Elizabeth Gabriel, Director
Elizabeth joins Groundswell as the new Director in January of 2016, bringing significant experience in leadership, education and addressing food sovereignty. For five years, Elizabeth served as founding director of Washington, DC-based non-profit Common Good City Farm, where she grew the organization from the ground up; securing grants, turning a baseball field into a productive urban farm, and established strong community-wide relationships with youth and adults. Her passion for equitable food access and her collaborative leadership style was seminal to the urban agriculture movement of the Nation’s Capital.
More recently, Elizabeth served as the Professional Development Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension. In this role, she developed relationships with educators throughout New York State and created and taught workshops that helped educators with program development, establishing systems for evaluation, volunteer management, fundraising, and program sustainability.
Elizabeth has a background in environmental studies and education and a dual master’s degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Community Development. She moved back to her roots in the Finger Lakes in 2009, where she and her husband Steve co-own a small agroforestry farm and homestead called Wellspring Forest Farm.
You can reach Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kate Cardona, Outreach and Equity Coordinator
Kate Cardona is Groundswell’s Outreach and Equity Coordinator. She works to connect with community partners, coordinates and develops Groundswell programs and curriculum, and supports Groundswell in their commitment to the creation of an equitable local food system.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Kate has been a part of various organizations working for food justice in NYC such as Corbin Hill Farm, Just Food, and the Community/Farmworker Alliance. Kate moved to Ithaca three years ago to deepen her knowledge of food production on a small organic farm. She is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies. Kate is inspired by people’s movements for liberation, land, and power around the world and her commitment to justice is guided by this work. She finds her peace in the garden, on long walks through the gorges, and on the dance floor.
You can reach Kate at email@example.com.
Damon Brangman, Farm to Plate Organizer
Damon Brangman is a Community & School Garden Educator. He teaches gardening and nutrition to local Elementary and High School students, and consults with community gardeners. In 2012, he began working at Cornell Cooperative Extension, in Ithaca NY. Additionally, Damon produces videos, and has completed digital storytelling workshops through the Food Dignity Project, a 5-year research grant funded by the USDA.
While growing up on the small island of Bermuda, he tended a large family garden from a young age. As a teenager he really enjoyed sharing the food he grew, as well as the knowledge of how it’s grown. His first job was farming and landscaping with his Great-uncle during summer breaks from High School. He also worked closely with Roots Development, one of the few organic farms on the island growing a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Damon moved to Ithaca NY in 2004. He created Roots Rising Farm in 2014, as an educational outreach to provide a garden-based curriculum for school students. He has attended numerous conferences and gardening workshops, and is currently organizing educational events, which promote sustainable food production. Media production provides Damon the opportunity to capture the stories created from the healing experiences people encounter through re-connecting to nature.
Joanna Green, Founding Director
Joanna is the founding Director of Groundswell, with over 30 years of experience in the fields of sustainable agriculture and regional food systems development. Before retiring from Cornell University in 2009, she served as Extension Associate with the Cornell Small Farms Program and as Senior Extension Associate with Cornell’s Community, Food and Agriculture Program and Farming Alternatives Program. She is the coauthor of Growing Home: A Guide to Reconnecting Agriculture, Food and Communities, as well as coauthor of the award-winning publication, Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating the Feasibility of New Farm-Based Enterprises. She produces much of her family’s food on a 2-acre homestead farm in Enfield, NY.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Partner Staff
Groundswell is partnering closely with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s South Central NY Ag Team to carry out a three-year project funded by USDA’s Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program. Through this collaboration, CCE educators are providing beginning farmers with one-on-one marketing support, business management consulting, land linking services and technical training.
Monika Roth, Agriculture Business Development Specialist, CCE Tompkins
Monika Roth has been an agriculture extension educator for 35 years working with local farmers on production, business and marketing issues, as well as supporting new farm and food enterprises. Addressing infrastructure needs of farmers, rebuilding the local food system, and improving low income access to local foods are recent areas of emphasis driving the CCE Agriculture work plan. Given Monika’s long history with extension, she is especially adept at networking and linking producers, buyers, consumers, community organizations and Cornell resources. Ask a question…she probably has the answer or knows where to find it! Monika can be reached at 607-272-2292 ext. 126, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt LeRoux, Marketing Specialist, CCE Tompkins
Matt LeRoux is an Agricultural Marketing Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County on a five county team. In that role he works with a diverse mix of produce and livestock producers in the southern tier of NY. In 2008 Matt developed the Marketing Channel Assessment Tool to assist producer decision making and improve marketing performance. You can reach Matt at (607) 272-2292 ext. 159 or email@example.com.
Other CCE South Central NY Ag Team Staff
Forestry, Agroforestry & Natural Resources Specialist
Grazing and Silvopasture Specialist
Agriculture Development Specialist
(607) 687-4020 ext 319