FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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HUDSON, NY (September 19, 2019) It is with great excitement that we announce that the National Young Farmers Coalition has selected two proven leaders from within our coalition to serve as Co-Executive Directors: Sophie Ackoff and Martin Lemos. Together, Sophie and Martin will lead the Coalition, working with our membership to build a brighter, more equitable future for U.S. agriculture.
“Over the past ten years our Coalition has transformed the energy of the young farmer movement into a powerful force for change,” said Ackoff. “As Co-Executive Directors, Martin and I commit to prioritizing racial equity in our work and across our organization, creating systems for farmers to truly lead our work, and taking strong action on climate change, the biggest threat to our farm future.”
We couldn’t have more respect for these two leaders. Sophie has been with the Coalition almost since its inception and is largely responsible for the strength of our grassroots network, advocacy campaigns, as well as the success of our corporate partnerships. Martin has also served an invaluable leadership role since he came on board in 2018 and throughout his interim directorship. He has been instrumental in building and strengthening so many aspects of our organization in this short time. His pragmatism is balanced with an expansive and progressive vision.
“Young farmers are poised to create the change our food system so desperately needs,” said Lemos. “Across the country, these farmer leaders have launched a movement, and they are demanding that we fundamentally shift the way our country values agriculture. They are investing in their communities, fighting for policy that supports them at the state and federal level, and stewarding the land and natural resources for the future. We’re grateful to serve this movement and are dedicated to honoring the commitment, dedication, and passion that our farmers bring to building a bright and just future for agriculture.”
We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous leadership of our founding executive director Lindsey Lusher Shute over the past decade. It is truly humbling to consider the breadth of the movement building, policy work, storytelling, and consciousness raising about the future of agriculture that Lindsey has led.