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Our Team

Andy Fisher

Executive Director
andy at eco-farm.org
Andy Fisher has been a leading force for social justice in the anti-hunger and food movements in the US since the mid 1990s. He co-founded and led the primary American food systems alliance, the Community Food Security Coalition for 17 years. He has played a key role in the growth of farm to school, local food policy, and community food assessments. In 2017, MIT Press published his first book, Big Hunger, which exposed the unholy alliance between corporate America and anti-hunger groups. He has Masters degrees in Environmental Policy and Latin American Studies from UCLA. He is too lazy to farm, but loves to tinker in his community garden plot. He’s obsessed with finding the perfect fig, and remains an unapologetic fan of the Dodgers.  
 

Katie Hershfelt

Food Program Coordinator
katie at eco-farm.org
Katie is a passionate local food and farming advocate, business owner, consultant, and community builder with 15 years of experience as a trusted resource and strategic partner in building food system resilience. In 2013, she launched Cultivate Events, where she creates experiences that tell the stories of our local food movement. Her deep ties to the food system stem from her tendency to spend two too many hours at the farmers market, pull over for anything that resembles a farm stand, and be on a need-to-know basis with everything local food.
 

Dina Izzo

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Manager
sponsors at eco-farm.org
Dina has been involved with EcoFarm in some capacity for the past thirty years. She served on the Board of Directors for ten years and has been part of the planning committee for twenty five years. Dina is the founder of BluDog Consulting, a company that teaches beginning farmers basic marketing and sales techniques both one on one an in a classroom setting. Clients include Multicultural Exchange of Sustainable Agriculure (MESA), Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), Center for Land-Based Learning, and a host of farmers and businesses.
 

Nancy Jensen

Program Director
nancy at eco-farm.org
Nancy has spent most of her career implementing programs in higher education to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in areas of recruitment and retention. She has over 15 years of experience working at UCLA.  After obtaining her Master's degree in Counseling there, her roles on campus included serving as Counselor for Political Science and Film undergraduate programs, and as Recruitment and Admissions Director for Public Policy and other graduate programs.  As a health and fitness enthusiast, she has studied public health, and has completed a certificate in integrative nutrition, which she continues to study. She is an avid runner who loves to cook and to learn about sustainable food systems, especially where our produce is grown and sourced. On weekends, she enjoys supporting her local farmers markets, and playing beach volleyball in Playa del Rey.

 

Stephanie Michelle

Program Coordinator
stephanie at eco-farm.org
Stephanie Michelle is the program coordinator at EcoFarm. She joins the EcoFarm team with 13 plus years of experience working with grassroots movements addressing social and environmental justice. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephanie Michelle is committed to advancing equity within agriculture in the urban and rural setting. She has worked from the Bay Area through the Central Valley and Los Angeles, uplifting the voices of Black and Brown farmers in the state. She is a scholar in plant medicine, an environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate and holistic systems thinker. On any given day you can catch her in her garden or cooking a feast in her kitchen.
 

Joyce Rice

Scholarship & Work Trade Coordinator
joyce at eco-farm.org
Joyce has been attending EcoFarm Conference for the last 15 years, as an attendee and most recently as a super-volunteer. She is passionate about food, farming and education. Joyce has over 25 years of experience working at UC Santa Cruz. Her jobs on campus included serving as the Company Manager for Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the Environmental Studies Undergraduate Advisor and Staff Program Manager for Student Sustainability. She spends time between upstate New York and California and is happiest being with her family & friends on both coasts, kayaking on rivers and growing food in her garden. 
 

Deborah Yashar

Marketing & Communications Director
deborah at eco-farm.org
Deborah's experience is rooted in food systems work and collaboration with farmers from all walks of life to advance ecological agriculture and food sovereignty. She has worked with organizations like Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), Community Agroecology Network (CAN), and Awe Sum Organics. At EcoFarm she leads communications on a variety of levels including past design and layout of EcoFarm's conference publications. Deborah has built bridges between beginning Latinx farmers and the rights for community access to healthy local food through marketing education, policy, and the expansion of SNAP-accessible farmers’ markets. She earned her BA from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture & Agroecology. Deborah currently serves on the board of directors with BriarPatch Food Co-op and the Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets, residing on Nisenan land also known as Grass Valley, California.