Amanda HendersonImplementation Specialist
Amanda joined American Farmland Trust in November of 2023 as an Implementation Specialist. In this role she provides technical assistance to landowners, so that they can implement conservation practices on their farms. Amanda was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, and she studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. After four years working in engineering, she volunteered with the Peace Corps. Her project involved llama ranchers in the Bolivian Altiplano, and it ignited her passion for working on the land. It also brought into focus agriculture’s impact on the environment and inspired her to learn how to farm sustainably. When she returned home in 2008, she interned with Polyface Farm in Virginia. She continued to work with Polyface for three more seasons, and then spent the next decade working with small farms throughout the US.
Before joining AFT she farmed for several seasons at a 100% grass-fed dairy farm in New York. Her work has focused on pasture-based poultry production and adaptive multi-paddock grazing for cattle with an emphasis on livestock welfare and soil health. As Amanda became more aware of the challenges facing farmers and ranchers in America, it made her even more grateful for the time that producers took out of their busy schedules to teach her how to farm. She also noticed that many producers were struggling with data management and realized that she could use her technical background to give back. She has worked with many farmers to improve their data protocols, ranging from teaching them how to use spreadsheets and collaborative online tools, to developing databases to manage datasets with higher levels of complexity and building maps to more clearly communicate geospatial data. Amanda recently moved to East Texas, where her parents are from, and where she spent all her childhood summers. She spends her free time exploring the fields and forests of the Pineywoods ecoregion, growing food, and learning how to build healthy East Texas soils.