FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Manly, Communications Director
National Young Farmers Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-643-3564 x 722
Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2023) With overwhelming support and enthusiasm, the National Young Farmers Coalition’s Board of Directors and staff announce Michelle A. T. Hughes and Katherine Un as the organization’s new Co-Executive Directors.
Katherine (they/she) and Michelle (she/her) are already accomplished leaders and innovators on the Young Farmers team, and share lived experience as working farmers and ranchers, and a dedication to advancing a brighter and more just future for the new generation of young and BIPOC growers. Both Michelle and Katherine served on the Coalition’s Leadership Team through the organization’s strategic planning process, stewarded its racial equity transformation, strengthened its organizational and legislative partnerships, and built the Coalition into the forward-facing, equitable, and powerful movement for the future of agriculture that it is today.
Before becoming Co-Executive Director at Young Farmers, Katherine was the Organizing & Advocacy Director, where they focused on grassroots leadership development and campaigning for equitable farmland access. Michelle has recently extended her work on internal structure reform with USDA in her appointment to the Department’s Equity Commission, Agriculture Subcommittee. Read more about Katherine and Michelle.
“I am thrilled to welcome Michelle Hughes and Katherine Un as our new Co-Executive Directors of the National Young Farmers Coalition,” said Board President Roberto Meza. “Their leadership, dedication, and visionary approach have already proven invaluable to our organization. Together, we are stronger than ever and ready to take on the upcoming farm bill. With their expertise and our collective passion, we are poised to amplify our impact at this pivotal moment. I am filled with optimism and confidence, knowing that their strategic vision and unwavering commitment will propel us forward as we champion transformative changes for young farmers nationwide.”
Katherine and Michelle were both instrumental in shaping our 2021-2026 Strategic Plan and are ready to hit the ground running as we continue our campaign for a 2023 Farm Bill that serves the next generation of young and BIPOC farmers. “I look forward to seeing Michelle and Katherine bring to life the strategic plan they helped shape and ensure an equitable future for young and BIPOC farmers,” said Executive Search Committee Chair Gina Nagel.
At this moment of growth and transition, the Coalition acknowledges the tremendous leadership of Salima Jones-Daley, who as Interim Executive Director led the Coalition forward with intention, compassion, and agility, and Sophie Ackoff and Martin Lemos, our former Co-Executive Directors, who were instrumental in building the organization up to be as powerful, steady, and impactful as it will be through this transition.
Now is the moment for all of us to recommit to building a 2023 Farm Bill that answers to the Young Farmers Agenda and addresses the most critical challenges young and BIPOC farmers are up against: land access, climate change, racial equity, access to capital, farmer mental health and wellbeing.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) is a grassroots network changing policy and shifting power to equitably resource the new generation of working farmers.