Meet CFSA’s 2021 Board of Directors Candidates

by CFSA | Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 – 

We’re excited to introduce you to CFSA’s five board candidates up for election at the 2021 annual meeting. Below, you’ll meet:

  • 迈克尔·布朗(SC)
  • 马文Frink (NC)
  • 凯瑟琳•刘易斯 (SC)
  • 凯特·雷纳(NC)
  • Lillian “Ebonie” Alexander (NC)

Read on for details of their amazing work and life experiences, and you’ll see why we’re honored to accept their candidacy for the CFSA Board of Directors.

迈克尔·布朗 is the Executive Director of Sustaining Way and its flagship demonstration site, 安妮的家, located in Greenville, SC’s historic Nicholtown. A native of Spartanburg, SC, Michael holds a BA in Political Science from Alabama A&M University, an MPA. from The Ohio State University, and a JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Michael served 12 years as the District One Representative for Spartanburg County Council, was the first African American Vice-Chair, and chaired the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee. A long-serving member of the Economic Development Committee, Michael worked to establish 20,000 jobs and deliver more than $8 billion of development to the county. Among many community service roles, he has served on the South Carolina Bar Board of Governors, serves as President of the Spartanburg NAACP, is an alumnus of the Liberty Fellowship, and is an Aspen Global Leadership Fellow. A trained apiarist certified in Sustainable Agriculture, Michael is a Board Member of the South Carolina Food Policy Council working to combat the reality of food swamps/food deserts in the communities throughout the state. He is passionate about helping heal the land and started a regenerative urban farm, 生命的根源, in 2019. Michael is a candidate for a first term.


马文Frink 是一个退休的美国人.S. Army veteran with 15 years of service, including deployment. After returning home, he worked for the Army’s Special Operations Center of Excellence in Fort Bragg, NC. At the same time, he found himself suffering from anxiety and PTSD. His father introduced him to farming as a way to deal with his PTSD. After his father’s death, Marvin fulfilled his dream of starting a Briarwood Cattle 农场, where Marvin raises, 流程, and sells healthy Black Angus cattle. Now with more than 15 years of cattle rancher experience, Marvin has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to farming and the healthy, humane way to raise cattle and hogs by regenerative farming. His organizational affiliations include the 农场er Veteran Coalition, the Rainbow Push Coalition, the NC Cattlemen’s Association, Homegrown by Heroes, and the Wounded Warrior Association. Marvin is a candidate for a first term.


凯瑟琳•刘易斯 has always had a passion for local food and farms, so when a part-time opportunity blossomed into a full-time position managing a 40-acre blueberry farm, 她说,是的! As the Director of Operations for six years, Katherine created and implemented food safety strategies, maintained good standing with Clemson’s organic program, and oversaw the daily operations. Like other small farms, she wore many different hats from weeder to packer to sales representative 和更多的. After several years of being certified organic, she began consulting for several other farms that were interested in becoming an organic operation and helped them receive and maintain their organic certification. In 2021 Katherine decided to focus on being a mom to her two young boys and started her website Naturally Katherine! 在这个平台上, she strives to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers through empowerment and education. She loves highlighting local farms and helping connect consumers with local products that they will love. Katherine is a candidate for a first term.


凯特·雷纳 of Brevard, NC, is the Assistant 农场 Operations Manager at Gaia Herbs. With her earliest memories of playing in the dirt in a home garden, the relentless intrigue of living things led Kate to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, then on to serve as a Peace Corps 志愿者 for three years in El Salvador. From this experience, she emerged with a conscience towards the global impact of conventional farming systems, health and nutrition, and cultural sensitivity. Bringing these learnings home, Kate worked as an apprentice on an organic farm and deepened her awareness of both nutrition in relation to soil health and her consciousness toward climate change. A brief internship with Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro, NC, then three years of managing the Midtown 农民 Market led her to pursue a master’s degree in Nutrition Sciences with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture at Meredith College. She has been enjoying expanding agricultural experience now in Western NC, from her time as a sous-chef for a local catering company specializing in local, organic ingredients to her four years with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company as an Agricultural Supervisor, growing produce for the Taproom Restaurant, assisting the Executive Chef in local sourcing initiatives, and connecting line/prep cooks and waitstaff with the farms in which ingredients were sourced. In her work at Gaia Herbs, Kate combines all facets from her life experiences, from migrant farmworker health and awareness, organic and regenerative agriculture practices, local community relations, 和更多的. Kate is a candidate for a first term.


Lillian “Ebonie” Alexander is Executive Director of the Black Family Land Trust Inc. (BFLT). The BFLT is a niche land trust and one of the nation’s only regional land trusts dedicated to the preservation and protection of African-American and other historically underserved landowners’ land assets. Ebonie designed and implemented the African American Land Ethic© and Wealth Retention and Asset Protection (WRAP) programs.  Ebonie currently serves on the boards of the American 农场land Trust, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the Carolina 农场 Stewardship Association. Ebonie was awarded the 2020 Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution from The Institute for Engagement & Negotiation at the University of Virginia.  A native of Maryland, Ebonie lives in rural Virginia on land that has been in the family for generations. She is a proud Virginian, avid reader, and lover of history, and grandmother of two. Ebonie can trace her family’s history in Virginia to the mid-1750s. Ebonie is a candidate for a second term.  


And those are the candidates! If you want to meet the 14 current board members, check out the CFSA Board of Directors page. If attending the 2021 CFSA Annual Meeting for members or voting for any of the candidates above is of interest, 看到这些细节 on how to join or renew your membership. Not sure if you’re a member? 检查此表格

Hope to see you at the annual meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 16!