Molly Carey, Grassroots Fellow

Molly’s commitment to creating a sustainable food system has pulled her into multiple areas of work over the past several years. After completing her studies in 2013, she explored environmental nonprofits, farmed organically in Costa Rica and Rappahannock County, VA, worked for local food producers, and managed farmers markets in Washington, DC with a focus on farmer and producer engagement. Molly’s passion for food system equity, sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation and farmer support has led her to NSAC, where she is thrilled to be a part of a coalition advocating for policy reform in these vital areas.

Tiffany Guinn, Operations Coordinator

Tiffany completed her studies in 2010 and has since sought a firsthand understanding of various facets of the food system with the growing intent of advocating for equitable reform. Her experience spans cooking professionally, organic farming, food photography, local farm product procurement, and grant writing. Before joining NSAC, Tiffany completed an AmeriCorps VISTA service year with Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network where she worked to connect local farmers to their communities and resources needed to succeed. She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in photography from George Mason University.

Sarah Hackney, Coalition Director

Sarah oversees NSAC’s overall organizational strategic direction, administration, management, and capacity-building. Previously, she served as NSAC’s Grassroots Director for nearly 8 years, working with NSAC’s member organizations and allies to empower and mobilize grassroots food and farm voices nationwide. Raised in rural Florida, her prior work has included community-led efforts to improve small farm viability, increase fresh food access, and build leadership in rural communities in the Pacific Northwest.  She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.

Nichelle Harriott, Policy Specialist

Nichelle earned her B.S. in Chemistry and Environmental Science at Morgan State University and her M.S. in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University. She has spent her career providing decision-makers, stakeholder communities, and the general public with information needed to support sustainable, organic, and agroecological farming systems. Prior to joining NSAC, Nichelle worked for more than 10 years to advance scientific integrity and regulatory policy related to environmental and public health. Nichelle has led large coalitions and served three terms on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee. Nichelle staffs the NSAC Research Extension Education Committee, which focuses on research and organic agriculture issues.

Ferd Hoefner, Senior Strategic Advisor

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Ferd is a founding staff member of NSAC and has been a leader in the sustainable agriculture community for over 30 years. He led NSAC’s federal policy work from 1988 through 2016, and now serves in a mentoring and advisory role to the coalition. Prior to his work with NSAC, for nearly a decade he represented Interfaith Action for Economic Justice and its predecessor, the Interreligious Taskforce on U.S. Food Policy, on federal farm, food, and development policy. He has consulted with many NGOs and has served on numerous USDA advisory committees. A graduate of Oberlin College, he has also undertaken graduate work in ethics and economics at Wesley Theological Seminary and American University.

Wes King, Senior Policy Specialist

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Wes has worked on sustainability and food policy issues for ten years. He staffs NSAC’s Marketing, Food Systems and Rural Development Committee. Before joining NSAC in 2016, Wes spent the previous six years at NSAC member organization, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, working on food access, farmers markets and working-lands conservation policy; and leading efforts to create a more risk and scale appropriate regulatory environment for farms and local food businesses. Prior to that he worked for the Illinois Environmental Council. Wes holds an M.A. and B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois.

Reana Kovalcik, Associate Director for Communications and Development

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Reana supports NSAC’s policy and grassroots efforts by translating challenging policy language into digestible communications and by providing the development support needed for robust fundraising.  After spending several years working in the policy world at the local government level, Reana decided to leverage her background in journalism to help the good food and farm movement better tell its story. She has spent nearly ten years leading strategic communications and development for non-profit organizations. Reana holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Urban Policy Analysis from DePaul University and The New School, respectively.

Kelly Nuckolls, Policy Specialist

Kelly holds an LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas Law School, a J.D. from Drake University Law School, and She has a B.A. in Political Science from Fort Hays State University. She previously worked at the University of Maryland and with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, where she helped farmers manage legal risks and understand federal and state laws that impact their operations. She staffs the Food System Integrity Committee.

Juli Obudzinski, Interim Policy Director

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Juli holds an M.S. in Agriculture and Food Policy from Tufts University.  She has researched regional food production capacities, coordinated federal grant programs on organic and specialty crop research, and helped develop a policy platform for expanding Iowa’s local food economy.  She staffs NSAC’s Farming Opportunities and Fair Competition, and also leads NSAC’s work on beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer initiatives.

Candace Spencer, Policy Specialist

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Candace is a “Double Gator” and earned both her B.A. in Environmental Science and J.D. from the University of Florida, as well as a Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law. She previously worked at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she developed a new program area in the Conservation Clinic focused on environmental justice and community economic development and engaged in local urban agricultural policy. Candace is passionate about equitable food systems and land ownership, particularly Black owned agricultural land and addressing food apartheid. She staffs the Farming Opportunities and Fair Competition Committee.

Ariana Taylor-Stanley, Northeast Regional Organizer

Ariana works to educate, connect, and empower grassroots food and farm groups in the northeast.  She also co-owns and operates Here We Are Farm in Trumansburg, NY, growing vegetables for CSA and farmers markets.  She is active in her community as a chapter leader of Showing Up for Racial Justice and the National Young Farmers Coalition.  Before moving east, Ariana farmed and coordinated policy advocacy work for two NSAC member organizations in Washington state.  She holds an M.P.A. and B.A. from the University of Washington.

Kelsey Watson, Grassroots Coordinator

Kelsey is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she recently completed a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability with focus on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. She has a particular interest in racial equity in the food system, black food and farming systems, and black land ownership. During university, Kelsey was heavily involved with the local chapter of Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences.

Cristel Zoebisch, Policy Fellow

Cristel holds an M.A. in Food Studies from New York University, where she focused on food and agricultural economics and policy, and she earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her graduate thesis analyzed three farm bill programs that support beginning, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. Her previous work includes participating on a program evaluation team for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, conducting food policy advocacy and educational activities for a national nonprofit organization, and consulting.