Whether out in the fields or in the office, our expert staff are dedicated to growing the organic movement and assisting farmers through rigorous research, education, and outreach.
Chief Executive Officer
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. His vast experience and knowledge regarding organic farming has provided the media with a reliable source and perspective for information on current agricultural issues.
Jeff has been on staff at Rodale Institute for over 44 years. He spent over 30 years as Farm Manager/Director, was appointed as Executive Director of the Institute in September 2015, and became CEO in September of 2019. Jeff was project leader on the highly acclaimed Organic No-Till project and is the author of the book on this subject: “Organic No-Till Farming – Advancing No-Till Agriculture Crops, Soil, Equipment.” He is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board and currently sits on the boards of Regenerative Organic Alliance as Board Chair and the Soil Health Institute. Jeff is a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic and past Founder and Board Chair of The Seed Farm, a new farmer incubator project.
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Dr. Andrew Smith is responsible for administrating, facilitating and implementing research activities as well as leading and expanding the Research team’s impact on a global stage. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in agronomy at Cornell University and a Master of Science in entomology at the University of Maryland. After two years in the Peace Corp assisting a cooperative of small-scale vegetable farmers in Guatemala and ten years farming organically in Pennsylvania, Smith attended Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he earned his Ph.D. in environmental science with a concentration in molecular and population ecology. Smith formerly held the position of Research Director for the Vegetable Systems Trial.
Dr. Yichao Rui
Yichao is a soil scientist with a focus on improving soil health and environmental sustainability through regenerative practices. Yichao oversees soil health research at Rodale Institute, supporting all short- and long-term projects. He also leads outreach initiatives to educate the public and farmers on the benefits of improving soil health. Yichao holds a B.S. in Biology from Nankai University and Ph.D. degrees in Microbial Ecology and Soil Science from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Griffith University. Before joining Rodale Institute, Yichao worked in the University of Western Australia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a variety of projects evaluating the impacts of climate change, land use, and management strategies on soil organic matter stability, nutrient cycling, and microbial activity.
Dr. Gladis Zinati, director of the Vegetable Systems Trial, also evaluates no-till practices, carbon sequestration, nutrient density, compost formulations, and pest management. She has 26 years’ experience and holds undergraduate degrees in General Agriculture and Agriculture Engineering; a M.S. in Horticulture from the American University of Beirut; and a Ph.D. in Soil Fertility from Michigan State University.
Dr. Fatemeh Etemadi
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Industrial Hemp
Fatemeh is a Ph.D. graduate from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with the concentration in agronomy and crop physiology. Fatemeh works on Rodale Institute’s Industrial hemp research. Before joining Rodale Institute, she worked on different projects in introducing Faba bean as a multi-purpose crop in MA, evaluating best legume varieties in MT, and environment × genotype interaction of legume varieties to environmental factors.
Dr. Kirsten Pearsons
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Watershed Impact Trial
Kirsten studied environmental toxicology at UC Davis before earning her Ph.D. in entomology from Penn State. For her Ph.D., she studied how cover crops and different pest management strategies affect pesticide fate, soil invertebrates, and soil health in no-till field crop systems.
Annie joined the Rodale Institute team in Jan 2020 as the primary technician on the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Cover Crop project. She holds a Biology degree from Middlebury College and has research experience in entomology and pollination ecology. Annie grew up on a small organic farm in Minnesota and she is thrilled to be working in agriculture again.
Amiya works primarily on the Vegetable Systems Trial and other vegetable projects at Rodale Institute. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Before joining the Rodale Institute team, she worked as an applied remote sensing researcher in the NASA DEVELOP National Program.
Casey works primarily on Rodale Institute’s industrial hemp research, while also assisting with the institute’s other research projects. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Spanish from Juniata College. Before joining the Rodale Institute team she worked as a wildlife research technician and an urban permaculture gardener.
Rick directs all farm operations at Rodale Institute, and previously acted as Rodale Institute Compost Production Specialist. He earned a Master of Science degree in Plant Pathology from Cornell University in 2012. When not in the lab, he frequently worked with the Master Composters and Gardeners of New York State. Before coming to Rodale Institute, Rick conducted research on a large certified organic farm in Argentina.
Assistant Farm Manager
Dan manages all vegetable production fields. After numerous plant science classes and an internship at Quiet Creek Farm, Dan received a B.S. in Biology at Kutztown University. He then worked for Quiet Creek for two years before coming to the Institute.
Food Production Specialist
Jesse manages Rodale Institute’s Agriculture Supported Communities farm share and other community-facing food programs. Jesse has Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from William Paterson University of New Jersey. Soon after college, Jesse spent over ten years in corporate restaurants, included as manager in a farm-to-table, fine-dining restaurant where he established relationships with local farmers. His experiences led him to the realization that there were major flaws in how our food system operates and the need for a regenerative food system.
