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

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: 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. 

Secretary: 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.

Treasurer: 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.



Joe Diamond

Western Staff Coordinator & Region 4 Coordinator, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

Joseph M. Diamond started his Farm Bureau career with Maryland Farm Bureau in 1991.  He served as a field services representative and young farmer committee coordinator for nearly 4 years. 

He then came to Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and has been a Regional Organization Director for 28 years.  In his role as Regional Organization Director, he assists the county farm bureau leaders in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Huntingdon, Indiana and Somerset Counties developing and carrying out a Farm Bureau program that will help members to maintain a strong, effective organization, which will meet their needs and to promote the philosophy, policies and basic concepts of the County, State and National Organizations. 

Diamond grew up on a dairy farm in Fayette County and has a BS in Agribusiness from Delaware Valley College.  He serves on Board of Directors for the Blair County Chamber of Commerce.  He is a chairman of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Farm City Committee.  He is a member of both Bedford and Somerset County Chambers of Commerce Ag Committees.  He also serves of the AgrAbilty Advisory Committee, ABCD Corp. Ag Committee, Johnstown Local Foods, Local Places Planning Committee, South Central Mountain Regional Task Force – Ag Working Group, the Tyrone FFA Advisory Committee, the Salisbury-Elk Lick FFA Advisory Committee and a graduate of the Blair County Chamber’s “Leadership Blair County” Adult program. 

Jodi Gauker

Extension Educator, Penn State Extension

Jodi Gauker has joined Penn State Extension as a Business Development Extension Educator based in Chester County. Prior to joining Extension, she was the Agriculture Project Director for Chester Count Economic Development Council where she coordinated the AgConnect Industry Partnership, connecting farmers and agribusiness owners with the training, resources, and financing they need to successfully grow their business, and providing opportunities for youth to explore careers in agriculture.

In addition to her education at Penn State and Texas A&M Universities and work experience, Jodi brings practical knowledge to her position – she and her husband, Lee, are the 9th generation to continue Gauker Farms in Fleetwood. Berks County. On the weekends, you may find her at a local farmers’ market or teaching 10th generation, Callie, all about life on the farm. Jodi is the Chairwoman of the Berks County Planning Commission, a director of Berks Agricultural Resource Network, PA Farm Link, and PA Beef Council; and a member of Berks Southeast Cattlemen’s Association and Penn State Stockmen’s Club.

Todd Givler

Senior Consultant, Nationwide Insurance

Todd serves as a Senior Consultant for Nationwide Insurance managing relationships with PA, MD, and DE Farm Bureaus, building partnerships, and promoting mutual growth through communication, marketing, branding, and event strategies.

Todd has held numerous roles within Nationwide. He previously served as Director of Middle Market Underwriting supporting country-wide efforts with an additional focus on the specialized school bus program in Pennsylvania.

Todd also served as a Sales Director for the 9 Northeastern Regional States, and as Small Market Commercial New Business Underwriting Manager for the Northeastern Region.

Prior to joining Nationwide in 2015, Todd was in the field for Federated Insurance with a heavy focus on the Oil and Gas Industry.

Todd is a graduate of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania where he played football. Todd also served on the Alumni Board of Directors for Bloomsburg University and is currently serving on the Elder Board of Cornerstone Church of Skippack (PA) as well as the leader for the Dads of Nationwide Associate Resource Group. Todd and his wife, Kelsey, and 3 children, Kody, Boone, and Tessa, currently reside in Lansdale, PA where they and their extended family operate a century farm dairy and agri-tourism operation.

Katy Hunter

The Seed Farm

Katy Hunter is the Program Administrator for The Seed Farm, which hosts a Farm Business Incubator on its 42-acre site in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. She has a degree in Art and worked in art galleries and museums before transitioning into a career in floristry.

Before joining The Seed Farm in 2022, Katy co-ran a 2-acre, no-till vegetable and flower CSA in eastern Pennsylvania for six years.

The Seed Farm is a program of Second Harvest Food Bank and Community Action Lehigh Valley.

Jodi Keith-Kensinger

PA State Grange

Jodi Keith Kensinger and her husband Ben, along with their 1-year-old son, Riggs, live on his family’s 4th generation dairy farm in Martinsburg, in the heart of Blair county with their 2 cats, Muffy and Casper.

For the last 14 years, she has been a full-time employee with Geisinger Health System as a staff Radiology tech, working in their mammography department at the Grays Woods office. Jodi is also a pampered chef consultant and loves to capture memories with her camera.

