Leslie Vanden HerikSoutheast Senior Technical Specialist
Leslie joined American Farmland Trust in January of 2024 as the Southeastern Senior Technical Specialist. In this role, she will provide leadership and collaborate with USDA’s NRCS in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina through the national umbrella agreement. Leslie will support staff, farmers, and landowners with implementing Farm Bill conservation programs. Leslie is originally from New Jersey but has lived in North Carolina for many years, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Leslie has also completed graduate coursework in both earth and soil sciences at UNCC and NC State and is certified by the International Farm Transition Network as a Farm Succession Coordinator. Prior to joining the AFT team, Leslie worked more than 15 years for a local Soil and Water Conservation District, managing day to day operations, cost share programs, projects and technical assistance in collaboration with USDA’s NRCS, state, and local partners in North Carolina.