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 Network in Northeast Georgia. His farm in Cleveland, Humble Vine Farm, has been Certified Naturally Grown since January 2017.
Leonard Githinji, Treasurer
Virginia State University
Dr. Leonard Githinji serves as an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Sustainable and Urban Agriculture at Virginia State University, with prior experience as a Horticulture Specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and in a similar capacity at Tuskegee University in Alabama. He has a Ph.D. in Agronomy and Soils, an MS in Physical Land Resources, and a BS in Agriculture with more than 10 years of related experience across three continents. His research interests include sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, enhancing the viability of limited-resource farmers, urban food systems, and integrated crop-livestock production systems. He has published over 30 research and Extension articles focusing on sustainable agricultural practices. He has taught several courses including soil science, vegetable crops production, soil morphology, soil physics, and Geographic Information System. Leonard has been awarded multiple grants as a project investigator and has received several professional awards including the Showcasing Scholarship; a Showcase of Excellence Award; Faculty Performance Award; Academic Excellence Award, and the A.L. Smith Award.
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.