Our Staff


Jeff MoyerJeff Moyer, Executive Director
Jeff Moyer is a world renowned authority in organic agriculture. His expertise includes organic crop production systems with a focus on weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design. Jeff is perhaps most well-known for conceptualizing and popularizing the No Till Roller Crimper for use in organic agriculture. In 2011, he wrote Organic No-Till Farming, a publication that has become a resource for farmers throughout the world.

Jeff brings a farmer’s perspective and approach to issues in organic agriculture. He is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board, a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic, the Chairman of the Board of Director of The Seed Farm, part of the Green America Non-GMO Working Group, a Project Member of The Noble Foundation’s Soil Renaissance project, and a Board Member of PA Farm Link.

In September 2015, Jeff was appointed as Executive Director of Rodale Institute after spending the last four decades at the Institute, helping countless farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic methods.


Research

Kristine Nichols Dr. Kristine Nichols, Chief Scientist
Dr. Kristine Nichols examines the impacts of management such as crop rotation, tillage practices, organic production, cover crops, and livestock grazing on soil aggregation, water relationships, and glomalin at the Institute. She received a Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology and in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota, a Masters in Environmental Microbiology from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Maryland. Dr. Nichols has worked as a Soil Microbiologist with the USDA for over 14 years, the first three in Beltsville, MD and then at Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) in Mandan, ND for the next 11 years.
Dr. Gladis Zinati, Associate Research Scientist
Dr. Gladis Zinati conducts basic and applied research in compost formulations, carbon sequestration, soil fertility and pest management to improve organic crop production and quality. She has undergraduate degrees in General Agriculture and Agriculture Engineering, MSc. degree in Horticulture from the American University of Beirut, and Ph.D. in Soil Fertility from Michigan State University. She formerly worked as an Extension Specialist in Nursery Crops for Rutgers University in NJ.
Emmanuel Omondi Dr. Emmanuel Omondi, Research Director for Farming Systems Trial
Dr. Emmanuel Omondi manages all research activities of the Farming Systems Trial, comparing organic and conventional grain cropping systems. He also evaluates residue management, cover crop options, crop spacing, and weed tolerance and density dynamics combined with reduced tillage practices that can help in managing weeds, enhancing soil quality, improving yields, and encourage adoption of organic farming. Dr. Omondi grew up on a farm in Kenya and has been involved in sustainable agriculture work since 1992. He has 15 years’ experience as Executive Director for a sustainable agriculture Associate Degree equivalent training institution in Kenya, as well as four years as Research Associate and Project Manager for a USAID funded, University of Wyoming-led, conservation agriculture research project in East Africa. He holds a BS degree in General Agriculture from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Agronomy from the University of Wyoming.
Dr. Andrew Smith, Research Director for Vegetable Systems Trial
Dr. Andrew Smith oversees the project, measuring soil quality, economic profit, insect damage and weed tolerance, and nutritional quality - quantity of nutrients and other components - in organic and conventional vegetables. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy and Crop Science from Cornell University, Master’s Degree in Entomology from University of Maryland, and recently, Ph.D in Molecular Ecology from Drexel University. Dr. Smith has also studied Integrated Pest Management in Guatemala with the Peace Corp as well as managed a fruit and vegetable farm for 9-10 years.
Andrew Smith1
Rick Carr, Compost Production Specialist
Rick Carr earned a Master of Science degree in Plant Pathology from Cornell University in 2012. Rick conducted research on understanding the mechanisms associated with vermicompost-mediated disease suppression and his work has contributed to the understanding of biologically-based disease suppression as well as a better understanding of Pythium aphanidermatum development and pathogenicity. When Rick was not in the lab, he was often doing outreach and education with Master Composters and Gardeners of New York State. Shortly after graduating from Cornell, Rick left the United States for a research opportunity on a large certified organic farm in Argentina. While in Argentina, Rick developed a new perspective on how laboratory studies translate to on-farm research and application. Rick has joined the research staff at Rodale Institute as their Compost Production Specialist and is currently working on a novel seed treatment for suppressing soil-borne plant pathogens, new technologies for urban agriculture, and a large-scale composting project.
Kate Harms, Research Technician
Kate works as a project manager and principal investigator for a research study investigating bat activity in agricultural landscapes to develop organic pest management. She also manages agroforestry projects at the institute and is an instructor in the institute’s farmer training program, workshops, and classes. She currently serves as the chair, a position she has held for nine years, of the Longswamp Township Environmental Advisory Council.  Kate received her Masters in Biology from East Stroudsburg University, then worked in soil and water resource conservation as Resource Conservationist at the Lehigh County Conservation District. Other past experience includes over 15 years in environmental education and work in the veterinarian field. When she’s not at the institute she is also the Creatures Division Manager for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, working on animal welfare and wildlife conservation programs.
Tara Caton, Research Technician
Tara assists with current research projects, such as shade avoidance, FST, VST, and compost extract. Tara received her Bachelor of Science in Organismal Biology and Ecology at Kutztown University where she studied seed dispersal mode selection on seed size variation. After her Bachelor’s, Tara received a Master of Science in Biology with a concentration in Botany from Bucknell University, where she studied hybridization of Australian spiny Solanum as a means to clarify vague species boundaries. Her love of plants extends outside of Rodale Institute as a Planting Science mentor with the Botanical Society of America where she assists grades 4-8 with botany related science projects through a web platform.

