The Greenhorns is a non-traditional grassroots non-profit organization made up of young farmers and a diversity of collaborators. Our mission is to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers. We do this by producing avant-garde programming, video, audio, web content, publications, events, and art projects that increase the odds for success and enhance the profile and social lives of America’s young farmers..
The news is in from urban, suburban and rural districts alike: America needs more young farmers and more young farmers want a piece of America. It will take millions of rough and ready protagonists of place to care for our ecosystems and serve our country healthy food in the years to come. The Greenhorns enable this critical meeting of minds, bodies, and land by helping young and aspiring farmers to navigate career paths, build skills, and connect with each other. Our multifaceted approach includes on-the-ground organizing of events and workshops, media production, and online coalition building. See below for more on the tools, materials, and events we have created.
The Greenhorns organization was founded in Berkeley in 2007 by Severine von Tscharner Fleming. Recently graduated and fresh from several seasons of apprenticeship adventures, Severine began filming young farmers with friends from “”King Corn” and fellow documentarians. A rotating team of soil enthusiasts, filmmakers, tech ninjas, artists, graphic designers, cartographers, and hustling interns took shape. In 2008-09 Greenhorns were based on leased land in New York’s Hudson Valley (growing/raising organic veggies and herbs + flowers, Muscovy ducks, chickens, rabbits and Tamworth pigs). See below to find out all that has happened since!
The Greenhorns team is widespread and volunteer-driven, there are usually 2-6 part time paid employees coordinating projects, with contributers and collaborators phasing in and out on a project/ geographic basis. Our office headquarters is on main street in Hudson NY, 2 hours north of New York city on the Hudson River line ( Amtrak). From here, and with project coordinators spread out across the country, most of us have at least one hand or foot in production agriculture, and with the other we coordinate media, events, and civic engagement.
Projects are initiated under the leadership of the director and other senior members, inspired by feedback from our constituency of young farmers, as responsive as possible to the needs attention would most serve at this movement. Consultants + professionals working pro bono have been a key source of support throughout, as we are undaunted to take on new media formats, finance issues and other things we know very little about. We are greenhorns in most of what we do. You can learn about the people in our team below.
We believe in the grassroots, in community organizing, and in bringing the voices of young farmers into mass media. By bundling and broadcasting our own messages we hope we can help interpret the professional opportunities in agriculture for new entrants, welcome them to our community, and build cultural solidarity for this new farmers movement.
We are deeply committed to the rebuilding of rural economies through sustainable agriculture, to small business entrepreneurship, and to teamwork.
In all our organizing, we strive to reach out to farm-born and new to farming constituents alike– our messaging, materials, and procedures for organizing are replicable and adaptable, and shared with local partners. Thus our network continues to branch out and take on diverse local facets. We seek to make our operations and guiding principles transparent and invite your comments and ideas. Onward!
WHO ARE THE GREENHORNS
Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is the director of The Greenhorns, a documentary film and grassroots organization working to ”recruit, promote and support” the growing tribe of new agrarians. Greenhorns runs a weekly radio show on Heritage Radio Network, a popular blog, young farmer publications, podcasts and many dozens of mixers, Seed Circus and educational events for young farmers, aspiring farmers and families all around the country.
Now in our 6th year, The Greenhorns is best known for our documentary film, “The Greenhorns” cut from 380 hours of footage. Both in making the film, and travelling to screen it, Severine has delighted in connecting with hundreds of young farmers in this movement, learning about innovations, collaboration and challenges faced by this next generation of entrepreneurial farmers. Greenhorns actively works to provide venues for networking, bon fires, beer and online communication within a large and growing! network.
Severine attended Pomona College and University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/AgroEcology. She co- founded the Pomona Organic Farm, founded UC Berkeley’s Society for Agriculture and Food Ecology, and is a proud co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition.
Zoe Ida Bradbury (farmer, freelance writer, Food & Society Policy Fellow, book editor)
Zoe Ida Bradbury is originally from southern Oregon, where she now runs her own farm and serves as a Food & Society Policy Fellow. Her work in sustainable agriculture has engaged her with numerous non-profits over the years, including Ecotrust, the Agriculture and Land-based Training Association (ALBA), the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. She is a regular contributor to Edible Portland and her work has also appeared in USA Today, Oregon Coast Magazine, The Oregonian, the Draft Horse Journal, In Good Tilth, and Stanford Magazine. She also spent three years co-managing Sauvie Island Organics, a diversified fresh market farm where she oversaw production and apprentice training for a community supported agriculture program. Zoe did her undergraduate work at Stanford University where she studied ecological anthropology with a focus on sustainable agriculture. She recently completed her Masters degree with a focus on rural development, food systems and community change. She is a co-editor of “Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement” from Storey Publishing.
