Get to know the FFAR Team

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research’s dedicated staff brings passion and experience to building partnerships, pioneering actionable science and developing the future scientific workforce.

LEADERSHIP

Sally Rockey, Ph.D.

Executive Director

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Julie Reynes

Chief Operating Officer

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Sergio Furman

Chief Development Officer

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SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS

LaKisha Odom

LaKisha Odom, Ph.D.

Scientific Program Director

Soil Health

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Kathy Boomer, Ph.D.

Scientific Program Director

Sustainable Water Management

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Jeff Rosichan, Ph.D.

Scientific Program Director, Next Generation Crops Director

Next Generation Crops

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Timothy Kurt, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Scientific Program Director

Advanced Animal Systems

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John Reich, Ph.D.

Scientific Program Director

Urban Food Systems

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Lucyna Kurtyka, M.S.

Senior Scientific Director

Health-Agriculture Nexus

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Nikki Dutta

Scientific Program Associate

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Rebecca Gyawu

Scientific Program Officer

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Cordelia Hiers

Scientific Program Associate

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Lauren Winstel

Scientific Program Assistant

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DEVELOPMENT

Kashyap Choksi, Ph.D.

Kashyap Choksi, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Partnerships

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Lauren Hershey

Research & Development Officer

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Maile Hartsook

Development Manager

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Haley Hollen

Development Associate

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Emily Larkin

Development Intern

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Emily Mitchum

Development Intern

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  • Kashyap Choksi, Ph.D.

    Kashyap Choksi, Ph.D.

    Director of Strategic Partnerships

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  • Lauren Hershey

    Research & Development Officer

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  • Maile Hartsook

    Development Manager

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  • Haley Hollen

    Development Associate

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  • Emily Larkin

    Development Intern

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  • Emily Mitchum

    Development Intern

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COMMUNICATIONS AND LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Sarah Goldberg

Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs

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Colleen Klemczewski

Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer

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Ryan Conley

Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer

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Brian Oakes

Communications and Legislative Affairs Associate

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Nyasha Osifeso

Communications and Grants Coordinator

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  • Sarah Goldberg

    Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs

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  • Colleen Klemczewski

    Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer

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  • Ryan Conley

    Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer

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  • Brian Oakes

    Communications and Legislative Affairs Associate

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  • Nyasha Osifeso

    Communications and Grants Coordinator

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GRANTS MANAGEMENT

Marina Middleton

Grant Management Officer

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  • Marina Middleton

    Grant Management Officer

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OPERATIONS

Rashada Alexander, Ph.D.

Operations and Impact Director

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Claire Daniels

Administrative Associate

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Tofunmi Ogunlade

Executive Assistant and Office Manager

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  • Rashada Alexander, Ph.D.

    Operations and Impact Director

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  • Claire Daniels

    Administrative Associate

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  • Tofunmi Ogunlade

    Executive Assistant and Office Manager

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Overcoming Water Scarcity

Overcoming Water Scarcity

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Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area addressed water use efficiency in agriculture by developing water conservation and reuse technologies, improving crop and livestock breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of conservation practices and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.

FFAR’s Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area builds on earlier work to increase water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area increased soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.

The Soil Health Challenge Area advances existing research and identifies linkages between farm productivity and soil health, while also addressing barriers to the adoption of soil health practices.

Protein Challenge

Protein Challenge

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Protein Challenge Area sought to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins.

The Advance Animal Systems challenge area supports sustainable animal production through environmentally sound productions practices and advancement in animal health and welfare. Additionally, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops, including plant-based proteins, and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops to increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.

Food Waste and Loss

Food Waste and Loss

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About 40 percent of food in the US, or $161 billion each year, is lost or wasted. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Food and Waste Loss Challenge Area addressed the social, economic and environmental impacts from food waste and loss through research that developed of novel uses for agricultural waste, improved storage and distribution, supported tracking and monitoring, minimized spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovations and changed behaviors to reduce food waste

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area addresses food waste and loss and supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.

Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability

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Supporting innovation is necessary for sustainable results. Over the last 50 years, farmers have tripled global food production thanks to agricultural innovations. Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was a 2016-2018 Challenge Area that focused on understanding the barriers and processes that prevented the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices.

Urban Food Systems

Urban Food Systems

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The 2016-2018 Urban Food Systems Challenge Area addressed feeding urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture and augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.

The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area continues this work and enhances our ability to feed urban populations.

Making My Plate Your Plate

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area focused on helping Americans meet the USDA 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, including research to both produce and provide access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.