Farm Operations 

Ross Duffield Ross Duffield, Farm Manager
Ross came to the Rodale Institute in 2013 with more than twenty years of farming experience. He grew up on a dairy farm in North East Pennsylvania where, at an early age, he learned the value and importance of animal care and pasture management. After attending Kutztown University and working as a school teacher for several years, Ross realized his true passion lay in organic agriculture. This path led back to farming and, eventually, to the Rodale Institute where he serves as Farm Manager.At Rodale Institute, Ross is responsible for field maintenance including planting and seeding, maintaining the farm equipment necessary to work the fields, and expanding the livestock operations, particularly the vertical integration of the poultry and hog operations into crop rotations. In this unique position, he utilizes his teaching background and skills in sharing his farming expertise with aspiring and transitioning farmers.Within the last year, Ross has overseen the construction and operation of the Rodale institute hog facility. This facility offers hogs the opportunity to forage on organic pasture crops when they choose, as well as provide a shelter that is efficient and clean. Free access to pasture and a deep straw bedding pack provide a healthy place for a variety of hogs whether they are farrowing or finishing. Animal comfort is a direct result of the operation and a reduction of labor allows for the farmer to spend less time cleaning and more time profiting from raising these wonderful animals.
Don Jantzi, Field Operations Foreman
Don manages Rodale Institute's apple orchards, which are home to 20 varieties of scab resistant apples. Don has been working in the orchards since his interest in growing organic apples originated, being open to experimenting with different pesticide-free techniques.
Don Jantiz
Shelby Dukes, Animal Husbandry Coordinator
Shelby cares for the farm's animals; feeding, watering, medical, maintain pastures and manage rotational grazing of livestock. Shelby was raised on a crop and poultry farm in southern Delaware. She attended the University of Delaware and attained a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal and Food Sciences. While at UD, Shelby worked on the University Dairy Farm as well as the University’s Beef and Sheep Farm. She has also worked as an Assistant Farm Manager at a dairy sheep farm producing cheese.
Maggie Saska, Plant Production Specialist
Maggie oversees all horticulture including greenhouse operations and gardens. Maggie has over 20 years of experience spanning commercial production, university research, and education. Her interests and love of plants has led her to work on farms and greenhouses, teach at the New York Botanical Garden and even run a university based plant tissue culture lab.Maggie has a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and a master’s degree in Plant Science both from University of Connecticut. She has published several articles and received an award from the USDA/Natural Resource and Conservation Service for “Women Inspiring Conservation in Connecticut”. In 2014, Maggie accepted the position of Plant Production Specialist on the farm.
 
