Board of Directors & Staff

PA Farm Link

We are thankful to our Board of Directors for their dedication in “creating opportunities for the next generation.” The group has a wide range of backgrounds and interests, with goals to keep Pennsylvania Farm Link moving forward, financially sustainable and mission oriented. 

Board members backgrounds and expertise complement each other and intertwine to create a Board that will move Pennsylvania Farm Link solidly to the forefront of organizations which truly make a difference in the Pennsylvania Agriculture industry.

Get In Touch Today

If you would like to get involved in our mission of creating opportunities for the next generation of Pennsylvania farmers, and to protect agricultural land, get in touch with us today!

(717) 705-2121

farmland@pafarmlink.org

2301 N. Cameron Street

Harrisburg, PA 17110

2021 - 2022 Board Members

President: Ross Pifer

Director, Ag. Law Resource and Reference Center

Ross H. Pifer is a Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Center for Agricultural and Shale Law, and Director of the Rural Economic Development Clinic at Penn State Law. In the classroom, Professor Pifer teaches courses on Oil and Gas Law, Agricultural Law, Property, and the Law and Policy of Shale Gas Development. He has given numerous presentations throughout Pennsylvania, across the United States, and internationally on agricultural law and shale gas topics to audiences consisting of agricultural producers, landowners, attorneys, judges, governmental officials, academics, and the general public.

Professor Pifer received his B.S. in agricultural business management from Penn State University, his J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law, and his LL.M. in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Prior to accepting his position with Penn State, he was an attorney-advisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel. He also has professional work experience as an associate attorney with a private law firm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and as a territory manager for the Nutrena Feeds Division of Cargill, Inc. Additionally, he served on active duty with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps in support of the NATO Regional Headquarters, Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) where he provided advice and representation to military personnel and commands in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany. 

Vice-President: Raechel Sattazahn

Knowledge Center Director, AgChoice Farm Credit

Raechel Sattazahn is the knowledge center director with AgChoice Farm Credit where she leads the Association’s customer education efforts, programs for young, beginning and small farmers and government relations. She graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Animal Sciences and a minor in Agribusiness Management. Raechel also holds a MBA in Food and Agribusiness from Delaware Valley University. Raechel and her husband, Doug, live in Womelsdorf, PA on Doug’s family farm, Zahncroft Dairy LLC which milks about 250 cows. Raechel is also part of her family’s farm operation, McCalls Ferry Farm LLC, in Airville, PA that direct markets beef to consumers.

Secretary: Christi Powell

Penn State Extension-Extension Educator, Business Growth and Development

Christi is based in Lehigh County, PA. She works with various farms and ag businesses in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Christi was formerly the Agricultural Program Coordinator in Northampton County.

Aside of previous agricultural education and club involvement from Penn State and current professional Penn State Extension work, Christi comes from a family owned livestock and crop farm in Carbon County where she continues to farm with her family today. She also volunteers her time with the Carbon County 4-H Livestock Club as the Organizational Leader and Beef/Sheep/Swine Leader.

Treasurer: Lyndsey Antanitis

MBA Student & Co-Founder of Urban Farming Initiative

Lyndsey is a full-time MBA student at Northeastern University, with a concentration in Sustainability. She is co-founder of Urban Farming Initiative in Cincinnati, OH. She previously worked at Rodale Institute, as the Veteran Farmer Training Coordinator. Lyndsey, is a graduate of the Delaware Valley University Organic Farming Certificate Program and the Veteran Farmer Training Program. Lyndsey also served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force for five years. She holds a B.S. in Health Sciences and a Certificate in Organic Farming.

Tabitha Barbarito

Project Manager of Pasa Sustainable Agriculture's Foodshed Mapping Project

Tabitha is working with state and regional partners to aggregate resource data across all areas of the agriculture continuum as Project Manager of Pasa Sustainable Agriculture’s Foodshed Mapping Project. Prior to joining Pasa in the fall of 2020, she worked for 5 years as a project and program manager in the field of community and economic development. Tabitha grew up on a 130 acre beef cattle farm, has worked as a farm market manager, and has local food council volunteer experience.

 

Lauren Feldman

FSA Loan Specialist Officer

Lauren Feldman is a Farm Loan Specialist for the USDA Farm Service Agency. In her current position, she reviews farm loans for approval and helps loan officers through any challenges they may face while administering loans to Pennsylvania’s farmers. She has also developed and provides a training program for new loan officers and loan analysts who are starting their career with the agency. Prior to her current position, Lauren worked in the Lancaster County FSA office as a Program Technician prior to becoming a Loan Officer in 2015. From 2011-2014, Lauren worked at Lancaster DHIA after attending Delaware Valley University where she obtained a B.S. in Business Administration. She currently resides with her husband on their hobby farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where they recently started their own breeding herd of natural colored sheep.