Chandler Briggs (farmer, freelance writer, Food and Society Policy fellow, blogger)
Chandler Briggs manages a small-scale diverse farm in the Pacific NW with a few other young farmers. He grew up in sunny Southern California & left it all behind for salad greens, homemade bacon & tremendous mountain views. While not farming, he spends his time organizing with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition and Cascade Harvest Coalition, hanging out with his cat & exploring the world of draft horses.
Brooke Budner is an artist, a grower and a food lover who manages a quarter acre urban garden in the Mission District of San Francisco. She works at the farmers market, as a waitress and for the Victory Garden Project. She is creating original drawings for our website as well as a series of stickers designs.
Erik Burg (Social Media)
Erik Burg is a social media expert, helping connect the many fans and followers of Greenhorns with the rest of the team and the world around us. Originally from SW Minnesota, raised on endless fields of corn and soybean production, Erik now lives in Portland, OR as a freelance journalist and keeper a rather hearty garden. Although he holds a B.A. in Communications, he dreams of one day returning to the land he was brought up on and continuing the propagation of the family farm.
Inés Chapela is a California native recently relocated to New York to study Environmental & Urban Studies and Studio Arts at Bard College. She took a year off to work on farms and to travel and has been greatly inspired and motivated by the incredible people she encountered along the way. She has enjoyed the privilege of working extensively with children and loves adventures and creative projects. While starting as Greenhorns’ intern extraordinaire, Inés has become central to operations and logistics, handling screening requests, event planning, and the general chaos of non-profit administration.
Hallie Chen (Serve Your Country Food overhaul)
Born and raised by food-centric Taiwanese immigrants in the SF BayArea, Hallie Chen attended the University of California Berkeley where she began unpacking the complex relationship between human beings and the environment. Areas of extended exploration included sustainable agriculture, urban planning, critical urban theory and the visual arts. The Masters in Architecture program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design is her most recent attempt to influence the social and ecological processes that shape the world we live in. She loves her family, farmers, pizza, swimming, and friends.
Laura Cline is a Brooklyn NY based freelance graphic designer. She loves apples, rooftop gardens, food co-ops, bicycles, worm bins, cats, kale and cooking dinner for friends.
Katie Endicott (New Agrarian Network)
Katie grew up in suburban Philadelphia but most recently resides in magical Southern Vermont. She is a farmer in training while completing her Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development in Brattleboro, Vermont. She believes in the power of food, farming, and community as a conduit for social change. She’s grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with, listen to, and learn from a diverse collection of new farmers.
Amy Franceschini an artist and educator who works with notions of community, sustainability and a perceived conflict between humans and nature. Her work manifests “on-” and “off-line” in the form of dynamic websites, installations, open-access laboratories, and educational formats that collectively question or challenge the social, political and economic systems we live in.
Amy founded Futurefarmers in 1995, and Free Soil in 2004. Her solo and collaborative work have been included in exhibitions internationally including ZKM, Whitney Museum, NYMOMA and SFMOMA. She is the recipient of the Artadia Award, Cultural Innovation, Eureka Fellowship and SFMOMA SECA. BFA, San Francisco State University; MFA, Stanford University. She is currently a professor of art at University of San Francisco and visiting faculty at CCA.
Taylor Gentry is the resident DP for Wicked Delicate Films, as well as a freelance Cameraman in Massachusetts.
Faith Gilbert (Operations, Cooperative Farming Info Project)
Faith is an east-coaster born in the woods. She spent 5 magic years in the Bay Area before returning east to farm. She is the founder of Letterbox Farm Collective, a brand new collaborative farm project in Hudson, NY. She market gardens, hosts farm dinners, and works to promote cooperation in both farm culture and our culture.
This year she launched the Cooperative Farming Info Project, a research effort to make land-sharing and co-managing farmland an accessible model for new farmers.
Shayne learned her love for land and place in her native home of O’ahu, Hawai’i, where she volunteered on organic farms and mucked about in taro wetlands. Following an apprenticeship at Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, she returned to the Hudson Valley of New York to write, dabble, and homestead. She loves bees, seeds, hugs, cold brewed coffee, and not wearing shoes.
Laura Hannah is a maker of films. Her New York based production company HiddenDriver specializes in feature length and short form films focusing on intellectual, cultural and political issues. She is currently directing the documentary feature Megapolis.