Dan Kemper Daniel Kemper, Field Foreman
Dan manages all vegetable production fields including planning, plowing, planting and maintenance as well as assists researchers with project ideas and vegetable research plots. After numerous plant science classes and an internship at Quiet Creek Farm, Dan received a Bachelors in Biology at Kutztown University. Dan then worked for Quiet Creek Farm for two years, later becoming a Strategic Support Team Member at the Institute, and now Field Foreman.
Michael Schmaeling, Resident Beekeeper | Facilities Team Member
Michael manages and maintains our honeybee conservancy, building beehives and planting pollinator habitats. As a facilities team member, Mike builds necessary equipment, greenhouses/hoop houses, assisting and supporting facilities.
Michael Schmaeling
1779-Farm-FirstCrops-51 (1) Lynn Trizna, Rodale Institute St. Luke’s Organic Farm Project Manager
Lynn began farming in 2007, when she spent the summer working on her first farm. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, but decided to follow a more rural path.
Stephanie Zimmermann-Schmitt,
Rodale Institute St. Luke’s Organic Farm Assistant Manager
Stephanie began working at the St. Luke's Rodale Institute Organic Farm as a farm worker since its first season, later becoming the farm's Assistant Manager. Prior to working at this location, Stephanie began farming and caring for livestock at Rodale Institute in 2014. When she's not working, Stephanie enjoys raising hogs at home.
Mark Fabian, Grounds Keeper/Mechanic
Mark has worked in various construction fields for the past 26 years. He then began working at the Institute as a Facilities Team Member, recently making a lateral move to his current position.

Development & Communications

Jeff Tkach, Chief  Growth Officer
Jeff is responsible for expanding Rodale Institute’s corporate and individual donor base, and for building a comprehensive long-term endowment strategy. He also oversees execution of all marketing, public relations and development efforts across the enterprise in order to expand Rodale Institute’s global reach and brand awareness. Prior to working at the Institute, Jeff was the Managing Director, Vice President for Rodale’s Organic Life and Prevention. This position marks a return to Rodale Inc, where from 2009-2013 he served as Organic Gardening’s associate publisher and publisher, after holding several other positions at the company. Previously, Jeff served as vice president of sales and marketing at Life Time Fitness. He also served as group publisher at Active Interest Media from 2013-2015, overseeing Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times. Jeff earned a degree in business marketing from Kutztown University and a post graduate “Authentic Leadership Certificate” from Naropa University in Boulder, CO.
Annie Brown Annie Brown, Director of Development
Annie has been with the Rodale Institute since the fall of 2012, acting first as our West Coast Representative and then assuming the position of Director of Development in January 2016. She is responsible for raising money from foundations, corporations and individuals to allow the Institute to continue our important work. Although her grandmother and mother were both Master Gardeners, Annie boasts a pitch black thumb when it comes to gardening. Her ideal day would be spent hiking far, far away from any garden that needed tending, and instead going to her local farmers' market and buying organic veggies to create a delicious meal.
Hallie Guiseppe, Development Associate
Hallie administers the daily development operations and donor relations. She loves spending her lunch walking the farm, visiting the animals and enjoying the serenity that comes from healthy land, growing healthy food.
Hallie Guiseppe
Diana Martin, Director of Communications
Diana manages the marketing and communications of Rodale Institute, overseeing aspects such as our website, social media, email marketing, advertising, public relations, and publications including New Farm. Diana’s team is diverse and works with events, weddings, workshops, tours, the store, and programs such as veterans and Organic Allentown. Diana is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and bleeds Orange.
Heather Gurk, Rodale Institute Garden Store Manager
Heather manages the Rodale Institute Garden Store, located in the farm’s historic one-room schoolhouse, and Rodale Institute’s Book Club, which aims to unite environmentally conscious people from the local community and beyond. She also assists with in-house copy-editing needs. Formerly the editor of a nutrition publication for registered dietitians, Heather enjoys learning about the benefits of living sustainably and organically and communicating healthful messages to the farm’s visitors.
Heather Gurk
Maria Popa Maria Pop, Education & Outreach Manager
Maria plans and implements educational programs for diverse, multicultural audiences as well as in the development and management of online educational tools for farmers. Her educational background includes a Horticultural Engineering degree, a M.Ed. in Adult Education and a postgraduate Certification in Distance Education from Penn State University.
Jade Cortez, Communications Specialist
Jade coordinates and manages Rodale Institute's website, social media, email marketing, and assists with the Institute's publications and events. Jade has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Certificates in Advertising and Online Marketing, as well as over two years of experience in the Communications field. In her spare time, Jade enjoys sorting through the organic products at Rodale Institute’s Garden Store.
Jadea
Ali Lynn, Wedding & Events Specialist
Ali works in communications as the Wedding & Events Specialist. She leads planning and coordination of major events including logistics and all event details. She also coordinates the volunteers on the farm. She graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Corporate Communications and a minor in Business. Her favorite part of the work-day is saying “hello” to the farm animals.
Lyndsey Antanitis, Veteran Farmer Program Coordinator
Lyndsey oversees interns, curriculum and all resources involved in the Delaware Valley University Organic Farming Certificate Program and the Veteran Farmer Training Program. A recent graduate from both, she is able to channel her knowledge into her passion, which is educating and providing opportunities for others within organic agriculture. Lyndsey served as a Staff Sergeant in the Unites States Air Force where she worked as a Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Technician for five years. Through three deployments, being selected for a Critical Care Air Transport Team, acquiring a B.S. in Health Sciences and training doctors, nurses and medical technicians, her love for helping others has only grown.

