Women in Conservation

Women Greening Food

2014 Women in Conservation Special Recognition

Laureen Barber, Owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns    
Laureen Barber is the co-owner of Blue Hill Farm, home to Blue Hill, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Blue Hill Yogurt and Blue Hill Market. In 1999, she partnered with her husband and brother-in-law to open Blue Hill Restaurant in New York City. Four years later, Blue Hill at Stone Barns opened its doors within Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.  With a background in marketing and graphic design, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and start-up firms for over 20 years, Laureen was responsible for all design aspects during the Stone Barn Center's opening years.

Kristen Beddard, The Kale Project
Kristen created a social movement to re-introduce kale to France. Working with local French farmers and chefs, using social media and PR, Kristen created a public conversation around kale. The movement took off in the French press and TV (Elle, Grazia, Canal+), The New York Times named her "The Kale Crusader" and Whole Foods even created a global documentary. "Le chou kale" has been firmly adopted by the French and is selling out at markets. The Kale Project continues to engage farmers throughout France and beyond into Europe, always supporting the relationship between communities and local producers.

Sheila Bowman, Manager of Culinary and Strategic, Initiatives, Monterey Bay Seafood Watch
Sheila Bowman is the Manager of Culinary and Strategic Initiatives for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Trained as a marine scientist and passionate about conservation, Sheila's current work focuses on inspiring chefs, restaurateurs and culinary media to promote ocean-friendly seafood. These culinary messengers are already making change--impressing palates with underappreciated species and encouraging greener practices across the seafood industry. Convenient tools like the Seafood Watch pocket guide and phone app help consumers and businesses nationwide who want seafood from fisheries and fish farms that are minimizing their environmental impact. Now in its fifteenth year, Seafood Watch is the leading source of science-based seafood recommendations in the U.S.

Mary Cleaver, Owner/Founder of Cleaver Co. 
Mary Cleaver, one of the country's foremost authorities on sustainable food and local sourcing, is the founder and owner of The Cleaver Co. and The Green Table in NYC.  She is well known for providing sumptuous, seasonally-driven food and excellent event planning services- and for helping create a sustainable, humane and delicious food system.  She is a founder of the Farm to Chef network and is a board member of Hawthorne Valley Farm, Food Systems Network NYC and Local Infrastructure for Local Agriculture, and was named the first-ever "Snailblazer" by Slow Food NYC. She and her husband recently purchased land to farm in Washington County, NY.

Helena Durst &Susanne Durst, McEnroe Farm 
Mother and daughter team Helena and Susanne Durst have taken on greening the food system from all angles. The Dursts own and operate McEnroe Organic Farm, converted from a once conventional dairy farm, McEnroe is now one of the largest family-owned organic farms in New York State. Their farm maintains sustainable agriculture and produces certified organic vegetables, fruits, and meats, including their well-known heirloom tomatoes. Their farm features an education workshop that aims to reconnect neighbors and youths with agriculture to better understand where food comes from and how it is cultivated. They also host school field trips, family programs, and apprenticeships for future organic farmers. Susanne and Helena have also worked to spearhead composting in the Hudson Valley which today has become a significant composting vehicle in New York City.

Debra Eschmeyer, Cofounder Food Corps 
With 15 years of food system, policy, and farming experience, Debra Eschmeyer co-founded FoodCorps, a nationwide team. of AmeriCorps leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. As a Food & Community Fellow and while with the National Farm to School Network, Eschmeyer created One Tray, a successful national campaign to improve child nutrition. Eschmeyer's passion and food reform efforts have been recognized with the Xavier University Magis Award and the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. She works from her organic farm, Harvest Sun Farm, in Ohio.

Rachelle Erica Faroul, Founder of Growing Grace
Rachelle Erica Faroul is originally from East Flatbush, Brooklyn, (by way of Barbados, West Indies). After working in agricultural extensionist in Cape Verde, West Africa, Rachelle worked at Just Food connecting rural farms with emergency food programs throughout New York City. Her love of Brooklyn and startups inspired her to join the Greene Hill Food Co-op where she works as a Merchandise Buyer. Recently, Rachelle was selected as a Semifinalist for the Echoing Green Global Fellowship Competition. She will launch Growing Grace (formerly Urban Spring), a Brooklyn food hub and wholesale processing facility connecting local farmers and institutional purchasers.

