Staff

Aaron NeyAaron Ney, Executive Director – aaron@ekarfarm.org

Aaron Ney grew up in Iowa. His first introduction to farming was at kibbutz Kfar Hanasi in Israel’s Galilee. The hard work shared with fellow Jews instilled a lasting impression that working the soil can bring people together. Aaron studied Comparative Religion at the University of Iowa, graduating in 1999, and continued for an M.A. in Conflict Resolution at the University of Denver. Aaron has been involved in organizing grassroots and social justice movements on both the national and local levels.

Now at Ekar, Aaron has come to focus his attention on the hyper-local, recognizing that the revolution may come in one’s own backyard – one seed at a time through subversive acts like planting seeds and sharing food.

Aaron has been with Ekar for many years, first as a member of the Founding Team, then hired as the Program Manager and Outreach Coordinator, and now serves as the Executive Director.

 

Jason Plotkin

Jason Plotkin, Farm Manager/Director of Farm Operations – jason@ekarfarm.org

Jason Plotkin grew up in the fertile farmlands of New England, where at just 12 years old, got his first job as a farm hand at a family owned farm in the Farmington River Valley in Simsbury, Connecticut. After graduating from the University of Vermont,

Jason followed his passion for farming by receiving jobs at two farms in upstate New York. From working at these farms Jason developed a strong sense of food justice,food security and organic accessibility. Realizing the opportunity to spread and reinforce the organic/local food movement here in Colorado, Jason decided to move to Denver in late 2011 to bring his passion and love for farming to a growing community. Jason also owns a small organic market farm, Golden Acre Farm, whose mission is to increase accessibility across all boundaries and to promote food equality.

2015 will be Jason’s fourth year with Ekar Farm and third as acting Farm Manager. His goal for 2015 is to further Ekar Farm’s mission and to enhance biodiversity, teach and develop new urban farming techniques and to promote a healthy and viable project to the greater community.

 

Margot Sands

Margot Sands, Lead Educator – margot@ekarfarm.org

Margot Sands grew up in Phoenix and Las Vegas. Her desert roots made her ripe for being amazed by nature and farming cycles. This amazement thrived in Boston at The Food Project where Margot found her calling of growing food, building community, and teaching young people. As a FoodCorps Service Member at The Food Project in 2013-2014, she realized the power and pleasure of connecting children to their food and wanted to expand her skills in this kind of transformative education. In addition to earning a B.S. in Environmental Science at Northeastern University in 2013, Margot pursued a M.Ed. in Elementary Education at Arizona State University, graduating in May 2016.

While developing this professional path, Margot embarked on an intersecting spiritual journey as well. In 2013, she became enthralled by the emerging Jewish environmentalist movement and participated in the Jewish Farm School’s alternative spring break program in New Orleans. She continued to foster her earth-based Judaism practices and urban farming knowledge as an Urban Adamah Fellow in Fall 2014 in Berkeley.

Margot is excited to bring her passion and expertise in food education through a Jewish lens to the Denver community as Ekar Farm’s new lead educator. She hopes to build Ekar’s capacity to offer curriculum and programming geared toward creating a sustainable, localized food system and connecting this work to meaningful Jewish traditions.