Leah oversees maintenance and operation of Rodale Institute’s machinery. Leah completed Rodale Institute’s Veteran Farmer Training Program in 2019. Prior to coming to Rodale Institute, Leah earned a degree at Marshall University in West Virginia and served in the U.S. Army.
Farm Operations Field Technician
Ian helps with maintaining and designing the landscape. Ian has a work background in landscaping and ornamental gardening. In 2019, Ian received a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainability from Messiah College. He prioritizes landscaping practices that provide ecological benefits as well as aesthetic value. Ian directs special attention toward integrating pollinator habitats on the property.
Amy has an M.A. from Lehigh University in Environmental Policy/Health. Prior to starting at Rodale Institute in 2019 Amy was as a community fellow for Lehigh University, implementing farm to school operations for a local school district. In her current position she supports the daily operations in the packhouse of cleaning, packing, and distribution to the St. Luke’s hospital campuses and CSA members.
Field Operations Foreman
Don manages Rodale Institute’s apple orchards, which are home to 20 varieties of scab resistant apples. Don has been experimenting with pesticide-free techniques in the orchards for over three decades.
John has over a decade of experience in organic farm management. John has most recently been farm manager at Blue Moon Acres in New Jersey and also managed the Delaware Valley University greenhouses for 10 years prior to Blue Moon.
Animal Husbandry Coordinator/Field Technician
Sara oversees all livestock operations at Rodale Institute. Sara graduated from Kutztown University with a Biology/Pre-Medicine degree. While at Kutztown, Sara worked on Rodale Institute’s swine parasite research project, which she will continue to support as Animal Husbandry Coordinator.
Michael manages and maintains the Institute’s treatment-free honeybee conservancy, where he selectively breeds healthy queens to create new colonies. Additionally, he is the manager of the Rodale Institute Founder’s Campus.
Molly, who holds a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Fine Art from Kutztown University, was previously the Farm and Hospitality Manager at Rodale Inc. In her current position, she maintains the ornamental gardens and operates a small organic CSA at the Rodale Institute Founder’s Campus.
Jonathan graduated from Delaware Valley University with a B.S. in Agribusiness after completing internships as a custom harvester and farm manager for companies including Ocean Spray and Hanover Foods. He was previously the part-owner of a vegetable production farm in Reisterstown, MD.
Jeff Tkach serves as the Chief Impact Officer for the Rodale Institute. Jeff is responsible for expanding Rodale Institute’s global influence in healing people and the planet by unlocking the transformational power of regenerative organic agriculture.
As Chief Impact Officer, Jeff leads the development and execution of the Institute’s core strategies, overseeing opportunities for partnership and co-investment that drive positive outcomes for Rodale’s philanthropic and programmatic initiatives.
Jeff served on the Rodale Institute’s Board of Directors in 2016, where he was instrumental in fostering relationships between the organization and business leaders in the organic food industry.
Director of Development
Annie is responsible for raising money from foundations, corporations and individuals so the Institute may continue its work. Previously the Institute’s West Coast Representative, she joined full time in January 2016. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Director of Communications & Marketing
Diana oversees all marketing and communications including the Rodale Institute website, social media, email marketing, advertising, public relations, and the print publication New Farm. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Director of Education
Maria plans and implements educational programs and develops and manages the Institute’s online educational tools for farmers. Her background includes a Horticultural Engineering degree, a M.Ed. in Adult Education, and a postgraduate Certification in Distance Education from Penn State University.
Justin oversees students, curriculum and all resources for the Delaware Valley University Organic Farming Certificate Program summer semester at Rodale Institute and coordinates all facets of the veterans participating in the Veteran Farmer Training Program. He served in the US Army for six years including a deployment to Afghanistan and an overseas tour in Germany. Justin currently lives on a small horse farm in Carbon County.
Meredith grows support for Rodale Institute’s mission through authentic partnership and connection building. She received her Master’s in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and completed a six month practicum in Belize with Ya’axché Conservation Trust, supporting agroforestry concession. She previously worked as a consultant with the UNDP’s Global Programme on Nature for Development.
Visitor Experience Manager
Shawn oversees all weddings, events, and visitor programs at Rodale Institute.
Lauren manages social media, digital marketing, and the website for Rodale Institute. She recently graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and minors in English & American Literature and Animal Studies.
Heather manages the Rodale Institute Garden Store and Rodale Institute’s Book Club. She is formerly the editor of a nutrition publication for registered dietitians.
As the Brand Manager for the Institute, Tammy helps to guide and optimize brand exposure through programs and partnerships, including Rodale Institute Approved, retailer and brand partnerships, and the ambassador program. Before joining the Rodale Institute team, Tammy was the Marketing Programs Manager at Halo, Purely for Pets. Previously she served as Marketing Director of Rodale’s Organic Life & Prevention, Organic Gardening Magazine, as well as several other Rodale publications. Tammy earned her B.A. in Communications/English from Cedar Crest College.