Finance & Human Resources

Elaine Macbeth, Director of Finance and Human Resources
Elaine manages the Institute’s budget, all aspects of the organization’s finances, internal controls and human resources for the organization. She has more than 17 years of experience in finance and significant expertise in nonprofit accounting. Elaine has professional experience in auditing, federal and non-federal grants administration, budgeting, financial management, federal regulations and human resources.
Linda Carlson-Lockwood, Accountant/Human Resources Assistant
Linda has been with Rodale Institute since May, 1999 managing various accounting and human resources functions, including payroll processing, accounts payable and receivable, corporate insurance, and employee benefits. Linda graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Business Administration.
Stacy Glackin, Grants Manager
Stacy manages federal and non-federal grant expenses and budgets and monitors completion of grant deliverables and reporting requirements. She also prepares and submits grant proposals and budgets in collaboration with other departments. Stacy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Millersville University and has been working in the nonprofit industry for the past 15 years.

Facilities

Kim Schroeder Kim Schroeder, Director of Facilities
Kim manages the repairs, improvements and grounds-keeping at the Institute. She also administratively supports our Executive Director, Farm Manager and Finance & Human Resources department, ensuring behind-the-scenes mechanics are running smoothly. Kim started as a temporary receptionist, multi-tasking her way into a permanent, full-time position. She instantly fell in love with the farm, and continues to feel she is doing her part in making the world a better and healthier place to live by forwarding the mission of the Institute.
Jay Belanger, I.T. Administrator
Since 2012, James (Jay) Belanger has been working as Rodale Institute's I.T. Administrator. Prior to that he was in leadership positions in I.T. and television at business and education institutions in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Jay taught Computer Science at Albright College and Allegany Community College after starting his I.T. career as a software engineer at Kelly Springfield Tire Company in 1970. His formal education includes a BS in Computer Science from Drexel U. and MS in Computer Science courses at West Virginia U.
Louise DeVall Louise DeVall, Programs Support Assistant | Travel Coordinator
Louise has been with the Institute since August 1999, starting as Assistant Store Manager and eventually spending eight years as Store Manager. In September 2011, she became the Programs Support Assistant and Travel Coordinator for the research and farm operations departments. Louise arranges all travel and speaking engagements for Institute staff, places orders for departments, handles the organic certification paperwork for the Institute, packs and ships orders for the store, and completes general office duties like answering phones, sorting mail, and scheduling meetings.
Matthew Ruppert, Facilities Team Member
Matthew graduated from Berks Career & Technology Center, Cabinetmaking course in 2008. He then worked for an Export Packaging and Heavy Haul trucking outfit in 2008, building custom exporting creates for machinery to be shipped over seas. In 2016, Matt began at the Institute, implementing  his cabinetmaking and construction skills and love of farming.
Matthew Ruppert
Bruce Schroeder
Bruce has been with the Institute since 2014 and wears many hats here. He serves as our courier, helps with lawn mowing in the summertime and completes the janitorial tasks around the farm. Bruce is retired from Carpenter Technology after spending 35 years there and volunteered at the Institute before joining the team as a permanent staff member in 2015.