Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 448, Pittsboro, NC 27312
Physical Address: 287 East St. Suite 421 Pittsboro, NC 27312
Administration | Membership | Education | Food Systems | Advocacy |
Roland McReynolds, Executive Director
Roland grew up in Columbia, Missouri. His grandma was a longtime subscriber to Organic Gardening, his family raised its own layer and fryer chickens and grew most of its own vegetables, and the family home was surrounded by conventional corn and soybean fields. He is a licensed attorney, and with the births of his children he decided to devote his legal training and business experience to the service of promoting healthy agriculture for future generations.
Cheryl Ripperton Rettie, Finance & Administration Director
Cheryl holds degrees in Accounting and Ancient & Medieval History and has worked for over a decade in various accounting positions; she joined CFSA in 2006. A native of Chatham County, she lives on the family farm where she meanders in the woods with her dog, gardens, keeps bees organically, and rides horses.
> Contact Cheryl with any financial questions. If you have any general CFSA questions pop her an email; if she doesn’t know the answer, she can tell you who does!
Laura Wurts, Operations Director
Laura holds a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and has been working with Triangle nonprofits since 2007. She manages CFSA’s rapidly expanding grants portfolio and offers multiple years of experience administrating public grants and large, consortium projects. Laura grew up in a farming community in rural Kentucky where her father is an aquaculture research & extension agent, and she’s passionate about creating global impact through local action.
> You’ll find Laura behind the scenes working to keep CFSA initiatives running smoothly and generating outcomes our members and funders expect to see.
Anna MacDonald Dobbs, Membership Coordinator
Anna is a Durham native, and currently enjoys living in Hillsborough with her husband, Ryan, and their two Australian Cattle dogs, Zep and Stella. Although gardening with dad was a chore when she was a kid, she now looks forward to the opportunity – in his garden and her own! Anna earned an M.Div from Duke and an MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011.
> Contact Anna with questions about CFSA membership, registering for our events, and the events calendar.
Laura Stewart, Education Director
Laura Reedy holds a BA in Sociology from Knox College and a Masters in Management from Antioch University Seattle. She co-farms a small produce farm out of Pittsboro, NC and is raising her first flock of chickens. She also makes goat milk soaps and loves seeing what farm crops will result in a unique new soap. Laura’s professional background includes volunteering for and later managing an AmeriCorps team, as well as organizing trainings and events in various non-profit environments.
> Contact Laura about the Farm Tours and the Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Leah Joyner, Education Coordinator
Leah recently graduated with an MS in Sustainable Tourism from East Carolina University, where she helped to create an agritourism curriculum, coordinated the first annual Greenbrier Valley Pasture Network Farm Tour, and focused her research on agritourism marketing. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Sustainable Development and Photography from Appalachian State University and is passionate about using her camera to raise awareness about sustainable food and farms. As a North Carolina native, she couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to connect people in the Carolina’s to their local farms through fun, educational farm tours.
> Contact Leah with questions about Farm Tours and the Internship Referral Service.
Ben Filippo, Food Systems Coordinator
Ben studied the History and Anthropology of Food at Tufts University and SoAS (London), before stepping out into the wide world of food systems. He has worked on food-based start-ups, helped begin farmers’ markets, connected buyers and growers, and educated all ages on local foods and canning.
> Ben is thrilled to be working with dedicated and energetic folks in order to foster robust Food Systems in the Carolinas.
Rochelle Sparko, Policy Director
Rochelle grew up in western Massachusetts, where she first tried her hand at gardening on the family farm. She received undergraduate degrees from Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a law degree from Georgetown University. For nearly 10 years, Rochelle had a career as a lawyer and advocate for low- income people in Hawaii and North Carolina. Nowadays, Rochelle maintains Darko Urban Farm with her partner, Will, in downtown Durham; studies horticulture and soil science at NC State University; and is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her passions for advocacy and farming through her work at CFSA.
