American Farmland Trust Welcomes Jim Hafner as New England Deputy Director - American Farmland Trust

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American Farmland Trust Welcomes Jim Hafner as New England Deputy Director 

Northampton, MA– Jim Hafner, Ph.D., joins American Farmland Trust as New England Deputy Director where he will oversee the management and implementation of AFT’s New England Regional Programs and help define the regional strategy and engage with partners to identify new opportunities. Hafner joins AFT with a background in program management, strategy, and administration in farm service and advocacy organizations regionally, nationally, and internationally.  

“I am thrilled to join American Farmland Trust at such an exciting time of growth and impact,” said Hafner. “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work with Nate and the rest of the New England Program team to strengthen farming and farmland conservation in the region. I’m especially looking forward to learning from colleagues – and contributing my experience and skills – to AFT’s holistic approach to conservation agriculture.” 

Hafner has collaborated with AFT for years, partnering on countless research papers, reports, policy efforts and projects. He joins AFT after nine years with Land For Good, both as Deputy Director and then Executive Director. Land for Good is a renowned organization that provides “support and guidance to help farmers, landowners and communities navigate the complex challenges of land access, tenure and transfer” in New England. While at Land for Good, Hafner increased the regional and national advocacy efforts of the organization, as well as strengthened operations and program management. Hafner earned a Master’s in International Agriculture Development from the University of California, Davis, as well as a PhD in Natural Resources Management and Policy from Cornell University.  

AFT’s work in New England has grown from a team of two to 16 staff over the past three years. The work includes advancing a range of farmland and climate-smart policies, enhancing soil health and regenerative agriculture practices, and providing direct financial and technical assistance to farmers, land trusts, and communities. As Deputy Director, Hafner will support existing projects, while expanding the team’s capacity for new project development, deepening relationships with farmers and service agencies and advancing policy strategies across the region.  

“Jim is a national leader on farmland access and farm transition,” said Nathan W. L’Etoile, AFT’s New England Regional Director. “Not only does he understand the challenges facing New England farmers and farmland, but as our New England programming continues to grow, having a leadership team with deep expertise in these issues, as well as management and strategy is essential. Jim has that, and we are thrilled he’s joined the team.” 

To learn more about our New England Programming, visit  

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