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.

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.

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.

Kate Greenberg
Kate Greenberg Western Water 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.

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.

Andrew Bahrenburg
Andrew Bahrenburg National Policy Director Washington, D.C.

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.

Chelsey Simpson
Chelsey Simpson Staff Writer Brooklyn, NY

Chelsey previously served as executive editor of Oklahoma Living magazine and communications manager for the National Farm to School Network. She is also a longtime member and past-president of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. Now a resident of Brooklyn, Chelsey grew up on a fifth-generation dairy farm.

Alex Funk
Alex Funk Southwest Policy Analyst and Staff Attorney

Prior joining NYFC, Alex worked with American Rivers to shape Farm Bill and state water policy. Alex holds a J.D. from Vermont Law School and B.S. in environmental policy from Virginia Tech. Alex is based in Denver, CO where he grows hops and dabbles in mountain climbing.

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.

Cassidy Tawse-Garcia
Cassidy Tawse-Garcia Southwest Organizer Durango, CO

Before joining NYFC, Cassidy worked for New Era Colorado, a progressive, nonprofit that works to engage young people in democracy. Prior, she worked in communications in the natural products industry and in environmental advocacy for water and land use in the American West. Cassidy grew up on a 35-acre, organic, mixed-vegetable and flower farm in Colorado.

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 across Massachusetts. When she is not at our Hudson headquarters, she is busy practicing fiber arts and raising sheep.

Eamon Heberlein
Eamon Heberlein Land Access Associate

Eamon grew up in the Driftless area of Wisconsin. He holds an A.A. from Deep Springs College and a B.A. from Yale University.  He has worked as a farmhand, a dairy boy, and a cowboy grazing public allotments in California's White, Inyo, and High Sierra mountains.  In recent years, his work has focused on land access in the Midwest and regenerative rangeland management.

Kacey Kropp
Kacey Kropp Western Policy Research Associate Paonia, Colorado

Kacey is a third-generation fruit farmer at First Fruits Organic Farm in Paonia, Colorado. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2016 with degrees in Political Science and Environmental Sustainability. Kacey can often be found backpacking in the high country or selling fruit at local farmers' markets.


Tess Brown-Lavoie, Vice President
Tess Brown-Lavoie, Vice President Little City Growers Cooperative Providence, RI
Alex Bryan, President
Alex Bryan, President 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
Eduardo Rivera Sin Fronteras Farm & Food Minneapolis, MN
Nicole Shore
Nicole Shore Zero to Sixty Communications New York, NY
Benjamin Shute
Benjamin Shute Hearty Roots Farm Clermont, NY
Adam Stofsky, Treasurer
Adam Stofsky, Treasurer 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