Will Harron (Library Project)
Will grew up in rural Delaware, spending his formative years on a small conventional chicken farm. An interest in ecology at Williams College led him to a farm internship in western North Carolina, which ignited a passion for the growing community of sustainable-ag folks. Will loves the mountains and the ocean, and the people between.
Barrett Hawes (editor, OurLand)
Barrett Hawes is a documentary filmmaker who collaborates with his subjects to tell their stories. From adolescents in the Bronx, NY to coca farmers in the Chapare, Bolivia, his work focuses on the everyday lives of people whose voices are largely unheard from in mainstream media. His feature ‘hometown baghdad’ (Writer/Co-Director/Editor), about young Iraqis living in a war zone in 2007, aired on the Sundance Channel after receiving 3 Webby Awards as a web series. He has also worked as a video journalist and professor for Narco News Television, and as a television editor on programs for PBS, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, A&E, Spike TV, and VH-1.
Anya Kamenskaya is a farmer and educator who loves bringing together far-flung Greenhorns to celebrate their common challenges and aspirations. Since 2010 she has organized a series of film screenings, educational events and social mixers that have united and galvanized young farmer communities up and down the West Coast of the U.S. Anya has co-managed several farms, taught restoration and wilderness ethics to Northern California youth, and in conjunction with the 18 Reasons gallery, curated a photography exhibit showcasing the work of beginning farmers from across the country. Currently, she works with the artists’ collective Future Farmers, and is an active member of the Gill Tract Farmers Collective (aka Occupy the Farm). She received her B.S. in Agroecology from UC Berkeley.
Christopher Lee Kennedy is an artist and researcher that makes projects about people and how they learn. He is currently the Education Curator for Elsewhere, a living museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s rumored he was once an environmental engineer for the State of New York before he realized kids are magical. He is also in pursuits of higher learning at the University of North Carolina, is an avid mushroom hunter, and finds time to touch the soil with his bare feet each day.
Rosy Keyser paints for the website. Her sunshiney fuzz-headed baby has new teeth.
Jordan Kinley is a filmmaker from Portland, Oregon. He specializes in a non-traditional music videos and documentaries. In the last year he founded intothewoods.tv, a critically acclaimed music documentary website focusing on the music scene in the pacific northwest. His work has appeared in The Fader, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, XLR8R, among others. He recently worked with Michel Gondry on a narrative feature “The We & The I” based on an after school project in the Bronx. He is an ongoing contributor to the Greenhorns’ new webisode project, Our Land. Jordan is inspired by young farmers and the job they have chosen to take on.
After being born, raised and schooled in Ithaca, NY, Kristen spent a year teaching kids how to grow food in Iowa. She then moved back eastward to Hudson, NY, where she works out of the Greenhorns home office, grows vegetables and bakes delicious delights. Kristen coordinates the Farm Hack project and is co-writing/editing the Affording OURLAND: Farmer’s Guide to Finance handbook.
Paula Manalo is a budding Greenhorn in Northern California. She can often be found chasing sheep and tending greens. Her role with the Greenhorns is ever-shifting, but she is currently managing the “Field Guide for Beginning Farmers” wiki, co-editing the latest version of the Greenhorns guidebook, and is a co-editor of “Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement” from Storey Publishing.
Lulu McClellan lives in Berkeley, CA and sells fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market and at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco. She is an aspiring farmer who hopes to combine her three favorite things–ferments, bicycles, and wool–into one working farm in the future.
Michaela McKee graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A. from the Film and Television Department. While attending school she produced numerous award winning short films and interned with several filmmakers including Rob Marshall. After school she began her career as a Production Coordinator for the documentary Pete Seeger: The Power of Song and a Production Manager for the upcoming documentary Harry Belafonte: Get Them To Your Song. Following these projects she produced the feature documentary The Meaning of Tea; for which she traveled all over the world. McKee is excited to lend her energy, creativity and knowledge to the Greenhorns.
Elise is an educator, budding farmer and maker of film, art, furniture, and sound. Teaching and organizing with various studios like 3rd Ward, Textile Arts Center, Dekalb Market, and Makeville in Brooklyn, NY, has allowed her to reach out to a large community of learning makers. Teaching adults and children to be self sufficient through making their own things, furniture, clothing, and farming structures, has only excited her to keep learning herself. Helping with Greenhorns, Farmhack, and making infrastructure for farms in NY and RI has been a great experience and she looks forward to relocating to Hudson in June to keep the collaborations going!
Derrick Mead (logistical support)
A year has shown that days pruning apple trees in Tivoli, NY are not so different from days matting and hanging photographs in Chelsea. Derrick Mead blogs sporadically at meadorchards.wordpress.com and more regularly arranges produce at farmer’s markets ranging from end to end of the Hudson Valley.
