs Lyons, NE
Davon Goodwin
Davon Goodwin O.T.L. FARMS Raeford, NC
Jacob Israelow
Jacob Israelow Dirt Capital New York, NY
Salima Jones-Daley
Salima Jones-Daley DeWolff, Boberg & Associates, Inc Washington, DC
Jacqueline Lewin, Secretary
Jacqueline Lewin, Secretary Yale Sustainable Food Program New Haven, CT
Eduardo Rivera, Vice President
Eduardo Rivera, Vice President Sin Fronteras Farm & Food Minneapolis, MN
Benjamin Shute
Benjamin Shute Hearty Roots Farm Clermont, NY
Adam Stofsky
Adam Stofsky New Media Advocacy Project Valatie, NY


Derek Denckla
Derek Denckla Brooklyn, NY
Theodore Holt
Theodore Holt Seattle, WA
Mark Justh
Mark Justh Eaton, NY
Kim Larson
Kim Larson Washington, DC
Michel Nischan
Michel Nischan Bridgeport, CT
Andrew J. Rotherham
Andrew J. Rotherham Washington, DC
Karen Washington
Karen Washington New York, NY