Nena Johnson has worked in the good food and farm movement since 2004. As part of the leadership team at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, she spent nearly a decade working to connect the public with where their food comes from and the people who grow it. In 2008, she founded the Growing Farmers Initiative and the National Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns – programs focused on training and supporting the next generation of agriculturalists.
In 2013, Nena left the U.S. to pursue an MBA in Advanced Farm Management at the Royal Agricultural University in England. Her studies took her from weeding alongside first-time farmers on Welsh hillsides to sinking her hands into compost piles on the Prince of Wales’ Duchy Home Farm. While there, she worked with the Soil Association on their Future Growers program, wrote for the Sustainable Food Trust on young farmer issues, and developed business training curricula for Bristol Food Producers’ farmer training course. She graduated from the RAU with merit in July 2015 having completed a dissertation on the business case for new entrants to small-scale vegetable production in the UK.
Additionally, Nena manages the family farm business (a cow dairy in the Andes of Ecuador) via WhatsApp and frequent visits to the equator. Besides the cows, Hacienda La Chima also boasts a small flock of Dorper sheep, layers and trout. Since returning to the U.S., Nena has continued to follow her passions of working with and for farmers and the organizations that support all aspects of the movement in the region and beyond.