Advocating for America’s Specialty Crop Farmers
At Farmroot, our mission is to increase awareness about the value of America's specialty crop farms, dispel myths, and advocate for a strong economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable food supply from the United States. If you like to eat, come root for us.
Co-Founder & Director
Farmroot's founder is a 4th generation onion farmer from the lower Hudson Valley's black dirt muck soil of Orange County, New York After leaving the farm to pursue a Master of Arts degree in broadcasting and film studies from the University of Iowa and a short stint in rural Wisconsin, Chris and his wife Eve moved back to New York and the family farm in 1993.
Chris has been farming full-time since 1996 and has been actively involved with public policy issues as well as presenting the farmer's side of the story to the media. He has worked on issues on the local, state, and federal levels, ranging from crop insurance reform and disaster aid, labor and immigration issues, and conservation and general Farm Bill issues.
Chris has appeared in hundreds of media stories in local, state, and national press. In 2010 he testified before the United States Senate Agriculture Committee: Farm Bill Oversight Hearing: Maintaining Our Domestic Food Supply through a Strong U.S. Farm Policy.
Co-Founder & Director
Communications Director, Farmroot
Audrey is a co-developer of Farmroot and a lifelong East-Coaster from Virginia, the Blue Ridge, and Berkshire mountains. With an extensive background in grassroots advocacy, she designs and manages sustainable agriculture and environmental protection public affairs initiatives to advance public policy objectives for economic development and environmental health stakeholders.
Audrey began her career at the DNC on the 1984 Mondale presidential campaign and later on Capitol Hill in the office of Illinois Congressman Terry Bruce. After more than a decade of campaign management and corporate public affairs work for one of the largest U.S. government affairs and public relations firms, in 1997, she built and continues to lead a high stakes communications practice aligned closely with Chambers top-rated litigators and regulatory attorneys and practices. Audrey, her three children, and husband are avid novice berry farmers.
Co-Founder & Director
Finance Director, Farmroot
Eve was raised in Wisconsin with stories of farm life but never lived on a farm. While attending graduate school, she met Chris and was smitten. Together she and Chris returned to his family’s farm in 1993 and have worked on a wide variety of agricultural issues, including securing a $10 million appropriation for Orange County, New York onion farmers.
Eve works with the very best related consultants in graphic and web design, social media, video, print, legal, and other disciplines with an eye for detail. Eve is the former Agricultural Economic Development Director for Orange County, New York. She was selected as a New York State Senator 2002 Woman of Distinction. When she’s not in front of her computer, you’ll find her outside with a good book watching the crop grow.
Farmroot Board of Directors
The Farmroot Advisors provides expert counsel and support for raising awareness of crucial specialty issues and public policy impacting specialty crop farming in the United States.
Katherine Brieger, MA, RD, CDE
Katherine is nationally recognized for her expertise in Care Coordination, Nutrition Services, and Diabetes Management. She is Chief of Human Resources and Executive Director of HRHCare Planetree Institute and has been associated with HRHCare for over 27 years. Hudson River HealthCare (HRHCare) is a not-for-profit, federally qualified health center delivering comprehensive primary, preventive, and behavioral health services.
Katherine is also the President of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved and served a three-year term on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant, and Fetal Nutrition, including one year as Chairperson. She served as a faculty member of the National Health Disparities Collaborative (HDC) from 2000-2009. Katherine continues to serve as a long-standing member of the New York State Diabetes Task Force. She has designed numerous successful programs that address diabetes and special populations, most specifically migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Phil brings over 16 years of experience in agricultural development and marketing at the local, state, and national levels and successfully starts and manages three food and development-oriented businesses. Phil’s projects include strategic and business planning for public and private sector clients, regional studies of food marketing systems, and Southern Maryland's tobacco-transition program design.
Brian A. Nault, PhD
Brian is a Professor in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. His research and extension program focuses on applied insect ecology and pest management in vegetable crops, especially onion, potato, and snap bean. He has also become interested in pollination services provided by native bees in vine crops, particularly pumpkin.
Before coming to Cornell, Brian was an Assistant Professor in the Entomology Department at Virginia Tech, in Painter, VA. Brian majored in Entomology for all three degrees: he received a B.S. from The Ohio State University, an M.S. from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.