Staff

rafi-Scott-Marlow

Scott Marlow, Executive Director

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x210

Scott currently serves as RAFI-USA’s Executive Director. He previously directed the organization’s Farm Sustainability Program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers seeking to increase the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets. His specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management for value-added producers. Scott has served on the steering committee of the National Task Force to Renew Agriculture of the Middle, the Organization Council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Board of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, the Board of the North Carolina Farm Transition Network, and currently serves on the NC Agricultural Advancement Consortium and the Advisory Committee of the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. Scott holds a Master’s degree in Crop Science from NC State University and a BA in Political Science from Duke University.


PROGRAM STAFF

Farm Sustainability Program

Benny Bunting, RAFI Lead Farm Advocate

Benny Bunting, Lead Farm Advocate

Email: [email protected]
Benny is a national leader in advocating for farm families and saving farms that would otherwise be lost to foreclosure. For more than 20 years, family farmers in crisis have turned to Benny for help. He provides farmers with a broad array of advocacy services including financial counseling, legal referrals, and technical assistance. Benny counsels between 75 and 100 farmers each year and devotes 60 hours per client on average. In more than 90% of the cases he works on, Benny helps farmers realize their goals and achieve greater stability. In 2008, Benny was awarded the prestigious Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for Personal Service. >> Click here to view a video about Benny Bunting and to read his full bio.

Joseph Schroeder, Director, Farm Sustainability Program

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x208
Joe Schroeder serves as the Director of the Farm Sustainability Program. He has been with RAFI-USA for five years as a Field Coordinator and then as Director of the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund (TCRF). Previously, Joe spent a year with SEIU Local 880 as a union organizer in Chicago before moving back to his native Ohio River Valley to organize farmers and food entrepreneurs with Community Farm Alliance. Joe graduated from Earlham College with a BA in Economics in 2004. Twitter: @joeschroeder

rafi-james-robinson

James Robinson, Research and Policy Associate

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x209

James manages research projects that focus on conducting risk analyses of sustainable farming practices. James also manages RAFI’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and landowner rights project, which focuses on issues of fairness in mineral rights leasing. Prior to working at RAFI, James was a Graduate Intern for the Florida Senate Committee on Agriculture, a Research Assistant for the Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly and a Research Assistant for the Center for Teaching Quality. James holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from LaGrange College and a Master of Science degree in Political Science from Florida State University.

Viola GlennIMG_7591-001, Research Coordinator

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x201
Cell: (919) 704-6920

Viola leads our crop insurance policy research. Prior to joining RAFI, she spent nearly a decade as a natural resource and agricultural economist with a background in research, survey design and implementation, outreach and communication, and rural development. She has held research positions at North Carolina State University, various U.S. and international consulting firms and nonprofits, and worked for NC Cooperative Extension. It was her interest in each of these topics and her dedication to practical applied research and the South that led to an interest in sustainable agriculture and her work at RAFI. Viola holds a B.A. in Economics from Stetson University and an M.S. in Natural Resources with a concentration in Economics from NCSU. Her research has been published in Agroforestry Systems and presented at the World Agroforestry Congress in 2014. She has served as a Borlaug Global Food Security Fellow and received NCSU’s Arthur W. Cooper Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Social Science Research.

Jean Willoughby, Project Director, Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 621-8453

Jean works with both the TCRF and Farm Sustainability programs to manage several projects. She coordinates the day-to-day work of the 2014 TCRF grant cycle, while assisting the Director and collaborating with the Farm Sustainability Program staff on project management and program planning. Jean also works closely with the Lead Farm Advocate and Director of Farm Sustainability to develop and expand RAFI’s farm advocacy training and consulting offerings. Jean’s professional background is in web design and development, online strategy, and nonprofit communications. Prior to joining RAFI, she worked with nonprofit organizations seeking to enhance their web presence and online communications capacity. Jean gets excited about sustainable agriculture, US agricultural history, agrarian movements, food sovereignty, and cooperative economics. Jean graduated from Wesleyan University in 2008 with a BA in Sociology.

Kavita Koppa, Farmer-Veteran Network Coordinator

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 621-0534

Kavita serves as the Farmer-Veteran Network Coordinator, helping build support and resource networks for those transitioning from military service to agriculture. She comes to RAFI with a background in agricultural production, community organizing, and beginning farmer education and is excited to work at the intersection of advocacy and agriculture in the Southeast. Kavita received her BA in Geography and Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009.

Rita Bennett-Chew, Farmer Counselor Network Coordinator

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x203

Rita works with our Farm Sustainability program staff on developing and expanding our farm advocacy work nationally and in the Southeast. She is working on developing trainings and tools to support the professional development of both new and long-time farm advocates. She is a native of North Carolina, but lived in Boston for four years while completing her BA in Anthropology and Economics at Tufts University. She’s interested in building intentional community networks and sustaining local economies.


Just Foods Program

Michael Sligh, Director

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 929-7099

A founding member of RAFI-USA, Michael manages policy, research and education regarding agricultural best practices, agricultural biodiversity, biotechnology, organic identity preservation and a range of food justice and other value-added food labeling, and marketing issues. He has more than 30 year of experience in agricultural practices and policy analysis, including both domestic and international work. Michael holds the following titles: Founding Chair of the National Organic Standards Board (a federal advisory committee to the USDA); Founder of Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG); Founder of National Organic Coalition, Founding partner of Agricultural Justice Project, Founding member of Domestic Fair Trade Association. He is also a part-time family farmer and a trained anthropologist. Michael lives, farms and works in North Carolina.

