Organic Farming
Stewards of the Land

Staff / Board

A biodiversity island, surrounded by an ocean of Earth.

Our Team

Meet The Board

  • Anna Jones-Crabtree, Executive Director

    Anna is a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow and a recipient of the White House Greening Government Sustainability Hero Award. She holds a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering with a minor in sustainable systems from Georgia Institute of Technology. Anna served on the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Council on Beginning Farmers & Ranchers. She currently serves on Iroquois Valley Farmland REITs Board of Directors, and is an advisory board member for both the Biodynamic Demeter Alliance Economic Sphere, and Xerces Society Bee Better Certification. Anna and her husband, Doug Crabtree, own Vilicus Farms, a first-generation, organic, dryland crop farm in Northern Hill County, Montana. They grow a diverse array of organic heirloom and specialty grain, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops under five and seven-year rotations. In only nine seasons, Vilicus Farms grew from 1,280 acres to a 12,500-acre nationally-recognized farm by using the USDA’s beginning farmer programs, employing extensive conservation practices, and fostering unique risk-sharing relationships with food companies and land investment firms.

  • Aurora Cutler, Chair

    Aurora Cutler is a Communication Specialist for the U.S. Forest Service out of Washington, DC. Being an early adopter to technology, Aurora worked remotely from her home in Colorado long before COVID-19. Aurora has over 10 years of experience communicating on issues and opportunities related to climate change and sustainability. Her current role focuses on implementing policy to mitigate the effects of climate change to socially vulnerable and historically underserved communities. Aurora’s graduate studies at the American University in Washington, DC focused on framing complex policy issues to change perceptions and foster action. Aurora first met Anna Jones-Crabtree while working on sustainability at the Forest Service and became quickly inspired by Anna’s organic farming journey. In her free time, Aurora enjoys taming her two feral children and husband, and hand embroidering humorous adages on tea towels.

  • D.D. Burlin, Secretary

    D.D. is private investor and former attorney. She is an advocate for local, sustainable, organic, and regeneratively grown foods, with particular interest in creative uses of capital to fund the large-scale expansion of this sector. She is a co-founder (2011) and continuing member of the Sustainable Local Food Investment Group (SLoFIG), a 30-member, mission-based, angel investor network based in Chicago, Illinois. From 2010 through 2014, she was an investor in Two Roads Farm LLC, a single-farm investment partnership founded by David Miller and Dr. Stephen Rivard which merged with Iroquois Valley Farms LLC in 2014.As an attorney from 1992 to 2007, D.D. was licensed with the Illinois and Missouri bars, and licensed to practice before federal courts in several districts and circuits. Her work included extensive criminal law practice. Her academic credentials include a BA from Dartmouth College and a JD from Georgetown University. D.D. and her husband, Johannes, have two sons, and reside in Chicago, Illinois. They also have a small farm near Reeseville, Wisconsin. D.D. is active in non-profit and political fundraising and is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the American Youth Foundation.

  • Agatha Brinkley

    Currently the Development Director for a national regenerative agriculture organization, Agatha has spent nearly as many hours moving cows to fresh pasture as sitting behind a desk. With twenty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, Agatha has spent her career working to advance regenerative agriculture as a path toward a restorative and resilient food system. As a writer, Agatha aims to amplify the work of her fellow changemakers by showcasing regenerative agriculture within the context of the greater environmental movement. As a farmer in rural Southwest Virginia, Agatha has the unique capacity to bridge both worlds and connect with people be it through soil, sun, or a shared impetus to provide the resources and share the story in order to engender support for the solutions that will affect systemic change.

  • Traci Bruckner

    Traci joined the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) team in October 2018 with nearly two decades of experience in public policy. She leads SAFSF’s work that helps funders fully engage in the policy process, both in support of their grantees and in their own activities, to shift inequities in food and agriculture systems. Traci spent 15 years with the Center for Rural Affairs, leading their federal and state policy efforts around agriculture, conservation, and beginning, women, and socially disadvantaged farmer issues. She also worked on state health care and tax policy issues. During her tenure at the Center, Traci served as a member and chair of the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. This Advisory Committee provides recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on policies and programs that create and foster opportunities for a new generation of farmers and ranchers. Traci also served on and chaired the governance council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, a national grassroots coalition advocating federal policy reform for the sustainability of food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. Before joining SAFSF, Traci was with the Northeast Nebraska Behavioral Health Network as a community outreach director, working to build community support to foster a pipeline of behavioral and mental healthcare professionals. Prior to that, Traci was the policy director of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, working on a host of policy issues that impact women and girls. Traci holds a Bachelor of Science from Wayne State College in political science and sociology. She is based in Nebraska, where she lives with her husband, Brian.

