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Our Team

Andy Fisher

Executive Director
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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.  

Abbie Erskine

Administrative Coordinator
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Abbie has over 8 years of experience working in the non-profit sector as a Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. She is passionate about living harmoniously with Mother Earth and creating a sustainable future for the next generation. She connects with the greater community through teaching Yoga and Ayurveda, while also working as a Massage Therapist. She believes self-awareness and mindfulness leads to taking care of the Earth and each other. Her past experiences include working with Habitat for Humanity and Mount Madonna Center for many years. She is happy to contribute to and grow with EcoFarm.

Gabi Salazar

Program Director
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Gabi is passionate about working with community to protect and build sustainable agricultural systems that balance the needs of farmers, ranchers, eaters, and of our diverse natural ecosystems. She fell in love with the EcoFarm Conference while doing work trade in 2015, and was thrilled to join the crew shortly afterwards. Gabi grew up appreciating the outdoors and helping on her family's beef cattle ranch in West Virginia. Before moving to California as an apprentice with Soil Born Farms in 2014, Gabi worked in the Dominican Republic, Morocco, and Haiti. She studied International Agriculture and Applied Economics at Cornell and speaks Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole.

Deborah Yashar

Marketing & Communications Director
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Deborah Yashar’s work has been focused on advancing the economic viability, social equity, and ecological land management among small and Latinx farmers through her work with organizations like Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), Community Agroecology Network (CAN), and Awe Sum Organics. She built bridges between beginning farmers and the rights for community access to healthy local food through marketing education, policy work, and the establishment of SNAP-accessible farmers’ markets in Salinas, California. She earned her BA from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture & Agroecology, earning a Merrill College Achievement Award for acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese and for her service to social justice efforts in Latin America. Deborah currently serves on the board of directors with Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets and has recently re-located to Nisenan land also known as Grass Valley, California.

Dina Izzo

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Manager
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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.

Katherine Grace Golfinopoulos

Education Program Manager
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Katherine brings a wealth of experience from the organic farming and environmental non-profit sectors to her role at EcoFarm. Prior to joining EcoFarm, Katherine was farming in Sonoma County, managing both farm production as well as educational programming for community farms, while increasing literacy and access to local, healthy food for youth and underserved populations. Before moving to California, Katherine worked for over a decade forging partnerships and developing and delivering educational programs with conservation non-profit organizations, schools, and universities in communities and on tribal lands in the Southwest. Previously, she served with the U.S. Peace Corps in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco for two years as an Agriculture & Rural Community Development Extension Agent. Katherine holds a B.A. in English and Environmental Studies from Colby College and a M.A. in Sustainable Communities from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northern Arizona University.

Joyce Rice

Scholarship & Work Trade Coordinator
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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.