Kelli Dale, Project Coordinator, Breeding for Organic Production Systems (BOPS)

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x211

Kelli Dale currently provides farmers with technical assistance designing and planting their field trials. The field trial design utilizes their equipment making planting, field upkeep, and harvest easier for the farmers while still implementing the replicated and randomized layout that is required for authentic research. Kelli was raised on an organic farm in northeastern North Carolina. Prior to her work at RAFI, she worked in the crop consulting field where she gained knowledge of conventionally grown commodity crops. She has managed a contract swine farm which allowed her to become familiar with the caveats of contract agriculture. She has previous experience at RAFI where she worked as a field technician on the peanut project with Scott Marlow. Kelli holds a degree from North Carolina State University in Agriculture Business Management with a minor in Animal Science.


Come to the Table Program

Francesca Hyatt, Director

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x214
Cell: (919) 323-7587
Francesca serves as the Director for Come to the Table, a program that engages the faith community in identifying and supporting initiatives that relieve hunger and sustain local agriculture. Prior to coming to RAFI, Francesca worked on both organic and conventional vegetable farms, served as marketer for the New River Organic Growers Cooperative, conducted education and outreach for SEEDS community garden in Durham and worked with ETC Group, advocating for farmers and indigenous people’s rights. Francesca received her B.A. from Appalachian State University in a self designed major titled “Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems.” She grew up in Germany and Hungary and now proudly calls North Carolina home.

Athan Lindsay, Faith Community Outreach Coordinator

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x205
As Faith Community Outreach Coordinator, Athan brings together people of faith and diverse communities to engage in solutions to hunger and food access that sustain local agriculture. He is the lead organizer for the Come to the Table Conference series. Athan’s extensive career includes more than a decade of experience in utilizing philanthropy as an effective tool for building and transforming communities. He is also committed to helping build skills and expand the knowledge base of concerned citizens interested in broadening civic participation to solve complex community problems. Athan is a founding partner of the Next Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP), a giving circle based in the Triangle region of NC, and the Community Investment Network, a national network of giving circles. He is a 2000 Fellow of the Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Leadership and the recipient of the Association of Black Foundation Executive’s (ABFE) 2006 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award. Athan graduated from Davidson College in 1993 with a B.A. in History. As a native of Winston-Salem, he currently resides in North Carolina with his wife, Cori.

Hannah Henza, Coordinator

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 259-5169

Hannah’s work serves to expand Come to the Table during non-conference years. She is working to initiate a series of learning tours across NC in 2014 in order to encourage greater discussion about the ideas raised at previous Come to the Table conferences. She comes to RAFI with a background in nonprofit event planning and youth programming, but is excited to see her skills reach across boundaries in a new field. Hannah is a native North Carolinian, born and raised south of Greensboro, and received her BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies from NC State University in 2012.


ADMINISTRATION

Kathy Zaumseil, Director of Administration

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x204

A founding member of RAFI-USA, Kathy sees to all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day operations, from human resource management to board communications to facility maintenance. She oversaw the design and construction of our award-winning green building, and managed the deconstruction of the existing house on which the RAFI offices now stand. Born in New York and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Kathy served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa after getting her BA in Political Science from Middlebury College in Vermont. Her community development work with Senegalese villagers produced a community garden, pharmacy, village-owned millet grinder and a women’s center for arts and crafts.

Edna Rodriguez, Development Director

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x202

Edna is responsible for managing and expanding the organization’s portfolio of institutional and individual donors. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Edna was raised in a global environment, growing up between The Hague, Netherlands and Santo Domingo. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, Edna served as Business Development Director at NemediaSoft, Senior Program Officer at the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, and Director of Educational & Career Services at the Latin American Association in Atlanta, GA. Edna holds a BA in Economics with a Concentration in Latin American Studies from Haverford College. Twitter: @AgPhilanthropy

Emily Stallings, Resource Development Coordinator

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x212

In the summer of 2013, Emily interned with RAFI as a Special Projects & Events Coordinator and helped plan and organize RAFI’S first annual Crop Hop. She is currently working with us as RAFI’s Resource Development Coordinator, organizing our donor tracking system and applying for new grants. Born and raised in Durham, Emily is happy to return to the Triangle after graduating from Appalachian State University. At ASU, she earned a BS in Political Science and a BA in Spanish, with a minor in Geography. She is an avid traveler, having completed service-learning courses in Latin America, and spending her junior year abroad in Spain and in Chile.

Amanda Bravo, Local Stakeholder & Engagement Coordinator

Email: [email protected]
Tel: (919) 542-1396 x207

As Local Stakeholder and Engagement Coordinator, Amanda works closely with the communications team to foster a greater understanding of RAFI’s work with local stakeholders as well as with a broader audience. She organizes events for RAFI and is our resident graphic designer. She began working in the world of sustainable agriculture in the fall of 2010. In 2013, she completed a marketing campaign at the Center for Environmental Farming System to promote and educate consumers about the benefits of local foods in the community, economy and environment. Born and raised in Venezuela, she moved to North Carolina in the spring of 2009 to attend North Carolina State University. There, she completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Italian. Amanda plans to broaden her knowledge on society’s responses to environmental issues, such as nutrition and food scarcity, to improve living conditions within her community.

Elizabeth MacLachlan

Elizabeth MacLachlan

Director of Finance
Tel: (919) 542-1396 x206

Elizabeth currently serves as RAFI’s Finance Director. Previously, she spent nine years as the first Executive Director at the NC Public Health Foundation developing and growing the organization, and two years serving as a Community Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Suriname, South America. She holds a MPH in Nutrition from UNC Chapel Hill, a BS in Biology from Montana State University, and an AA in Rural Resource Management from Sterling College in Vermont.