Jared Cates, Community Mobilizer
Jared is a native of Chapel Hill and a recent graduate of the UNC School of Social Work, where he received his Master’s degree. Jared has been working in the non-profit sector since his graduation from Appalachian State University in 2003. His previous experience includes two AmeriCorps terms with Chatham Habitat for Humanity, coordinating a juvenile community service program at Volunteers for Youth in Orange County and assisting with shelter and emergency aid services at the Salvation Army of Wake County. Jared is looking forward to being a champion for sustainable food and farm policies. He was an intern for CFSA before officially joining the staff.
> Contact Jared to learn more about the CONNECT project in the Charlotte metro area and the grassroots effort to build the local food system in Beaufort County, NC.
Karen McSwain, Farm Services Director
Karen brings ten years of organic farming and teaching experience to the organization. Her practical hands-on experience, combined with a B.S in Crop and Soil Science from Cornell University and an M.S. in Horticulture & Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University make her keenly aware of issues faced by small farmers. When not hard at work for CFSA, Karen has her hands full raising twin boys with her husband Joel in Asheville, NC.
Keith Baldwin, Farm Services Coordinator
Keith Baldwin Ph.D., CFSA’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement award winner, has been a strong supporter of sustainable agriculture in NC for more than 20 years. From his work as an agricultural extension agent in Chatham County to his lead role developing the programs that would become the Small Farm Unit at NCSU’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) to his work at the Cooperative Extension Program at NC A&T, Keith has been a force in support of sustainable agriculture in North Carolina for over 20 years.
> Contact Keith for information about our Conservation and Environmental Planning Consulting Services, the EQIP-OI, and other Conservation resources.
Eric Soderholm, Organic Production Coordinator
Eric studied sustainable agriculture at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. Since then, he has worked for a number of farms throughout the Eastern US, most recently helping to build a full-diet CSA program in northern Virginia. He is based in Edenton, NC where he also works with Somerset Farm, a mixed livestock and certified organic produce operation run by CFSA member Frederick Inglis.
> Contact Eric for information on transitioning to organic certified production and the certification process.
Patricia Tripp, Local Produce Safety Coordinator
Since 1995, Trish has been committed to sustainability, food security and public health. She was a restaurateur for 14 years, advocated for safe, nutritious and sustainable food production by partnering with farmers, schools and local health departments, and conducted research and developed strategies to support small farms on a local level. Most recently, she held a position at a leading produce company as the Director of Food Safety, Sustainability and Local Resources. Trish earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemistry from Bluefield College and a Masters of Science Degree in Agricultural and Life Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). She currently holds certifications as a Food Defense Coordinator and HACCP Coordinator and is proficient in multiple 3rd Party food safety schemes.
> Contact Trish about our Good Agricultural Practices trainings, cost-share program, and mock-audits.
Sustainability and Communications
Elizabeth Read, Communications and Development Director
Elizabeth grew up in Charlotte but has lived in the Triad or the Triangle since she attended college in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina. Before becoming the Communications and Development Director at CFSA, she served as the Marketing Manager at Company Shops Market, a co-op grocery store in downtown Burlington where she actively engaged the community around how they purchased their food. She previously worked as executive director of The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, a non-profit that worked to promote the town of Hillsborough through its arts and historic sites. She loves connecting people with the surrounding community through food and local economies. She and her husband live in a house they restored in northern Alamance County with their son, Charlie, and their two chickens.
> Elizabeth would love to connect you with CFSA and all the work the organization is doing to create thriving sustainable food communities.
Amy Armbruster, Communications Coordinator
Amy studied sustainable agriculture in Costa Rica and has over 10 years of experience implementing grassroots campaigns, coordinating print, web and social media, and encouraging folks to take better care of the environment. She grew up next to an apple orchard and her favorite thing to eat is a just-picked, still-warm-from-the-sun strawberry. She lives with her husband and two sons in Raleigh, NC.
> Amy is our go-to person for the website and eNews, as well as marketing and event promotions.