Working with Farmers


Cortney Burns
Chef, Author & Consultant

Cortney Burns is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning degrees in Cultural Anthropology and South Asian studies. Upon graduation, she moved to Australia, where she first began to cook professionally. She returned to the States in 2001, and currently splits her time between Cape Cod and New Hampshire. Her book Nourish Me Home was published in 2020. She consults on the setup and extension of various preservation programs around the country.

Homesteader & Writer

Soirée-Leone left the pharmaceutical industry in 2008 to grow and preserve food in an urban setting. She moved to rural Tennessee in 2016 to return to her roots growing up as part of the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s. She sees the opportunity for small, community sustaining fermentation enterprises to support vibrant regional foodsheds.

Meredith Leigh
Author, Activist & Consultant

Meredith Leigh pursues stories and experiences that invigorate the land-to-people connection. She is a specialist in food and agriculture with expertise in ethical meat supply chains. She consults and writes from these foundations, with a focus on the lesser-explored and often ignored margins in the realms of science and food.  Her books are The Ethical Meat Handbook: Mindful Meat Eating for the Modern Omnivore and Pure Charcuterie: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meat and Home. 

Michaela Hayes
Rise & Root Farm, Owner & Farmer
Jason Grauer
Stone Barns Center, Crops & Seed Director

Jason Grauer is the crops director at Stone Barns Center. With a degree in economics from Tufts University, Jason spent the early part of his career in the financial industry. A year spent volunteering at Stone Barns confirmed his desire to farm full time, and he spent two seasons as one of our apprentices. Jason then developed a rooftop greenhouse for Eli Zabar’s Vinegar Factory, worked at Four Season Farm in Maine and assisted with organic seed research in Cornell University’s Plant Breeding and Genetics lab, where he gained a deeper understanding of plant breeding and the seed industry. Jason also co-developed the lab’s first soil-based greenhouse for four-season food production, research and education.

Today at Stone Barns Center, Jason manages the daily responsibilities and organization of field crop production, sales of vegetables from the greenhouse, and field and vegetable experimentation and research.

Cortney Burns collects expertise from a panel that has developed creative and effective means of interacting with farmers. They will discuss these activities along with their link to regenerative agriculture, reduced waste, and improved farm performance.