HMI is excited to announce the addition of two new board members for HMI’s Board of Directors.
Avery C. Anderson Sponholtz
Avery is the Director of Community Impact Initiatives and Vice President of Soil Health for the Globetrotter Foundation, based in Paicines, California. She has a BA from Hamilton College (2003) and a Master’s degree from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (2008). Prior to joining Globetrotter’s team, she was the president of Impairative LLC, a consulting company dedicated to activating authentic relationships between the people, land and animals in our emergent food system by strategically pairing philanthropy with regenerative opportunities. Prior to that, Avery worked for the Quivira Coalition, a non-profit in New Mexico dedicated to building resilience on Western working landscapes, as a program director from 2008 to 2012, and then as the executive director from 2012 to 2015. She has successful history of building partnerships between diverse constituencies comprised of other non-profit leaders, businesses, philanthropists, ranchers/farmers, scientists, federal and state land management agencies, youth, and tribes. In addition, Avery has experience in fundraising, human resource management, financial planning, risk management, strategic decision-making, and facilitation. She is a Wyss Conservation Scholar, an Audubon TogetherGreen Fellow and a recipient of the 2011 New Mexico Business Weekly’s “40 Under 40” Award. She was a founding board member of the National Young Farmers’ Coalition, and currently serves on the boards of Holistic Management International and the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association, as well as the Advisory Council of the Western Landowners Alliance.
Avery is deeply honored to join the Board of HMI. With a decade of experience in working with several of HMI’s “sister” organizations, joining the Board feels like “coming home.” HMI is the undisputed leader in regenerative problem-solving and Avery feels fortunate for the opportunity to work in service to this remarkable team.
Jonathan is a fourth generation farmer in the Blackland Prairie near Rogers, TX. He went off to “a better future away from the farm” as the prevailing culture had taught him, where he earned a degree in business. The best part of college to Jonathan was meeting his wife, Kaylyn, with whom he moved to Fort Worth to begin their respective careers in business. However, several years later, the instinct to farm was stronger in his blood than he realized. The two decided in 2007 to move back to the family farm where Jonathan would work with his father until a future transition of ownership could occur.
The family farm had taken the shape of most in the industrial era. It had become an efficient machine, void of diversity and at risk to many forces beyond the reach of the family. In addition to a growing unrest and disconnect between their farming methods and their belief that God created the earth for them to steward well, the combination of increasing input costs, low product prices, and increasingly extreme weather-related crop failures had taken the shine off the dreams to continue the family farm. Despite the difficultly of the realization that the family farm would end with his father, Jonathan made the decision to leave the farm in mid-2011.
It was a last minute decision to attend a meeting about soil health that changed the trajectory of Jonathan’s life and would lead to an introduction to many of the leading practitioners of regenerative farming. The common thread among the leaders Jonathan met was Holistic Management.
The decision to stay on the farm and learn to manage it holistically was made in late 2011. Since then, Jonathan and his family have been on an amazing journey of learning and discovery. The farm is now home to Jonathan’s parents, his sister’s family, Kaylyn’s parents along with Kaylyn and Jonathan. The family manages multiple enterprises of grass-finished beef, a cow/calf herd, grass-finished lamb, breeding ewes, pastured pork, and pastured eggs.
Jonathan also works as a soil health consultant and works with Green Cover Seed as a cover crop consultant for Texas and the southeastern U.S. He currently serves on the board of directors for The Grassfed Exchange.
“HMI played a very important role in the direction of my life personally and also our family farm. Because of the gratitude I have for the organization’s role in our lives and the global impact HMI has and has potential to have in the future, I felt a deep sense of honor and duty to accept the invitation to serve HMI as a member of the Board of Directors,” says Jonathan.
Welcome, Avery and Jonathan!