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Board of Directors

Board members featured from left to right: Steve Sprinkel, Javier Zamora (former), Kathy Webster (former), Dru Rivers, Hansel Kern, Lisa Bunin, Carle Brinkman, Sue Kern

Steve Sprinkel, President

Farmer/Owner, The Farmer and The Cook

Steve has been a commercial organic farmer since the 1970s. He has farmed in California, his home state, and in Hawaii and Texas. His service in the organic movement began in 1984 in the CCOF South Coast Chapter and later on the Statewide Certification Committee. Later he served on the organic advisory board for the Texas Department of Agriculture, and for eight years was an associate editor at ACRES, USA, originator of the monthly column TRANSITIONS. He served previously as board member and later as president of the Cornucopia Institute until 2014. For fourteen years he and his wife, Oliva Chase, have operated The Farmer and The Cook, a 46-employee grocery, bakery and restaurant in Ojai, California, where their 12 acre certified organic farm is located.

Dru Rivers, Vice President

Partner/Farmer, Full Belly Farm

Dru has been a farmer for the past thirty years at Full Belly Farm where she grows over one hundred different crops with her husband, two farm partners, and a crew of over 60 amazing workers. Dru's passions at the farm are the flowers and the animals, both of which are in high demand by customers from throughout Northern California. Dru is the mother of four incredible children all of whom currently work at the farm. She could not be happier with her life work and enjoys every minute of each day.

Lisa J. Bunin, Ph.D., Treasurer

Co-founder & Director, Organic Advocacy

Lisa’s environmental research and advocacy spans several decades and continents.  At Organic Advocacy, she initiates projects that protect, improve, and promote organic food and agriculture. As Senior Organic Policy Director at Center for Food Safety, her work focused on curbing the spread of harmful food production technologies by challenging compromises to organic integrity and advocating organic solutions. While living in Europe, Lisa served as NGO delegate to the UN’s London Dumping Convention, partnering with governments and NGOs to successfully halt the incineration of toxic waste at sea, worldwide. Appointed to Santa Cruz County’s Genetic Engineering Taskforce, she co-edited a study that convinced Supervisors to enact a moratorium on GE crop plantings. Lisa has taught college courses on national and international environmental policy, social movements, and social change. For her Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology, she conducted a comparative field study of organic cotton production systems in India and California and their interconnections with emerging markets. Lisa serves on EcoFarm's Planning and Diversity Committees, as an Advisor to the National Organic Coalition, and regularly blogs on organic-related issues.

Sue Kern, Corporate Secretary

Farmer/Owner, Kern Family Farm

Sue Kern helps operate the Kern Family Farm in North Fork, CA along with her husband, Hansel and adult children, Rebecca and Aaron. She helps daughter Rebecca run the family’s natural food market, the Gnarly Carrot. She’s also the Family Law Information Center Attorney at Fresno Superior Court’s Self-Help Center. Before moving to North Fork, she spent thirteen years organizing farm workers and home care workers in New York and California, and is on the board of directors of Centro La Familia Advocacy in Fresno, Madera Coalition for Community Justice in Madera, and KFCF radio in Central California.

Carle Brinkman

Food & Farming Program Director, Ecology Center

Carle leads the Ecology Center’s Farmers’ Market and Farm Fresh Choice produce stand operations, statewide Farmers’ Market Access and Equity programming, and food related education, policy, and coalition building efforts. For five years, Carle managed the Market Match program, California’s healthy food incentive program, which matches customers’ federal nutrition assistance benefits, like CalFresh and WIC, at hundreds of farmers’ markets across the state. Previously, Carle spent five years with the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) as a Regional Manager—overseeing sixteen Certified Farmers’ Markets in Alameda and San Joaquin counties. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Small Farm Conference. Carle earned a B.F.A. in Art and a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Oregon. She received a Permaculture Design Certificate, and attended two five-month leadership development trainings, the Ecology of Leadership, through the Regenerative Design Institute. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her bees.

Leonard Diggs

Director of Operations and Farming Education, Pie Ranch

Leonard works with Pie Ranch as the Director of Operations with oversight of Emerging Farmers and the Cascade Farm Regenerator Program. He was the farm manager of Shone Farm at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), co-owner with his wife of BioFarm - a certified organic vegetable farm in Lake County, and owner/operator of Diggs Organic Farms in Santa Rosa, CA. Leonard was also the farm manager of The Farm, a certified organic vegetable and demonstration farm for the California State Fair. He has served on numerous boards and committees and instructed agricultural classes for SRJC. Leonard received a fellowship from the California Agricultural Leadership Program; the Pedro ILIC Agriculture Award for Outstanding Farmer, the Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year Award from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Legacy Farmer of the Year from CAFF/The Farmers Guild, and is a current member of the Castanea Fellowship.

Hansel Kern

Farmer/Owner, Kern Family Farm

Hansel Kern operates the Kern Family Farm in North Fork, CA in the Sierra Foothills. The farm provides produce to families in the area through the Kern Family’s local market, the Gnarly Carrot. The farm also supplies produce to several local restaurants and participates in a small local farmer’s market during the summer. In 1999, Hansel started a school garden at the local elementary school where he shares his enthusiasm for growing food with the children. He provides healthy fruits and vegetables for the kids to eat while they work in the garden, and the school cafeteria includes produce from the garden in the school lunches. Hansel represents EcoFarm at several local Central Valley farm festivals, including the Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee Festival in Clovis, CA.

Rebecca North

Rebecca North has spent much of her adult life working in support of fresh local food and the people who grow, process and distribute it. Over two decades, she has worked at places as diverse as Nature’s Corner Natural Market, Veritable Vegetable and Planet Organics before landing, 14 years ago, at The Fruit Guys, where she acts as Fruit Detective where she gets to support farmers and food. Rebecca joined the EcoFarm Planning Committee and the Diversity Advisory Group in 2016. She has been especially involved in making sure that EcoFarm is a diverse and equitable place in every way, having focused many of her efforts to make sure that women and LGBT people are well included. She shares a love of nature with her wife Maura and her son Jack, who is likely to be a future EcoFarmer, having had this instilled in his DNA.