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Staff



Edna Rodriguez
Executive Director
Email: edna@rafiusa.org
Tel: (919) 542-1396 ext. 2202

Edna serves as RAFI-USA’s Executive Director and directs the Come to the Table program. She previously served as RAFI-USA’s Operations Director and Development Director. 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 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. Edna lives in Pittsboro with her partner Hameed and her three children, Nora, Daniel and Samuel. 


Emily Boynton
Finance Officer
Email: admin@rafiusa.org
Tel: (919) 542-1396 ext. 2212

Emily has worked part time at RAFI-USA a few times over the last ten years, going full time in December 2017, as the Finance Officer. Formerly, Emily was the Associate Director of SEEDS, a non-profit community garden in Durham, NC. When not at RAFI-USA, she works on the small farm and certified kitchen she owns with her husband David. Fiddlehead Farm is located in Pittsboro, NC, where they live with their two kids Daniel and Willie, four donkeys, two barn cats, a dog, and four chickens.





Benny Bunting
Lead Farm Advocate
Farm Advocacy Program 
Email: benny@rafiusa.org
Tel: (252) 798-1235

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 and read his full bio.



Kelli Dale
Program Director

Just Foods Program
Email: kelli@rafiusa.org
Tel: (919) 542-1396, ext. 2211

Kelli manages RAFI-USA’s on-farm research which currently mainly includes cotton, corn, soybeans, and pollinator habitat. She also coordinates the research and pilot development of a farmer-led seed improvement collaboration. Kelli is the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund (ARF) Program Manager and a farmer liaison for Come to the Table (CTTT). Kelli was raised on an organic farm in northeastern North Carolina and now resides in Harnett County with her husband Tommie and two children Brett and Elyssa. Prior to her work at RAFI-USA, 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. Previously at RAFI-USA, Kelli 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.

Janie Hynson
Communications Manager
Email: janie@rafiusa.org

Tel: (919) 542-1396 ext. 2300

Janie holds a Master of Public Health from Boston University and a Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming from the UMASS Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, Janie worked as a Project Manager for JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., a non-profit public health consulting company in Boston, and Community Food Lab in Raleigh. Outside of RAFI-USA, Janie loves to garden and raise chickens. 





Margaret Krome-Lukens
Senior Program Manager
Come to the Table Program
Email: margaret@rafiusa.org
Tel: 
(919) 542-1396 ext. 2206

Margaret is the Come to the Table Senior Program Manager, including working on RAFI’s Come to the Table Conference, planning and hosting trainings and workshops, and working on CTTT publications. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, she worked as a farm hand and manager on farms in the Triangle, and most recently ran the SNAP/EBT program at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. She holds a BA in International Studies from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. Margaret is an impulse-buyer of flowering plants, Aikido nerd, mama to one of the world’s exceptional dogs, and a nap enthusiast.




Scott Marlow
Senior Policy Specialist
Email: smarlow@rafiusa.org
Tel: (919) 542-1396, ext. 2210 
Scott is Senior Policy Specialist at RAFI-USA. Previously RAFI-USA’s Executive Director, Scott also directed the 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 increasing the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets. Scott’s specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management and how that infrastructure addresses food security and global climate change. He 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 NC Farm Transition Network, and the NC Agricultural Advancement Consortium and serves on the Advisory Committee of the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. He has a Masters Degree in Crop Science from NC State University and a BA in Political Science from Duke University.

Brendan McCrann 
Development Manager
Email: brendan@rafiusa.org
Tel: 
(919) 542-1396 ext. 2200

Brendan coordinates grant administration, oversees individual giving programs and pursues new funding opportunities for RAFI-USA. Brendan holds a Masters of Nonprofit Management and co-founded multiple ventures at the intersections of sustainable agriculture, rural development and climate change. He was a 2016 Fellow with Rocky Mountain Farmers Union in Denver after spending several years pioneering a closed loop, sustainable production farming model integrating rural vocational training and urban food waste inventories. Brendan and his family now live in central North Carolina, nearby RAFI-USA’s headquarters in Pittsboro, NC.