In her free time, she is heavily involved with the Grange, serving as PA State Grange Chaplin, Huntingdon Co. Pomona Grange President, and Lincoln Grange Secretary. She is very active in her local church, serving on the consistory board and planning committee. Jodi has many hobbies that keep her occupied as well- which includes spending time with her family and friends; listening to and reading new books; visiting and exploring new places when time allows and scrapbooking.

Dr. Kyle Kopko

Executive Director, Center for Rural PA

Dr. Kyle C. Kopko is the executive director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. He joined the Center in July 2020. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Kopko served as Associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning, and Associate Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College. Dr. Kopko holds a law degree from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in political science from Elizabethtown College. Dr. Kopko has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications, including two university press books. His research has received national and international media attention in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Fox News Channel.

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.”

Courtney Love

Marketing & Communications Outreach Specialist, PennAg Industries

Courtney grew up on a cow-calf and crossbred sheep farm in Plowville, Pennsylvania, where she and her family farm today. Before joining PennAg Industries Association in Harrisburg, Pennslyvania, as their Marketing and Communications Specialist, she wrote and edited content for Successful Farming magazine’s digital team in Des Moines, Iowa.

Before moving to Des Moines, she wrote and edited for Lancaster Farming, a regional farming newspaper. Love is an award-winning writer with accolades from the Ag Communications Network, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, and Berks County Resource Network. She is also a Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences graduate. In her spare time, Love assists with managing her family’s farm, reading novels, and spending time with her family.

Lindsay McKee

Diversified Vegetable Apprentice Coordinator, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture

Lindsay coordinates the  Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship at Pasa Sustainable Agriculture and supports farmers in the state through technical assistance, educational programming, and outreach.

Before joining Pasa, Lindsay worked on farms all around the Pittsburgh area in roles from volunteer, to farm hand, to farm manager. She also has more than a decade of experience working in restaurants in the region.

Lindsay currently operates her own flower-focused farmstead and small veggie CSA, Good Dog Farm, where she enjoys growing, cooking, baking, and preserving as much food as possible.


Johanna Rohrer

Member Education & YBS Program Manager, Horizon Farm Credit

Johanna has been with Farm Credit since 2018, joining the Association after a seven-year career with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, serving as a Regional Organization Director.

As Horizon Farm Credit’s Member Education & YBS Program Manager, Johanna focuses her time on leading the Association’s holistic approach to serving Young, Beginning, and Small farmers. Johanna successfully implemented and now oversees the execution of the Association’s Grow Ahead programming efforts to help support the next generation of farmers with the tools and resources necessary for success. In addition, she develops and executes the Association’s customer education strategy and formal course offerings, JumpStart grant program, and Farmers on the Rise award program.

Johanna is a seventh generation agriculturalist and holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences, with a dual minor in Leadership Development and Education, from Penn State University. She enjoys spending her free time on her family farm with her retired horses.

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.

Kelsey Staab

Agricultural Relationship Manager, Ephrata National Bank

Kelsey is an Agricultural Relationship Manager at Ephrata National Bank where she works with farmers and Agribusinesses predominately in Lancaster County to provide specialized financial services to help the customer manage their finances, invest in their operations, and grow their businesses. She graduated from Delaware Valley University with a B.S. in Agribusiness. In 2021 she completed the Leadership Lancaster program. Kelsey was born and raised in Lancaster County. Currently her and her fiancé, Gregg, are in the beginning stages of transitioning onto the family farm. They raise Texas Longhorns and Maine-Anjou cattle in addition to hay farming.

Mimi Thomas-Brooker

Executive Director of Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Project

Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Network is the statewide network for veterans, military, and their spouses who farm and operate agribusinesses. A horsewoman and Marine Corps spouse, Mimi holds bachelors and masters degrees from East Carolina University in education. In addition to her work in the classroom, she managed Family Readiness programs for military bases in California, and was the Conservation Education Coordinator for the Westmoreland Conservation District.

Working with the nine member PAVFP Board of Directors, Mimi is responsible for education and outreach to beginning and established veteran farmers for resource referral; event planning for the annual statewide Conference, workshops, and farm tours; and grant management. 


PA Farm Link Staff

Darlene Livingston

PA Farm Link
Executive Director

Tyler Hoffman

PA Farm Link
Program Development Associate

Michelle Kirk

PA Farm Link
Database Program Associate

Vicki Miller

PA Farm Link