Dan Paluska (six million dollar man, robotics engineer, beginning farmer)
Dan Paluska is thankful to be stuck on this rock flying through space with 7 billion others! He is happy to know very little about farming and happy to be learning something every day from the many amazing farmers he meets.
Lucas Patzek has recently become the director of the WSU Thurston County Extension office and a Small Farms Educator in Olympia, WA. He will soon be defending his Ph.D. in Crop Science at Washington State University. His doctoral research was conducted in the small grains improvement program of Dr. Stephen Jones, primarily in the Skagit Valley of Western Washington. Additionally, he has also been involved in international wheat development work, both at the National Agronomic Research Institute of Algeria (INRAA) in Algeria and at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico. Lucas’ parents emigrated to the U.S. from Poland just prior to his birth, and he is the first member of his family to be born in this country. He was raised in Texas and California, and moved to Washington State with his sweetie four years ago.
Eric Phillips-Horst works as a principle cinematographer for the collaborative film collective Meerkat Media. His work has appeared in international film festivals, screened at the IFC & Anthology theaters in New York, and has been broadcast on networks including MTV, the French-German public television channel Arte, and the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. He currently works in camera and production in New York City, and teaches production and digital crafts at DCTV in Manhattan.
Bonnie Powell runs The Ethicurean food politics blog, is deputy editor of Edible San Francisco magazine, and founded the Bay Area Meat CSA. She is a farm groupie.
Megan Shaw Prelinger is a writer, library-builder, and artist in San Francisco. She is co-creator of the agriculture-rich Prelinger Library, and is also a seabird rehabilitator and oil spill responder. She has key insights about analog-digital hybridization.
Michelle Rehme originally hails from Missouri, though she is currently a student and aspiring young farmer in Charlottesville, VA. As database+image manager for the Greenhorns, she manifests swanky compilations of nominated farmers, mailing lists-ers, sponsors, collaborators, and schools+university partners. Michelle also acts as resident weekend blogger.
Laura Schoorl spends most of her days in Oakland gardening, knitting and shoemaking. At night, she dreams of farming flowers and angora rabbits.
Cara was born and raised in Los Angeles and then spent 10 years in the South getting her B.S. in environmental science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an M.A. in environmental anthropology from the University of Georgia. She never thought much about where food comes from until her grad school advisor lured her out to his farm in Oglethorpe County, Georgia where he changed her life with a garden, a herd of pineywood cattle, and some really old log cabins. After spending grad school hanging out with and learning from indigenous Andean potato farmers, she became a nomadic farmer herself, WWOOFing for a year and a half across Europe and the US. She is thrilled to be settling down in Essex, New York to help tell some super inspiring stories through the Our Land project.
Kipchoge Spencer (music)
As the lead singer of the Ginger Ninjas, Kipchoge Spencer has created a unique alt-folk sound that has captivated hip-hoppers, rednecks, and hippies in a single song. He’s going to write one of these songs for the film. He is President of Xtracycle, a social change company that makes car-replacing sport-utility bicycles. Kipchoge is about to embark on his most ambitious adventure yet: a 5000 mile tour with his band through Mexico, self-supported by bicycle.
Naomi is a media specialist on food policy and advocacy issues for Consumers Union and recently served as the Communications & Policy Director for Slow Food Nation. She is an aspiring organic grower who has worked on several organic farms in Central America and apprenticed at Stone Barns Center and the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. In 2006, she helped manage Helsing Junction Farm, one of the country’s largest and oldest organic farms. She has worked as a media relations consultant to The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Portfolio, GQ and WIRED magazines; as a senior publicist at Newsweek magazine; and as the Director of Communications for the American Foundation for AIDS Research. She holds a double B.A. in International Relations and German from San Francisco State University, and a J.D. from Santa Clara Law School, with certificates in International and Public Interest Law.
Sarah Tautin (Our Land)
Sarah Tautin is a producer with experience across the media spectrum, from public radio to museum design, Emmy-winning TV to documentary filmmaking. More importantly, she likes to eat and eat well, and to help all those who allow her to do so in a healthy, just and sustainable manner
Brooke Werley comes from the land of the supermarket outside Philadelphia, but found a heartthrob in the growing life while wwoofing in New Mexico. After some years vagabonding about and farming across the U.S. and Mexico, she decided to dig into the Champlain Valley of Vermont. Here she’s managed farms of different scale and will be helping this season to start a new project on a small plot of land in Addison County. She carries with her the stories of those she’s met along the way, and tries to share as many as she can.
Meet the much beloved Inactive Greenhorns