Lisa Misch
Just Foods Project Manager and Operations Assistant 
Email: lisa@rafiusa.org
Tel: (919) 542-1396 ext. 2207

In addition to supporting RAFI-USA financial and operations management, Lisa coordinates the Fresh Bucks Farmers Market Incentive program and serves as Coordinator for RAFI-USA’s Policy Team. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, Lisa served as the AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, WI where she managed the Tribe’s farmers market. Lisa has previous experience working on small, sustainable farms in the Midwest and internationally.  She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College. Outside of RAFI-USA, Lisa spends her time singing, learning to play the violin, and working on her ever-growing reading list.




Michelle Osborne
Program Manager, Faith-Based & Community Partnerships
Come to the Table Program
Email: michelle@rafiusa.org
Tel: 
(919) 542-1396 ext. 2201

Michelle serves as the Come to the Table Program Manager for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships. The CTTT program connects faith communities with farmers, farmers market managers, and other community leaders engaged in food access work to increase capacity and promote equity. Michelle earned a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a Master of Social Work from the UNC-CH School of Social Work and has served in leadership positions in churches, nonprofit ministries, and community organizing groups. In her free time, Michelle performs improv comedy, sings silly songs, writes sketches, and plays with her dog.




Laketa Smith
Program Coordinator
Email: laketa@rafiusa.org
Tel: (919) 542-1396 ext. 2209

Laketa works with the Farmers of Color Network providing case management, program support and assistance.  She also serves as program coordinator for the NC Communty Garden Partners. Laketa previously served on RAFI-USA’s Come to the Table Program (CTTP) as an MSW intern from Arizona State University’s School of Social Work. Laketa is a fairly new North Carolinian, having worked for the previous 10 years in benefits administration at 1199SEIU, the largest healthcare union in the United States. Laketa loves growing herbs and whipping up customized body care products from natural and home-grown ingredients.



 

Tahz Walker
Program Manager & Farmer Liaison 
Email: tahz@rafiusa.org
Tel: 
(919) 542-1396 ext. 2205

Tahz serves as Program Manager for the Farmers of Color Network, providing technical support and helping to facilitate farmer to farmer relationships and capacity building. He also works as an outreach and support staff with the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund. Tahz spent the last 12 years working on small organic farms, community-based urban and rural food projects in North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky. Tahz is co-founder of Earthseed Land Collective, a people of color led 50 acre property in Durham County that hopes to be a model of community resilience through cooperative ownership of land and resources. Tahz is the father of two amazing kids Amaru and Kala.

Jarred White
Program Coordinator
Rural Faith Community Organizing Initiative
Email: jarred@rafiusa.org
Tel: (984) 214-2074

Jarred serves as the Program Coordinator for the Rural Faith Community Organizing Initiative, as part of the Come to the Table program. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, Jarred worked as the Service and Outreach Coordinator at North Raleigh Community Church, helping to organize and lead several racial justice-based initiatives and programs. He holds a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School, and as a World Vision Fellow coordinated awareness campaigns focusing on migrant farmworker issues. Jarred enjoys improv training, cooking, and spending time camping and in nature. 


Tyler Whitley
Program Manager
Contract Agriculture Reform Program
Email: tyler@rafiusa.org
Tel: (919) 621-0534 

Tyler works with contract livestock farmers as an advocate with a background in finance, organizing, and livelihoods. Tyler supports farmers by providing information and resources, organizing workshops, leading our in-house research, and working alongside Lead Farm Advocate Benny Bunting. Before transitioning to the nonprofit sector, Tyler worked in finance at a “Too Big to Fail” bank. Following the loss of his family home in the devastating April’s Fury storms of 2011, Tyler decided to shift career to helping vulnerable populations focusing on issues of food sovereignty, livelihoods, and sustainability. He has worked for large-NGOs in Cambodia, faith-based projects in Haiti, and farming education programs in rural America. Tyler holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and a Masters of Public Health from Tulane University in New Orleans.