Steering Committee

The Northeast Grainshed Alliance Steering Committee 
At the 2020 Northeast Grainshed Alliance (NGA) Symposium, the Governance Structure breakout session discussed the advantages of allowing at least a year before formalizing an NGA governance structure. Now, 2 years out, individually and as an organization, we will benefit from a structure that includes a steering committee in addition to our Advisory Board.

The steering committee will agree on the annual plan and budget, monitor committee status/ progress, provide guidance and decision-making, review and approve grant submissions, and update the Advisory Board quarterly.

Term Length: We will hold staggered elections. The first election will establish 7 positions of which 3 positions are a 1-year term and 4 positions are 2-year term. Terms will be determined amongst the committee once established.

Foundational Documents: Steering Committee will develop the Code of Conduct, Requirements for Membership, Annual schedule/ election calendar, Handbook, Job descriptions.

Elections aligned with symposium/Grainshed Gathering in January or February.

Leonard Bussanich

Why would you like to serve on the NGA Steering Committee? 
I believe in the mission of the NGA and I look forward to being part of the Steering Committee that will help guide the organization in its efforts to strengthen the grain basin in the Northeast.
 
How do you intend to further the NGA mission through your position on the Steering Committee?
As Co-Founder of River Valley Community Grains, I believe my experiences and insights can make a significant contribution to the overall efforts of the Steering Committee.
 
Bio:
As Co-Founder of River Valley Community Grains, I am working towards restoring value-added grains in NJ, working with farmers to clean and mill the grains and direct-to-consumer marketing in the form of farmers’ markets. Education background: Master of Arts in US History from Rutgers University and Community Sustainability Management from University of Colorado.

Nadine Magac

Why would you like to serve on the NGA Steering Committee? 
When I discovered local grains about 4 years ago, I couldn’t believe how much better my bread tasted. After learning about the nutritional and environmental benefits, I want to be a part of making regional grains more widely available.
 
How do you intend to further the NGA mission through your position on the Steering Committee?
I have been volunteering with NGA since it started in a project management capacity, supporting Emily behind the scenes with status reporting and developing the interim governance model. I have a background in successfully delivering large, multi-year initiatives and believe I can apply my skills in setting up and executing programs to the NGA mission.
 
Bio:
I currently work for McCormick – part of my job is as an IT partner enabling implementation of AgTech projects. Prior to that, I was at J&J for over 15 years delivering enterprise-wide multi-disciplinary programs.

Tristan Noyes

Why would you like to serve on the NGA Steering Committee? 
I’ve witnessed the incredible collaborative power of professionals who are strengthening the cluster of grain businesses across our region. Collaboration across individuals is creating not only new opportunities, but also new friendships, ideas, and ways to achieve mutually reinforcing goals. As a farmer and a leader of the Maine Grain Alliance, I’ve been proud to help foster communities of farmers, brewers, maltsters, bakers, millers, and researchers to redefine our local and regional grain economy. Together we’ve been able to provide opportunities to learn and share how best to grow and use grains, using a combination of traditional, innovative, and sustainable techniques. The NGA has a unique opportunity to marshal the strengths of outstanding grain leaders and use what is learned to increase demand and availability of grains across the Northeast. I’d be proud to offer my experiences in helping implement initiatives that have provided funds for better post-harvest grain handling abilities on farms, programs dedicated to grain seed restoration, technical assistance programs, and baking and grain education programming that convenes professionals from across the United States and Canada.
 
How do you intend to further the NGA mission through your position on the Steering Committee?
The primary mission of the Northeast Grainshed is at the heart of why I became involved with the Maine Grain Alliance. While the NGA looks to increase demand of Northeast grains and create cohesive networks for collaboration, I’ve been very involved in supporting the Maine Grain Alliance’s mission “to inspire and empower people who are building local grain economies.” I’ve helped to promote beneficial uses of grain to establish food independence, good health, and purposeful jobs within economically viable communities. As a small grain farmer I understand the bottlenecks in our current grain economy and I am motivated to create greater opportunities for our community. As the executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance I’ve been privileged to oversee the successes of events like the annual Kneading Conference which has allowed our community to connect with national audiences, learn from the successes of other regional grain groups, and give us a voice to share why regional grains matter.
 
