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Board of Directors

Board members featured from left to right: Steve Sprinkel, Molly Nakahara, James Nakahara, Jean Cooper, Kathy Webster, Dru Rivers, Hansel Kern, Javier Zamora. Lisa Bunin not pictured.
 

The EcoFarm Board brings together farmers, advocates, educators, activists and sustainable consumers to guide EcoFarm programs throughout the year. Their experience and commitment help shape EcoFarm's strategic plan and programming directions.

Ecological Farming Association Board Members

Jean Cooper, President

Principal Consultant, Pinch-Hitter Consulting

Jean is an independent non-profit strategic management consultant and advocate for food justice and sustainable food systems. For the past thirty years, Jean has worked towards improving access to food, particularly in bringing awareness to how our most vulnerable populations; seniors, children and adults with disabilities, lack access to affordable, healthy food. Jean worked with the Glide Foundation as the Director of Programs responsible for the organization’s core programs serving the homeless including Glide’s Daily Free Meals Program. During her tenure at Glide, Jean became the Steering Committee Chair for the Tenderloin Hunger Task Force and an Appointed Voting Member of the San Francisco Food Security Task Force, which together influenced the City to pass a Resolution to End Hunger in San Francisco by 2020. Before working at Glide, Jean was a chef, caterer and general manager of several restaurant operations within the San Francisco Bay Area. Jean earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Government from Mills College and her MBA in Finance and Economics from the Lokey School of Business at Mills College.

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.

Steve Sprinkel, Treasurer

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.

Javier Zamora, Secretary

Farmer/Owner, JSM Organics

Javier Zamora was born in Michoacan, Mexico. From age 7, Javier helped tend the family’s vegetable plot and worked in his school’s 5 acre garden. Javier came to the States at age 20 where he earned his landscaping degree from San Joaquin Delta College and his organic production degree from Cabrillo College, and trained at the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) in Salinas. He is now the proud owner and operator of JSM Organics, cultivating 29 acres of strawberries and unique varieties of vegetables and flowers in Royal Oaks and Aromas, CA. 

Lisa J. Bunin, Ph.D.

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.

Hansel Kern

Owner/Farmer, 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 who pay a membership fee in exchange for access to a store that runs on the honor system, a variation on a CSA that allows members to choose the produce they want. The farm also supplies produce to several local restaurants and operates a small farmers’ market during the summer in conjunction with the local Mono tribe where produce can be purchased with WIC coupons. In 1999, Hansel started a school garden at the local elementary school where he shares his enthusiasm for the land 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 some of the products from the garden in the school lunches. Hansel represents EFA at the Heartland Festival at Double-T Acres in Stevinson, CA and the Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee Festival in Clovis, CA.

James Nakahara

Spiraledge

James got started with agriculture through gardening and landscaping in Oakland, CA. He farmed and raised animals in the Grass Valley area at Dinner Bell Farm and later became an apprentice at UCSC's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Apprenticeship Program (CASFS). James moved on to managing a small scale organic farm in Pescadero called Green Oaks Creek Farm and then managed Pie Ranch's 75 acre integrated crop and livestock operation. James now works with Spiraledge, a multi-faceted company where he manages a seven acre homestead consisting of animals, goats, meat birds, layer hens, fruit trees, native perennials, and vegetables, utilizing biodynamic and sustainable organic practices. James has a passion for both agriculture, and for those who work in the agricultural field. 

Molly Nakahara

Owner/Farmer, Dinner Bell Farm

After a decade teaching urban youth how to grow and eat fresh food, Molly and two partners founded Dinner Bell Farm in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. On forty acres of land just outside of Grass Valley, the three produce pasture-raised meats, a diverse array of fruits and vegetables and beautiful cut flowers. Molly is a ninth generation Californian and a descendant of Japanese American lettuce and onion farmers in the Salinas Valley. She holds a BS from UC Berkeley and attended the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Farm and Garden Apprenticeship.

Kathy Webster

LeftCoast Grass Fed/ TomKat Ranch LLC

Kathy Webster is the Food Advocacy Director for TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation/LeftCoast GrassFed. In 2008, Kathy helped develop and launch the LeftCoast GrassFed business for TomKat Ranch and acts as advisor to the overall operations while helping run its educational programs. LeftCoast GrassFed is a certified AGA and Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) business, raising Black Baldies, an Angus/Hereford cross. Kathy contributes to improving school nutrition with the La Honda/Pescadero Unified School District (LHPUSD). She serves on the board of American Grassfed Association and is an active collaborator on beef processing bottlenecks working with government officials, Niche Meat Processing Assistance Network, and the Central Coast Livestock group. A native Californian, Kathy holds a B.S. in dietetics/nutrition from CSU Chico and lives in Pescadero, California with her husband.