Olivia Farr, Chairman of the John Merck Fund, Regional Food Systems Program NE 
Olivia Farris Chairman of the John Merck Fund, which has developed a regional food systems program that assures institutional demand for local and organic food by forging partnerships with local growers to create a secure market for sustainable farmers. Under Farr's leadership, Bedford 2020, an environmental organization she co-founded, initiated the Northern Westchester Local Food Project, which piloted a farm to institution purchasing program that has since rolled out to local hospitals and schools. Farr also worked with the Bedford Garden Club to found the Mount Kisco Elementary School garden in 2010.

Angela Fout, Co-Founder of Sohha Yogurt 
Angela Mualem Fout is the Co-Founder and COO of Sohha Savory Yogurt. As a child growing up in Lebanon, Angela learned from her mom to cook wholesome food using fresh fruits and vegetables from their land. Using a centuries-old family recipe, Sohha has been named Best Yogurt by NY Magazine in 2014. In 2013, Angela won 1st Place in the SlowMoneyNYC Pitch Competition. Prior to being an entrepreneur, Angela was an Adjunct Professor in NYC. She has a master's degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Meredith Freeman, Director ofFair Food Network Detroit 
Meredith Freeman is often described as a maximizer and strategist; her interests and strengths are in connecting people, systems, and resources. As a consultant she has developed and managed innovative programs with Fair Food Network, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and the Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. Meredith was awarded an IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector at NYU Wagner School of Public Service, and was recently selected as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leaders Fellow.

Jennifer Nelkin Frymark, Chief Agricultural officer at Gotham Greens
Jenn Frymark is the Chief Agriculture Officer at Gotham Greens, a NYC based company dedicated to growing the finest quality vegetables and herbs for the local retail and restaurant market. Jenn oversees new project design and all growing operations. She developed her expertise in greenhouse systems and management at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) at the University of Arizona. Her expertise encompasses greenhouse system design, plant nutrition, crop and pest management, sensors and controls, and staff training. Jenn has managed greenhouses in Arizona, Antarctica, at both McMurdo and South Pole Stations, the Caribbean and New York City.

Alex Guarnaschelli, Executive Chief at Butter Restaurant 
There are few American chefs, much less female chefs, who can boast staying power in Michelin-starred restaurants. Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli can boast indeed- she embarked on a culinary journey in France and ended up working in some of the country's top restaurants. In 2003, Guarnaschelli was given the opportunity to become the executive chef at Butter Restaurant, where she would create her own eclectic American and green market-inspired menu. Chef Guarnaschelli is a recurring judge on the popular prime-time series Chopped and is featured on her own shows, The Cooking Loft and Alex's Day Off, which launched in October 2009.

Nathalie Jordi, Co-founder of People's Pops 
Nathalie Jordi is a 31-year-old Miami native who, with her partners David Carrell and Joel Horowitz, founded people's pops, a Brooklyn-based manufacturer and retailer of ice pops and shave ice made with locally grown fruit.

 

 

 

Hilda Krus, Director  of GreenHouse  &HorticulturalTherapy Programs 
Hilda M. Krus is the Director of the Horticultural Society of New York's GreenHouse Program on Rikers Island Correctional Facility. Together with her team, she provides inmate students with classroom horticultural training, applied education, and horticultural therapy. The GreenHouse Program has several garden areas with raised beds around Rikers Island to grow food crops Nutrition as well as learning about how to gain access to healthy foods after release play a key role in the curriculum. Hilda is a registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) and Licensed Social Worker (University of Essen, Germany). Her program furthermore serves as resource for horticultural therapy programs nationwide and internationally.

