After working in the food industry for 6 years and seeing the need for positive environmental changes in the South, Andrew started working with local farmers in Northeast Georgia. He has always been drawn to Southern Appalachia, even after many years living throughout the US and world travels. In 2013, Andrew began helping with a small farmer-centric nonprofit and was brought on as Project Coordinator for a USDA Value-Added Producers Grant. This grant significantly increased small-scale chemical-free producer sales in the region, and he continues to help farmers and customers connect through events, markets, and community education efforts. Andrew currently works for an environmental watchdog group, co-manages a regional farmers market, and organizes the Georgia Mountains Farmers Network in Northeast Georgia. His farm in Cleveland, Humble Vine Farm, has been Certified Naturally Grown since January 2017.
Jasmine Nielsen draws on two decades of experience leading New York City nonprofit organizations to provide strategic advisement, coaching, and training to boards of directors, executive directors, and senior management. A trained facilitator, Jasmine is adept at guiding groups through challenging conversations. Her holistic approach to organizational development encompasses strategic planning, governance, fundraising, communications, and fiscal and operating systems. Jasmine consults with nonprofit organizations working in food, social justice, arts and culture, urbanism and open space, and the environment. Jasmine is an Adjunct Instructor in the Food Studies program at New York University and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Equity Advocates. From 2014 to 2016, she was the Executive Director of Just Food. Prior to that, Jasmine spent 16 years as the Executive Director of Love Heals (now an initiative of GMHC). Jasmine has a BA from Vassar College and an MA in Food Studies from New York University.
AOVS Urban Farm
Christopher Peterson has spent the last 9 years working in sustainable agriculture and food systems development, including small-scale vegetable production, multi-species managed intensive grazing, whole farm management, food policy, and community food systems development. He currently manages AOVS Urban Farm, a regenerative "low-till" vegetable farm in Memphis, TN that works with and for formerly homeless military veterans. He believes on farming at its best requires creating systems where production goals can be met alongside management for pollinators, wildlife, native plants, and aesthetic goals. He previously served as Executive Director for GrowMemphis (now a program of Memphis Tilth) and has consulted on various other Mid-south food initiatives. He holds an MA in Human Value and Global Ethics and teaches locally as an adjunct professor in Philosophy and Anthropology.
Chicago Honey Co-op
Audrey Sekendur is a dedicated stakeholder in Chicago’s local food system. She supports grassroots efforts to build healthful, just, and autonomous foodways in her community. During a three-year period, she worked in finance, operations, and community engagement at Dill Pickle Food Co-op to promote equitable economic relationships, positive environmental impacts, and inclusive practices grounded in co-operative values. As a farmhand at Earnest Earth Farm and Chicago Honey Co-op, a CNG beekeeping co-operative, she helps care for soil organisms, pollinators, and other cohabitators as a holistic strategy to nurture community members. Audrey graduated from Goddard College with a self-designed major in Food Studies and Immigrant Health. Her family immigrated to the United States in the 1950s from their homestead and bakery in Turkey where they thrived off food they grew and prepared in community. She is especially committed to mitigating the negative health outcomes associated with assimilation and the industrialized American diet.
Open Food Network
Laurie left an awesome job in Silicon Valley to become an organic farmer in the high desert of northeastern California. She had no farm training or background, just a suspicion that everything starts and ends with food and integrity. While farming, she started and managed a food hub and farmers market, and co-founded a local food nonprofit in her remote community – these are all still going strong now. In the past few years she has worked to support the regional food system in Central Oregon, working with Extension and other nonprofits. Now she is working to grow the Open Food Network in the US. She believes that the Open Food Network’s values, way of working, and vision for a better world is achievable and worth working towards - as is the vision of Certified Naturally Grown. She became a CNG Board member in 2021.