Kegan Hilaire

Small & Diversified Farm Consultant, Organic Consulting, Rodale Institute

Kegan was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, before moving to Philadelphia to complete his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Temple University. After joining a CSA in the city, he was hooked on the production of fresh, local, seasonal food. It has led him from Sales manager of a 5th-generation dairy farm, to managing a diversified, organic farm, to the Rodale Institute Farmer Training Program, and finally to the Rodale Institute Consulting team as the Small Farms and Diversified Vegetable Consultant. Kegan also owns and operates a small organic farm in Emmaus, PA.

Jody Leighty

Esquire, Stock & Leader Attorneys at Law

Jody serves as the chair of the Real Estate Practice Group and the Agricultural Industry Group, and also practices in the Estates Group. She counsels clients in both the Stewartstown and York offices on farm succession planning, business development, farmland leases, and ag preservation. Growing up near her grandparents’ fruit and cattle farms in southern York County, Jody understands the needs and challenges facing the agriculture community today.

Jody is very active in the community serving on numerous boards and committees. Most recently, Jody was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for Steam Into History. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Pennsylvania Farm Link, Southern Branch YMCA, and on the grants committee with the York County Bar Foundation.

The Central Penn Business Journal has recognized Jody as one of the regions 30 “Women of Influence” and Central Pennsylvania’s “40 Under 40 Business People.”

Diane Matthews-Gehringer

Director of Farmland Preservation-Lehigh County

Diane Matthews-Gehringer is the Director of Farmland Preservation for Lehigh County. Her family operates a crop and dairy farm in Weisenberg Township. She has previously worked in agricultural research specializing in organic pest management and as a land preservation manager at a local conservancy promoting the use of conservation easements for land protection and preservation. Diane is chair of the Weisenberg Township Planning Commission. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Pennsylvania State University and Masters of Science Degree from the University of Delaware, both in the field of Entomology. She also holds an Associates Degree in Ornamental Horticulture. Diane has been involved in PA Farm Link since its inception.

Abbie Spackman

Project Assistant, AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians

Abbie Spackman is the project assistant for AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians and provides worksite evaluations and recommendations to farmers and agricultural workers who have disabilities or long-term health conditions. She has a degree in Agricultural and Extension Education from Penn State and began working with AgrAbility in 2015. Abbie has a strong background in agriculture. She grew up on a sheep and certified organic vegetable farm in central Pennsylvania and spent time working on a conventional beef and grain operation in Nebraska. Along with working for AgrAbility she also works on her family farm growing a variety of crops, herbs, and flowers and operating The Heirloom Farmer. She is also carrying on the family tradition of growing heirloom pie pumpkins and making maple syrup.

Sarah Sparks

Executive Director, Pennsylvania FFA Foundation

Sarah Sparks is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania FFA Foundation. She has worked in agriculture education for over 16 years, 8 of those as an agriculture educator/FFA Advisor for Kennard Dale High School. She has been with the FFA Foundation for 8 years. Sarah is the mother of 4 children and lives on a 15 acre farm in Thomasville, PA raising meat goats, angus cattle and laying hens. 

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.
He is based in Lebanon County. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

John Vogel

John Vogel was the former Editor of American Agriculturist, a farm business publication/website serving Northeast agriculture from Maine to Maryland. He oversaw editorial content, and covered ag technology, finance and policy issues for Penton Ag.

As Farm Link’s co-founder, John and others were instrumental in developing the forerunner of today’s Next Generation Farmer Loan Program. Farm-raised and with a B.S. from Iowa State University, he managed his family’s central Iowa farm until selling it in 2003.

John serves on Penn State’s Ag Council, Penn Veterinary School’s Board of Overseers and Christian Farmers Outreach’s board. He’s a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumnus and honorary national Alpha Zeta member.

PA Farm Link Staff

Darlene Livingston

PA Farm Link
Executive Director

Marlene M. Kaltenbach

PA Farm Link
Associate

Michelle Kirk

Eastern PA
Representative

Darlene Livingston

PA Farm Link
Executive Director

Tyler Hoffman

PA Farm Link
Program Development Associate

Michelle Kirk

Database Program Associate