Frances Moore Lappe & Anna Lappe
Food First, Small Planet Institute, and SmallPlanet Fund founder; Founding principal ofthe Small Planet Institute the Small PlanetFund, Head of Real Food Media Project 

Mother and daughter team Frances and Anna Lappe co-founded the Small Planet Institute, dedicated to research and popular education, and the Small Planet Fund, providing grants for grassroots efforts to alleviate hunger, poverty, and environmental devastation. Before beginning work with her daughter, Frances co-founded Food First, an Oakland-based think tank focusing on helping communities fight for food justice and food sovereignty. Beyond her work with her mother, Anna is founder and director of the Real Food Media Project, which uses creative movies, an online movie contest, a web-based action center, and grassroots events to grow the movement for sustainable food and farming. Both women are best-selling authors who have written extensively on sound food choices and food justice.

Elizabeth Meltz, Batali Bastianich Hospitality GroupFood Sustainability Coordinator
Elizabeth is the Director of Environmental Health at the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group. She handles the company's health and food safety program and green initiatives including: managing the Green Restaurant Certification process for each of the 14 restaurants, overseeing the corporate No-bottled-water policy, advising the new business development team on new restaurant design with regard to green ideals and food safety compliance, and responding to media inquiries about the environmental strides the restaurant group is making. Prior to her current role, Elizabeth joined del Posto Restaurant in 2006, and in 2007 began managing the restaurant's kitchen operations. In 2008 she became B&BHG's Director of Food Safety and Sustainability.

Liz Neumark, Owner of Great Performances& Katchkie Farm
Liz Neumark is CEO and founder of Great Performances, rated Zagat's top catering company in New York City, and the first to own and operate an organic farm. Liz's experience in the food world has shaped her advocacy efforts; she serves on the boards of several groups on food policy and the food system. In her spare time, Liz can be found exploring farm stands and food shops, blogging on The Huffington Post and spending time with her husband and three grown children. Liz is the author of Sylvia's Table, a cookbook released in summer 2013 by Knopf.

 

Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank
Danielle Nierenberg is President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. Danielle spent two years traveling to more than 35 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America meeting with farmers and farmers' groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, and journalists collecting their thoughts on what's working to help alleviate hunger and poverty, while also protecting the environment. Her knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 8,000 major print and broadcast outlets worldwide.

Laura O’Donohue, Owner of Snow Hill Farm 
Laura is Owner of Snow Hill Farm, a certified organic farm of more than 100acres in North
Salem, NY. Snow Hill raises grass-fed all natural certified Black Angus, Dorset Horn and Southdown sheep, and Berkshire pigs; harvests fruits, vegetables, and sustainable firewood; and produces wildflower honey. Snow Hill was awarded a Bird Habitat Certification for the creation of a bird-friendly property within a working farm. Snow Hill is a proud member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Watershed Agricultural Council, American Tree Farm System, New York Farm Bureau, and Audubon at Home. Laura earned her BA in Economics from University of California, Los Angeles and serves on a number of boards including Audubon New York, Audubon's Women in Conservation, the Stanford Educational Farm, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York and The New 42nd Street.

Petra Page-Mann, Owner of Fruition Seeds
A life-long seed saver, story collector and adventurer native to the Finger Lakes, Petra loves all things Small and Unassuming. For the last decade she has traveled the globe, soaking in the wisdom of small scale, sustainable agriculture and is now glad to be home in the hills, growing Fruition Seeds with her partner, Matthew Goldfarb. If she's not selecting, saving or distributing seeds she's likely hunting mushrooms, dancing, singing or sharing a meal with someone she loves.

Virginie-Alvine  Perrette, Ambassador for the Kale Project
Born and raised in New York City, Virginie-Alvine Perrette is a graduate of Stanford University and former environmental lawyer. Since 1999, she has worked as a documentary filmmaker for nonprofits and on her own. Currently living in France, she is very active in the promotion of organic farming, replanting of hedgerows, maintaining vanishing breeds of sheep local to Brittany, development of CSAs, and especially re-introducing Kale (organic) to France. Her work has changed the agricultural landscape in the area around Saint-Lunaire, and is an example for more communities both in France and beyond.

