2015 judges' panel
Jennifer Fahy Josh & Brent Bob Lewis Susan Littlefield

JENNIFER FAHY

Jennifer has worked at Farm Aid for thirteen years in a number of capacities, from operations director to her current role as communications director. She loves to spread the word about good food from family farms and the importance of keeping family farmers on the land. Jennifer thinks the best part of her job is the array of people she gets to work with, from the Farm Aid staff and board artists (Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews) to farmers, activists and members of the media. In her spare time, Jennifer is an avid cyclist, backcountry skier, dedicated dog-mom, and urban gardener.

Josh Kilmer-Purcell & Brent Ridge

Co-Founders of Beekman 1802. Beekman 1802 has been called "one of the fastest growing lifestyle brands in America" by NASDAQ, and has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and many other national and regional publications. Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge established the Mortgage Lifter program in 2013.

BOB LEWIS

Bob Lewis is the Principal of Robert A. Lewis and Associates/Regional, Environmental, and Food System Planning, based in Brooklyn, NY. As a regional planner focusing on local food system development, he co-founded and managed NYC's Greenmarket Farmers Markets program in 1976 with architect and city planner Barry Benepe. Beginning in 1978, he developed and managed the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets' statewide Direct Marketing Program. He served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Agriculture for Market Development until 2013, when he retired from state government to focus on strategic food systems planning and development.

Examples of longterm statewide or local food systems initiatives in which Bob has played a leadership role include: the NYS WIC (Women Infants, Children) and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, NYS Farmers' Market Wireless EBT/Food Stamp Program, NYS Farmers' Market Infrastructure Grants Program, NYC Wholesale Farmers' Market Development Project, NYC & L.I. School Food Local Produce Procurement Projects, NYS Food Bank Local Produce Procurement Project, NYC Health Bucks/Farmers Market EBT Incentive Program, Online New York State Farm Fresh Guide, NYC FoodAction/OASIS Community Food Systems Planning Project, NYC Senior Center Food Shopping Bus Project, NYC Citywide School Gardens Initiative (www.growtolearn.com), NYC Shared-Use Kitchen Incubator Development (at La Marqueta) and Certification Program, Pride of NY MarketPlace (trade show pavilion) at the NY Restaurant and Foodservice Show, New York-By-Rail local agritourism initiative, and NYS Thruway Tailgate Farm Market Program.

Bob is a native New Yorker whose first experience in agriculture was at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens' Children's Garden in the 1950's. He studied geology at the American Museum of Natural History during high school, and later earned degrees in Geology (B.A.) at Antioch College and Regional Planning (M.R.P) at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Design.

SUSAN LITTLEFIELD

Susan Littlefield has been a farm broadcaster since 1990, starting out at WXCE in Amery, Wisconsin then making the move to WNAX, Yankton, SD. In 1998, she joined KZEN/Farm and Ranch Market Network, Columbus NE and continues there today. Susan has been a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) since 1996 and is the current National President-Elect. She has received numerous NAFB Awards including market and newscast fist place and Editor's Choice on submitted stories. She has received the Leadership Award for Nutrition and Health Awareness from the Dairy Council of Nebraska, the Ag Woman of the Year from the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, was named a national finalist for the Marconi Award for Small Market Personality of the year in 2013 and proud to say she is where she is today because of the FFA. Susan was selected to be one of many spokespersons' for "Common Ground", an organization that reaches out to consumers from a farmer and rancher's perspective. She enjoys getting the opportunity to talk about agriculture with consumers-with the focus on the Mom who is doing the shopping for her family.

Susan attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a focus on Broadcast Journalism and Farm Management. When not on the air, Susan can be found using the other half of her education in farming with her husband Michael and their three kids, Bryan, Morgan & Paul south of Surprise. The family raises and shows registered Columbia sheep, along with many other 4H projects. Susan said she enjoys spending time at fairs with her kids because they are the future of the industry, and smiles watching them talk to the consumer, sharing their strong ideas and love of agriculture. She is actively involved in her community holding a seat on the county crime stoppers, helping when needed with public information for the Butler County Emergency Management along with being a firefighter and EMT as a Captain on the Rising City Fire Department.