  • Marla Carlson

    Marla Carlson has worked in the organic sector in Saskatchewan since 2006 and has been an organic consumer since the mid-1990’s. Her passion for organic food and farming has grown as her involvement in the sector has deepened. Marla has been working for SaskOrganics since 2014 and in the Executive Director role since February 2016. In her leadership role, she is always looking for innovative ways to fulfill the organization’s mission to cultivate a healthier world for the benefit of all through organic food and agriculture. Before moving back to Saskatchewan, Marla lived in England and worked for Bristol City Council as their first Democratic & Statutory Services Manager. In addition to Marla’s role with SaskOrganics, she is President of Organic Connections – the largest organic farming conference in Western Canada and is a member of the kwayēskastasowin wâhkôhtowin Steering Committee (Prairie Food System Vision Network), a Rockefeller Foundation Food Systems Top Visionary Prize winner, a thirty-year project with a vision to decolonize the food system on the Canadian Prairies. She is also a member of the Food Systems Game Changers Lab’s Elevating Indigenous Knowledge Cohort. Most recently Marla has taken on a position with the Prairie Organic Development Fund managing the Canadian Organic Ingredient Strategy project.

  • Tim Griffin

    Tim Griffin is the Vice President for Sourcing at Amy's Kitchen, one of the premier manufacturers of organic, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian ready-to-eat meals.

    Tim has 25 years of experience helping companies and organizations like Amy's committed to social and environmental impact thrive. At Amy's, Tim has served as both Head of Sustainability and the Senior Director of Talent. Prior to working at Amy's, Tim served as Program Director at Ag Innovations, a non-profit that convenes multi-stakeholder innovation groups focused on building more vibrant and sustainable food systems. Tim also spent 8 years as a corporate sustainability consultant, advising Fortune 500 companies including Walmart, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and Duke Energy on their environmental and corporate social responsibility programs.

    Tim served for 4 years in the US Peace Corps as a Crop Extension Volunteer and Technical Trainer in Paraguay. He earned a dual MS in International Agricultural Development and Agricultural & Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis, and a BA in Spanish for the University of Maryland, College Park.

  • Nathan Kelly

    Nathan leads the Corporate Development team for CrossBoundary – an investment firm focused on underserved markets with 18 offices around the world. Nathan grew up in Northwest Pennsylvania in a farming legacy that was overshadowed by the 1980s farming crisis. Since 2016 Nathan has been committed to advancing regenerative agriculture as a tool to restore farming communities, produce better food, and restore critical ecosystems. Nathan is personally invested in regenerative agriculture through Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT and Steward Technologies. He led CrossBoundary’s investment into Mad Agriculture’s Perennial Fund and has advised NatureVest (a division of The Nature Conservancy) on their strategy for investing in regenerative agriculture. In 2021 Nathan spent four months working for FarmRaise supporting farmers in raising capital. Nathan began his career at the global investment bank Lincoln International where he advised on cross-border mergers and acquisitions and debt capital raises.

  • Sarah Manuel

    Sarah Manuel has spent the past decade showcasing local and organic ingredients through specialty food products. Since her first endeavors, Sarah has studied business and French culinary techniques at the Culinary Institute of Montana. Since graduating, she has moved to Maui and back where she learned the fundamentals of permaculture, which deepened her appreciation for thoughtful ingredient sourcing. Sarah has also spent time in the workforce as a personal chef, line cook and caterer. Since 2018, Sarah has dedicated her time to her own pursuits with her food truck, Streatery and her catering/frozen meal company, Farmer Meets Foodie. In all of her recipes, Sarah prioritizes ingredients which have not been exposed to genetic engineering and harsh chemicals. She is intentional about this due to witnessing the conversion of her family farm (Prairie Grass Ranch) from conventional to organic in 2007. Sarah also believes in supporting the local agricultural community where she obtains the bulk of her produce, dairy, dry goods, and meat. Sarah has seen first-hand how the food we eat affects our bodies on multiple levels, therefore she intends to utilize only the best cuisine for her guests.