Board of Directors
ACORN is a membership-based non-profit incorporated cooperative with a ten member Board of Directors.
Rebecca MacInnis - President
Rebecca MacInnis is a first generation farmer and runs Spring Tide Farm. Alongside her sister, she grows mixed vegetables and cut flowers on a small-scale, agroecologically driven, market garden. She grew up, began her farming journey, and now owns a farm in Nova Scotia on unceded Mi’kma’ki. Farming piqued Rebecca’s interest because it simultaneously allowed her to become more self-sufficient, grounded, and community minded. She is grateful to have spent several years working under the guidance of incredible farmers and looks forward to incorporating their knowledge and expertise into the development of her own farm. Strengthening these connections and knowledge-sharing channels throughout the Maritimes is what excites her most about working with ACORN. She draws on past experience in community organizing around social justice issues and current involvement with the National Farmers’ Union and a municipal.
Lily Mintz-Kungle - Vice-Chair
Lily Mintz-Kungl grew up in Bramber Nova Scotia on her family's organic vegetable farm, Selwood Green. From a young age she had an affinity for growing plants and being in nature, she loved to help the farm crew whenever possible. Since 2018 she has been working full time on the family farm and has plans to take over the business very soon! Lily has one year of carpentry school under her belt and wants to travel Canada and Northern America to gain more farming experience in the next few years.
Lily is passionate about bringing a sense of community to her farm and wants to open her doors to other farming families to come live on the land and farm alongside her, making the farm a hub for education and community.
Lily says "I never want to stop learning. Everyday there is something new to learn about organic agriculture, I want to be right there watching it unfold."
Mark Bernard - Treasurer
Mark was built to be a farmer, from the very start, inside and out. The fourth generation on the farm, he grew up playing in the dirt and driving tractors, always up early to get a start on the day ahead. Growing up on a medium-large scale potato operation, Mark watched the ups and downs of the commodity markets and kept an open mind about the seemingly infinite possibilities that agriculture had to offer. It was during his time at the agricultural campus in Truro, NS, that a business plan for organic production had him considering alternatives.
The diversity of enterprises at Barnyard Organics has Mark, as manager, always on his toes, but his primary focus is the cropping and the Organic Grainery. Besides his skills as mechanic, carpenter, bookkeeper and other essential services on a farm, it is Mark’s ability to think outside the box that keeps the farm thriving and evolving.
Theresa Richards - Secretary
After having worked for ACORN as a project coordinator for five years, Theresa was the executive director of ACORN from 2012 until 2017, when she left to pursue farming as a career. She is now a mother, small-scale garlic farmer, and consultant living on Prince Edward Island.
Judy Loo is an organic market gardener at Springwillow Farms Cooperative, Ltd. in Springfield, PEI, who is committed to conservation-minded stewardship of land and resources, and social justice. Springwillow as certified organic in the mid-1990s by Judy’s father, Gerrit Loo and was subsequently farmed organically by her brother Raymond until 2013. As a teen-ager, Judy left the farm to study forestry and subsequently worked and studied in New Brunswick, Oklahoma, British Columbia and Rome, Italy, before returning to the farm in 2017 after a 40-year hiatus. She worked as a tree seed coordinator, tree breeder, research scientist studying conservation of tree genetic resources, professor teaching conservation genetics and international development scientist implementing projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America on conservation and use of tree genetic resources that are valuable to local people. Throughout her career, Judy stayed connected to organic agriculture by joining CSAs, growing her own veggies in backyard gardens and through advocacy.
Eva P Rehak
Born in France but grew up in the Greater Toronto Area, Eva graduated as an Agriculture Technician from the University of Guelph. Eva is a pioneer in small scale agriculture in New Brunswick with her business, Alva Farm. She has been farming organically in New Brunswick since 2009 with her partner Alain and their three children Rose, Claire and Jakob. She is proud of growing tons of organic food while using less than 100 liters of gasoline per season. Eva is also co-founder of Organic Corner/Coin Bio, a cooperative of organic farmers in southeastern NB. She has been in various positions on the board of NFU-NB and La Via Campesia, as well as on the board of Slow Food Cocagne Acadie.
Elizabeth and her sister are the second generation of a family owned organic cranberry growing operation, Springbrook Cranberry Inc. Upon returning to NB from university, Elizabeth stepped into the operation’s administrative role. Though, during harvest you will find her donning a pair of chest waders to help get the cranberries out of the field. Springbrook Cranberry regards organic practices as the best approach we have in enhancing the natural environment while still growing food for our communities.
After a career working with renewable energy and environmental assessment & modeling, Steve and his life and business partner, Deborah (a native Haligonian), set up shop in Lunenburg, NS. They began roasting coffee as an adjunct to their cafe, but soon dropped the cafe to concentrate on building an organic and Fairtrade certified coffee roasting business. Being a practical kind of guy, Steve gravitated towards farmers’ markets because that was where the best food was to be found. In addition to being a vendor in half a dozen markets over the years, he has served a board member, Vice President and President in different market cooperatives and is a strong proponent of local food production. Steve has always been drawn to the big picture- working with differences in cross-cultural values and perceptions between Native Americans, corporations and government agencies in the Pacific Northwest, and obtaining a MScE in the Social Management of Technology (how technology shapes and is shaped by societal values).
Emily Bland is a social entrepreneur with an agricultural heart. She is a 3rd generation farmer from Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador and is the current Seed-EO of SucSeed; a hydroponic social enterprise that is on a mission to help the world grow. SucSeed has gardens in over 1,000 schools educating over 25,000 students every year, over 2,000 homes and over 200 community groups across Canada. Previous to this she completed the Commerce program at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. While pursuing her degree she was a part of the Enactus Memorial Team. Under her leadership as president the team beat out 1,700 teams around the world to win the World Cup. In 2021, SucSeed became the first B Corp in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Emily has a passion for social enterprise development she was a founding board member of the Centre for Social Enterprise at MUN, currently sits on the board of the Memorial Center for Entrepreneurship and the Empowering Indigenous Women’s Organization. Emily is a Director of Smiling Land Farm where she is helping lead the development of a 400-acre organic farm. She has been mentoring start up entrepreneurs since 2015 and has collectively helped fundraise over 2.5 M in funding.
Elita Rahn, Owner of Jolicure Farm, comes from a long line of New Brunswickers and grew up on the Kingston Peninsula. Elita and her partner have lived off grid in Jolicure NB for the past 20 years. Prior to farming Elita has a background in fine arts, graphic design, coaching; athletics and xc skiing, and carpentry. Established in 2019 Jolicure Farm is a small off grid market farm. All of the electricity consumed by the farm (and the farmer!) is generated from photovoltaics (Solar energy) and Wind.
Desirée is passionate about organic, both personally and professionally. As a part-time academic with Dalhousie University, she has been teaching on-line organic agriculture courses for almost 20 years.
Desirée grew up on the west coast, has worked as a soil conservation agrologist in Alberta, a research scientist studying agricultural biologicals in Saskatchewan, and a librarian in Nova Scotia. Desirée enjoys sharing the philosophy and practices of sustainable food production with her students and community and is very excited to be working with ACORN. You can reach Desirée at email@example.com.