AFT President and CEO John Piotti Taking Sabbatical - American Farmland Trust

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AFT President and CEO John Piotti Taking Sabbatical 

AFT Vice President Beth Sauerhaft will Serve as Acting President 

(Washington, D.C.) American Farmland Trust today announced that its President and CEO, John Piotti, will begin an 18-week sabbatical in early February. During his absence, current AFT Vice President Beth Sauerhaft, PhD, will serve as Acting President. 

“I thank John and the board for giving me the opportunity to lead AFT during an exciting period, when we are deepening our research capabilities, breaking new ground with our climate-smart commodity projects and growing our committed staff of experts as well as partnerships in conservation agriculture,” said Sauerhaft. 

Widely known for its iconic green and white “No Farms No Food” bumper sticker, American Farmland Trust has led in conservation agriculture since its founding in 1980. The organization has helped permanently protect more than 7.8 million acres of irreplaceable farmland, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and provided direct support to over 600,000 farm families.  

Piotti came to American Farmland Trust more than seven years ago after serving as a highly effective nonprofit executive and advocate for sustainable agriculture in his home state of Maine.  He led the trust through a period of significant growth, during which time its budget and staff quadrupled. Under his guidance, American Farmland Trust conducted the most comprehensive study of American agricultural land-use ever, helped secure billions of dollars in new federal funding to help farmers adopt regenerative practices, and created innovative new programs to help both existing and beginning farmers. 

“John [Piotti] has been responsible for AFT’s most impressive recent trajectory,” said Grant Winthrop, chairman of American Farmland Trust’s board of directors. “His sabbatical will give him a chance to rest and recharge before returning to AFT to take us to even higher heights.” 

Beth Sauerhaft will serve as Acting President during Piotti’s sabbatical. Sauerhaft has served as Vice President of Programs at American Farmland Trust for five years. She has previously worked as an official at both USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. She has also served as the Senior Director of Sustainability at PepsiCo. She holds a PhD in arid land agroforestry/agroecology. 


American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 7.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families. 

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