Courtney Owens Ph.D.Southeast Regional Director
Courtney Owens joined American Farmland Trust in October of 2022. His primary responsibilities as Southeast Regional Director is to lead programs to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Courtney’s experience in farming dates to the beginning of his career in 2006 when he served with the United States Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, where he trained over 100 farmers in sustainable agriculture and environmental practices. During his 15-year career, Owens has led, implemented, evaluated, and reported on community-based rural development education programs. Before joining AFT, Courtney worked in various leadership roles with Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension where he was responsible for supporting nine programs including 4-H youth development, family well-being, nutrition, community health, and small farm development that were delivered by 70+ faculty and staff. Owens also previously served at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Cooperative Extension and helped lead programs to assist farmers with adopting computer technology and overcoming barriers to broadband internet access as well as strengthening farm business management. Courtney is a native of North Carolina, and attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Science and professional service in agricultural education. Courtney also received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication with a specialization in Extension education.