The new year brings lots of exciting changes to RAFI-USA, among them a new group of staff members. Many of these staffers have filled newly created positions stemming from our expanding programs, particularly the Farmers of Color Network and Expanding Farmers Market Access.
Sabine Frid-Bernards, the Farmers of Color Network Grants Coordinator, was born in Portland, Oregon, and lived for eight years in Brooklyn, New York. She enjoys biking, kayaking, making elaborate salads, crafting, and printmaking, and recently got into welding. Sabine grew up around goats, chickens, tractors, and lots of trees, but it wasn’t until she moved to New York that she got involved in growing food and working with community gardens and urban farms around the city.
While in New York, Sabine got involved in grassroots grantmaking, and as she puts it, “I fell in love with this kind of work.” She continued, “It was through this work that I got to know New York City neighborhoods and learned about community organizing. Funding and supporting small, neighborhood-based projects and working with organizers around the city taught me the impact and importance of distributing funds and resources directly to people and communities doing the work. I’m incredibly excited to be back to grantmaking work, especially in the realm of supporting farmers of color around the South.”
Nikki Pressley is the Farmers of Color Network’s Program Coordinator, a new position. Nikki was born in Mauldin, SC and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Furman University and a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts. Prior to joining the staff at RAFI-USA she worked in the University Relations office at North Carolina A&T State University.
Nikki is excited to be focusing on connecting with and supporting farmers and their communities in addition to sharing their stories. She has been growing food on and off for the last 10 years, starting as an urban farmer in Los Angeles, where one of her most memorable farm experiences was working on a rooftop farm in downtown LA. Her favorite crops grown thus far include radicchio and huacatay, an aromatic herb from the marigold family. Nikki has a five-year-old rescue lab mix named Onyx, and used to play the capoeira (and hopes to pick it up again soon).
In talking about starting her position with RAFI-USA she says, “I’m hopeful about the growing number of farm operations led by BIPOC farmers and optimistic about expanding conversations around land ownership and cooperative farming as well as recognizing the long history of indigenous innovation in agriculture.”
Nikki enjoys good food and company, reading, hiking, and drawing in her spare time.
Liz Scire is RAFI-USA’s new Operations Coordinator. She hails from Clayton, NC and now lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughter. Liz currently has a small collection of house plants, but fondly recalls gardening with her mother when she was younger. “My favorite thing was my salsa garden,” she shared.
Liz is a former science teacher turned nonprofit administrator who earned a Master of Public Administration at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. She shared that, “I have always been passionate about nonprofits, the environment, and North Carolina communities. I am focusing my career on managing nonprofits with a mission in which I believe.”
Angel Woodrum works as the Triangle Incentives Program Coordinator assisting farmers markets to expand programs that make local foods more accessible. Originally from Frankfort, Kentucky, Angel moved to North Carolina in 2015 to complete her Master of Divinity with a concentration in Food and Ecology at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Since graduating, Angel has worked on various sustainable vegetable farms, including managing a nonprofit farm that held a weekly free produce market.
She is very excited to see how the markets continue adapting to COVID-19 in order to keep serving customers and giving farmers an outlet for selling. When shopping at farmers markets, Angel advises that you “try shopping with no list or a ‘loose list.’ Be challenged to cook what is in season and be flexible with what’s on your menu based on offerings at market.”
Angel currently lives in Winston-Salem with her two pets, Kit Kat (black cat) and Stevie (German Shepherd/Lab/Pit mix), both rescues from Orange County Animal Services. For fun, Angel enjoys jump roping, reading fiction, and taking her pup to the dog park.
To read about other RAFI-USA staff members, visit Our Team page.