Please Welcome Karen Schwalbe As MFBF’s Executive Director
After an extensive search process, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF’s) board of directors has selected Karen Schwalbe to become the organization’s executive director. Her first day is Nov. 1.
“There were 10 excellent applicants for the executive director position,” said MFBF President Warren Shaw. “It was a tough process with lots of thoughtful input taken into account. Ultimately, the board selected Karen, who we believe will do an excellent job carrying out our strategic plan.”
Karen has been engaged with agriculture in the Commonwealth for years. For the last seven years, she served as the executive director for the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP), the Buy Local organization in the southeast. She also owns her own small farm, serves on the local agricultural commission, and has served on the Massachusetts System Collaborative for five years.
Food and farm policy has clearly been a passion for Karen during her career and she will bring that commitment to her work at MFBF.
“I am thrilled to serve as the executive director of MFBF,” she said. “I want every member to know that I will be working on your behalf to successfully execute the goals set in the strategic plan and in the policy book to advance agriculture and strengthen our farm communities.”
Both Karen’s professional and personal experiences with agriculture will assist her as she works to reinvigorate the county Farm Bureaus and engage members. In turn, this will assist with stabilizing the organization's budget.
Additionally, Karen will have a great staff behind her. Nick John acted as MFBF’s interim executive director, and helped to keep the organization moving forward during this transition within the organization. His skills and leadership will continue to be a valuable asset for the membership’s advocacy efforts. Additionally, Kim Ashe and Tina Allen will continue as database coordinator and administrative assistant for MFBF.
“Like so many organizations in the current business environment, MFBF has had staff movement,” Warren said. “However, I have every confidence that Karen will provide the guidance and oversight needed to build and grow our membership base.”
Congratulations, Karen! MFBF has a great staff in place to achieve its mission of strengthening a diverse agricultural community by supporting and advocating for Massachusetts farm families.