Bianca Piccillo, Co-founder of Mermaid's Garden
Bianca began studying ichthyology at the age of 16. She has worked in laboratories at the University of Maryland and Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology, overseen by her mentors, Dr. Eugenie Clark and Dr. Edward O.Wilson. Together with her husband Mark, Bianca founded Mermaid's Garden, a company dedicated to sustainable seafood. In 2012, they launched New York State's first Community Supported Fishery. Bianca and Mark opened the doors of the Mermaid's Garden market, New York City's first fully sustainable retail fish market in December of 2013.

Anastasia Cole Plakias, Vice President & Founding Partner, Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm
Anastasia is a published writer and veteran of the NYC restaurant industry. Her passion for food politics is outweighed only by her knowledge of obscure vegetable-related trivia, which she shares on her monthly Heritage Radio Network segment, Anastasia's Fridge.  A born-and-raised New Yorker, Anastasia is dedicated to making her native city a greener and more sustainable place to live.

 

Nora Pouillon, Owner/Founder of Restaurant Nora
Nora Pouillon is a pioneer and champion of organic, environmentally conscious cuisine. Born in Vienna, Austria, Nora came to Washington, D.C., in the late1960s. Nora opened Restaurant Nora in 1979, and worked with farmers to supply the restaurant with seasonal organic produce while introducing other D.C. chefs to the farmers as well. In 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the United States. Each year, Nora hosts five Women Chefs & Restaurateurs interns at the restaurant, and she sits on the board of directors of seven food and environmental organizations. Nora is the author of Cooking with Nora, a seasonal menu cookbook.

Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank NYC 
Margarette Purvis is President and CEO of Food Bank for New York City, the city's leading anti-hunger organization serving 1.5 million New Yorkers through a network of 1,000 charities and community partners. Through a citywide web of food distribution, benefits access, income support and nutrition education programs, Food Bank connects low-income New Yorkers with a range of resources to stabilize vulnerable households and help secure consistent access to adequate nutrition. Margarette has led Food Bank since 2011, bringing extensive experience in direct and professional services for non-profits and a deep knowledge of the hunger community.

Ladonna Redmond, Founder of The Campaign For Food Justice Now 
LaDonna Redmond is a long-time food justice advocate. She has successfully.LJ. worked to get the Chicago Public Schools to change policies on junk food, launched urhan agriculture projects, started a community grocery store, and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities. She is founder and lead organizer of the Campaign for Food Justice Now. As co-director of the Agriculture and Justice program for the Higher Education Consortium for Urhan Affairs, LaDonna is redefining the conversation about "access to good food," and helping students understand how making change in food systems can bring about community and individual empowerment.

Janelle Hope Robbins, Executive Director of Bedford Audubon
Janelle began her career championing sustainable agriculture and fighting factory farming with Waterkeeper Alliance's Pure Farms Pure Waters Campaign. At Bedford Audubon, she advocates for bird-friendly farming practices and oversees the renovation of historic Bylane Farm. She is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional, a 2009 Glamour magazine Eco Hero, and is featured in the "Green Babies'' books, "Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties'', and "Diet for a Hot Planet." Janelle holds a BS in Agricultural & Biologieal Engineering from Cornell University and a MS in Biologieal Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Laura Rosenshine, NYC Composter
There is nothing Laura is more passionate about than food waste. She entered the industry working closely with commercial haulers and new technologies, and soon furthered her commitment to the community becoming a Master Composter. In 2012, Laura helped pilot a composting program in 4 NYC schools, which the DSNY adopted and has vastly expanded. Laura is also a proud member of Manhattan SWAB, NYC Community Compost Council, and the NY Association for Reduction, Reuse, Recycling.

Deborah Rutt, Oregon Coffee Creek Correctional Facility Organic Gardening 
Deborah Rutt is the garden coordinator at Coffee Creek, Oregon's state prison for women, and teaches community-based learning at Portland State University. Deborah co-founded the Coffee Creek Garden in 2009, and has partnered with leaders in corrections, public health and conservation to provide opportunities for incarcerated women to grow organic food and practice environmental stewardship. Deborah was a 2011 Toyota Together Green/Audubon Fellow, and her work has been supported by a Kaiser Permanente Healthy Food Access Grant to the Oregon Public Health Division.