Bio:
Raised in a farming family in Northern Maine, Tristan developed an early passion for supporting agricultural communities. Today, Tristan is executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance (MGA), which fosters revitalization of local and regional grain economies. He is also co-founder of GROMAINE, a small organic farm in Maine, specializing in landrace and ancient grains. Recently, Noyes helped spearhead Taste Maine’s Future, an initiative from Portland-based O’Maine Studios, which seeks to create new sales channels for Maine food producers through education, storytelling and celebratory events. He has previously served on the elected board of the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society, where he worked to create sustainable year-round agriculture opportunities.

Zachary Robinson

Why would you like to serve on the NGA Steering Committee? 
I would love to help foster a strong and healthy community that is self-sustaining, that directly improves the life I live and the world I interact with every day. The need for local is much more important than mere tribalism. The more something is locally controlled the more it is responsive to the community it serves, while the further away it is the more it is concerned with “the market.” You stop dealing with people and start dealing with concepts. Local is a check on quality and decency. Yes something made in a high-tech factory far away can be “better” made than by the person around the corner, but I’m never going to interact with the owner of that factory, while I will grab a pint at the local pub with my mechanic. Humans rip off strangers not neighbors. It can be in quality, price, or any other metric to “make a buck.” Communities are less concerned with making maximum profits today, as they are on lasting forever. The goal of community is to be there for future generations. All of this is to say, I think what the Grainshed is doing and what it is planning on doing is vitally important. But also it’s just a ton of fun.
 
How do you intend to further the NGA mission through your position on the Steering Committee?
I have I guess one platform and that is increasing engagement, hopefully via membership. I have personally lobbied as many players I can to join the Grainshed. I would love to expand membership, or at least partnerships with retail outlets as this is the point of contact most customers have with our products (grocery stores, coops etc.). I think collaborations across the Grainshed is another great way to build excitement not just with members but also with the public at large. This will increase engagement of members as well as the public. And lastly throwing parties. People love eating and drinking and having a great time and we have all the things to make that happen. Successful parties/events not only build buzz and awareness they also generate revenue directly to the NGA which can be used to further our goals.
 
Bio:
New England born and raised (with a brief stint in the South Pacific), I went to middle and high school in Maine, college in Boston, and have lived in greater Boston ever since. I graduated with a masters degree in organic chemistry. In 2014 I founded Short Path Distillery with two friends which focuses on using as many local ingredients as possible (hence the name Short Path). From the get-go our goal was to make not only a single malt whiskey but a single malt whiskey that uses exclusively locally grown and malted grains. Today we make three such whiskeys.

Tony Rosenfeld

Why would you like to serve on the NGA Steering Committee? 
I am passionate about the mission! And, as a processor (miller) and end user of local wheat (baker), I am committed to working with other participants in the NGA to continue growing the footprint of local grains in the region.
 
How do you intend to further the NGA mission through your position on the Steering Committee?
In this position, I would seek to use my experience and knowledge as a processor and end user and relationships with local grower and makers in the region to further build out the NGA network and brand.
 
Bio:
Tony Rosenfeld is the co-founder of One Mighty Mill in Lynn, MA. OMM has multiple stone mills in MA and NY and is focused on transforming organic wheat, much of it local, into delicious, nutrient-rich baked goods. Prior to OMM, Tony co-founded the B.GOOD restaurant group and did freelance food-writing for, among others, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Cooking Light.

Hannah Smalls

Why would you like to serve on the NGA Steering Committee? 
To be more aware of our members thoughts on what is necessary for the NGA to continue to prosper and fully achieve our overall mission.
 
How do you intend to further the NGA mission through your position on the Steering Committee?
Continue to work towards marketing and outreach strategies that build demand for Northeast grain- related businesses. While focusing on attainable steps in order to support farmers and processors in infrastructure and business aid.
 
Bio:
I am Hannah Smalls, she/her pronouns, and proud Outreach Coordinator for the NGA. I am currently in the business planning process of having my own resilient farmstead. I have a BS in Sustainable Food and Farming, with a long time mission to be an active part in achieving a healthy, thriving, and resilient local food system.

Andrea Stanley

Why would you like to serve on the NGA Steering Committee? 
To keep the momentum of the local grain economy moving forward and expanding.
 
How do you intend to further the NGA mission through your position on the Steering Committee?
To anticipate the work needed to bring together more growers, processors, and makers and align our mission as much as possible. To help the NGA become a sustainable organization with good governance structure, ample funding and staffing support.
 
Bio:
Founding member of NGA and Craft Malt Guild. Founder of Valley Malt (2009) and Ground Up Grain (2018).