Nicole Waters - American Farmland Trust

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Nicole Waters

Project Manager

Nicole is the Project Manager for the National Umbrella Agreement Project. She holds experience managing federal and state funded projects aimed at increasing diversity and equity among farmland and farm business owners and operators. In addition, she has led the development of programs addressing equitable access to educational resources for currently and historically marginalized agricultural communities. She has a strong commitment to inclusivity and is passionate about advancing equity in the agricultural industry.

Before joining AFT, Nicole served as both project lead and program manager of the Cornell Small Farms Program. She oversaw the development of the Equitable Farm Futures Initiative, funded by the New York State Department of Ag and Markets. In this role, Nicole built a team of bilingual agricultural service providers to conduct and lead a state-wide Spanish-first Ag education initiative. She convened cohorts of Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension Agents to address inequities in Ag extension, outreach, and educational methodologies. During her time at the Small Farms Program, she also initiated a university-wide effort to ensure the adoption of sound administrative processes to promote equitable payment and reimbursement strategies for marginalized farming communities in New York State.

Prior to her time with the Cornell Small Farms Program, Nicole served in various program management roles including, the Graduate Legal Studies department at the Cornell Law School, the Education Outreach department at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, and the Clinical Research/Cancer Control department at Hematology/Oncology Associates of Central New York. Before turning to project management, Nicole spent 7yrs as an Assistant Winemaker in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. She has produced nearly 1 million gallons of wine varietals including, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Gewürztraminer, sparkling wines, and multiple French American hybrid varietals.

Nicole holds a B.A. in Communications, Rhetoric, and Organizational Psychology from the New York State University at Albany. She earned a TOEFL certification as instructor of English as an additional language in Sevilla, Spain. She earned her professional enologist certification and apprenticeship through the University of California at Davis. Nicole’s personal passion is spending as much time as humanly possible outside with her family and dog. She loves camping, hiking, and all watersports.

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