Rachel Schneider, Hawthorne Valley, Biodynamic and Education Programs
Rachel Schneider is the director of the Hawthorne Valley Farm Place Based Learning Center, which has the mission to inspire, strengthen and transform our relationship to the
living land. As part of this program, Ms. Schneider developed and initiated the "Kids Can Cook" summer camp, targeted to underserved children in the Hudson community. Her recent projects involve creating curriculum for a "Food Entrepreneurship" course and working with the Bard Prison Initiative to bring a lecture series on the "Emerging Real Food Economy "to inmates at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County NY. Prior to her role as director, she held the position of Market Gardener where she initiated and developed the Hawthorne Valley CSA for over 10 years.

Lisa Schwartz, Founder of Rainbeau Ridge Farm, Sustainable & Education Programs 
Lisa Schwartz spent four years living in Japan where she learned to look at food with a new perspective and appreciating not only taste and aesthetics, but the importance of building community around healthy food. In2002 she founded Rainbeau Ridge in Bedford Hills, NY and started a weekly CSA and children's' educational programs. Schwartz served on the board of the Westchester Land Trust for 10years and was a founding board member of Bedford 2020, spearheading their Food and Agriculture Task Force. She chronicled her story of living the dream of sustainable farming in a book she co-authored, "Over the Rainbeau."

Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs at Organic Center 
As the Director of Science Programs for The Organic Center, Jessica focuses on developing and instigating research that investigates the benefits of sustainable agriculture and ways to improve organic management practices. She also communicates information, not only about her current research, but also from worldwide studies that have an impact on the organic sector. There is a disconnect between science and the public, which can mentally distance the people who are most affected by the study results. She works to communicate science with people who are most affected by the results and can make management changes to improve the sustainability of agricultural systems.

Lindsey Lusher Shute, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the National Young Farmer Coalition 
Lindsey Lusher Shute is the Executive Director and co-founder  of the  National Young Farmers Coalition, a membership-based organization dedicated to the success of the next generation of sustainable farmers in the US. NYFC helped win significant changes in the latest Farm Bill, reforms at USDA and is at the forefront of progressive farmland conservation. Lindsey co-authored the Op-Ed "Keeping Farmland for Farmers", which appeared in The New York Times and the related report, "Conservation 2.0: How Land Trusts Can Save America's Working Farms." Lindsey and her husband own and manage Hearty Roots Community Farm, a 600-member CSA farm, in the Hudson Valley.

Jilly Stephens, Executive Director of City Harvest
Jilly Stephens leads City Harvest in fulfilling its mission to feed hungry New Yorkers. Since becoming Executive Director in 2006, Jilly has overseen City Harvest's efforts to meet the rising demand for emergency food while putting in place long-term initiatives to address the health and nutrition needs of low-income communities in New York City. Jilly joined City Harvest as Senior Director of Program Development in 2004, where she played an important role in developing the organization's expanded community services and programs that evolved into City Harvest's Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative.

Kat Taylor, TomKat Ranch Education Foundation 
Kat Taylor is a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Education Foundation (TKREF) dedicated to sustainable food production through ranching, tours, research, and school lunch and garden programs. TKREF owns the social businesses LeftCoast GrassFed, which raises cattle in ways good for people and planet and fish and produce aquaponically. She also serves as CEO of One Pacific Coast Bank (OPCB), a Community Development Financial Institution whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. OPCB's economic interest is held entirely by its foundation, so 100% of the hank's profits, when distributed, must be re-invested in the low-income communities served of the environment upon which we all depend. Kat serves and has served on many non-profit boards including the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, Insight Prison Project, KQED, and is Co-Chair of "Building the New CuriOdyssey Campaign."

Special thanks to these "2012 Women Greening the City” for their outstanding contribution to the greening food movement:

Christine Datz-Romero 
Co-founder & Executive Director, LES Ecology Center

Annie Novak 
Founder, Growing Ch4f & Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

Britt A Riley 
Founder, WindowFarms

Julie Walsh 
Assistant Director, Grow NYC