Joining Rodale Institute in November 2019, Josh manages the fundraising database. He earned his B.A. in Communications & Rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh and has over 10 years of non-profit fundraising experience, particularly with database management.
Sam provides on-site technical assistance to farmers, landowners, and businesses that are interested in transitioning land to certified organic and regenerative production systems. He earned a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Cornell University, and has over 12 years of practical farming experience in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland, specializing in vegetable and grain production. Sam is a Certified Crop Adviser and is IOIA Certified in Crops and Livestock. He also serves as a board member for Pennsylvania Certified Organic, PA FarmLink, and sits on the Governing Council for the Organic Farmers Association.
Emily joined the consulting team in January 2020 and will help farmers navigate organic compliance of their operations as they transition to certified organic. She has a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management, focusing in Soil Science, from Pennsylvania State University. Previous to joining the team at Rodale Institute, she worked in the regulatory compliance of organics for a certification agency and a material review organization.
Content Creation & Media Relations Specialist
Margaret produces written content and handles media inquiries for Rodale Institute. Margaret earned her B.A. in Political Science/Environmental Studies from Franklin & Marshall College, and her M.A. in Environmental Policy from Lehigh University. Previously, she worked on environmental policy management in both the public and non-profit sectors.
Finance and Human Resources
Chief Financial Officer
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.
Accountant/Human Resources Assistant
Linda has been with Rodale Institute since May 1999 managing various accounting and human resources functions. Linda graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Business Administration.
Stacy assists with grant proposals, manages federal and non-federal grant expenses and budgets, and monitors completion of grant deliverables and reporting requirements. Stacy holds a B.A. in Accounting from Millersville University and has been working in the nonprofit industry for over 15 years.
Kim has worked in various areas and departments of Rodale Institute for 26 years. As Executive Assistant, she administratively supports the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Impact Officer, and Chief Financial Officer.
Programs Support Assistant and Travel Coordinator
Louise has been with the Institute since August 1999. She arranges all travel and speaking engagements for Institute staff, places orders for departments, handles the organic certification paperwork for the Institute, and more.
Matthew graduated from the Berks Career & Technology Center cabinet making course in 2008. Previously, he worked building custom export crates for machinery to be shipped overseas.
Bruce retired from Carpenter Technology after 35 years and first volunteered at the Institute before joining as permanent staff in 2015.
Senior Technology Analyst
John manages information technology on the farm. John has managed several I.T. departments for companies in New York and Arizona as well as United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Dr. Carl Rosier has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and microbiology from the University of Montana. Dr. Carl Rosier uses his expertise in ecology and soil resource management to inform farmers and others about our soil environment and the effect farming practices have on this critical resource.
Garver is a certified ecological horticulturist, agroecologist, farmer, and educator. He specializes in multi-scale, diverse variety, sustainable crop production. Prior to coming to the Rodale Institute Southeast Organic Center, Garver worked as a ecological horticulture consultant and field production manager for a variety of farms. Garver trained in ecological horticulture at The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dr. Kristie Wendelberger is responsible for expanding organic farming practices throughout the southeast through research, outreach, and education. While obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Plant Biology from Ohio University, Kristie worked on an organic vegetable farm in southeast Ohio. She went on to work in nursery production moving on to ecological rare plant research throughout the tropics, subtropics, and western and southeastern U.S. Kristie earned her Master of Science in Ecology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she looked at regeneration niche requirements of an endangered south Florida plant species. She completed her PhD in Biology from Florida International University in 2016 using remote sensing and greenhouse experiments to answer questions about plant community change along the southern coast of Everglades National Park due to sea level rise and large-scale ecosystem drying.
Dr. Arianna Bozzolo is applying scientific research to advance organic and regenerative agricultural practices in the Southern California area. Arianna earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, a master’s in Entomology, and a PhD in viticulture at the University of Padua, Italy. She is a well-rounded professional with extensive academic experience pertaining to soil science and crop physiology responses to various inputs or environmental stresses, along with general farm management experience.
Nathanael Gonzales-Siemens is returning to his roots and the spirit of discovery that first brought him back into farming after a decade of teaching in inner-city Los Angeles and in China and working for criminal justice reform on the West Coast. Nathanael spent his undergrad years studying Plant Genetics and Biology at UCLA and has a teaching credential for CSU Los Angeles. He grew up on a small farm in California’s San Joaquin Valley and founded two businesses there with his family. The first, now run by his brother, is focused on food justice and sovereignty and the second, operated by his wife, strives to implement regenerative farming practices and to equip and empower traditionally underrepresented groups.