Welcome board member Rachel Hynes
Rachel has a background in finance and operations, and is currently working as the COO/CFO at Firefly Kitchens. She is passionate about the preservation of farmland and is excited to use her skills to support the important work of Washington Farmland Trust.
She grew up in Central Pennsylvania with family who were farmers, acutely aware the benefits realized through good relationship with the land. She cultivates that connection at her p-patch plot, growing lots of brassicas as well as flowers for the bees. She lives in Capitol Hill with her husband Antonio and 2 cats.
What drew you to the issue of farmland conservation?
I feel like it all started with my family. I grew up in central Pennsylvania, where I was surrounded by farmland. My grandparents were dairy farmers and mother grew up in a very small farming town in Pennsylvania, too. Of her seven brothers and sisters, only one is still farming. So I’m intimately aware of the benefits and challenges of keeping people on the land! I’m passionate about food and growing my own as a way to connect with the land. As a sustainable business student at Pinchot University, I studied food systems. Later on, I worked with food and farms investors to support local growers with capital to launch or expand their farm businesses. And, of course, at Firefly Kitchens we source locally as much as possible!
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing or working on at the Trust?
I love finance as a tool to create a better world. I’m excited to learn more about the financial vehicles the land trust uses and how they work. My primary goal is really to understand and support leveraging our financial wherewithal to achieve conservation and farmland access goals. I’m excited to build new relationships and grow my network in the food and farms issue space. And, I’m excited about the racial equity work that Washington Farmland Trust has undertaken. I’m deeply committed to supporting organizational transformation and lasting, programmatic commitments to Washington’s broader agricultural community.