Farms at Work Board of Directors

July 2022

Kelly Carmichael (Chair) maintains a high-profile marketing and communications portfolio spanning over 15 years. She holds a degree in Graphic arts and communications. She uses her skills to move progressive initiatives forward. Formerly, as the Executive Director of a national not-for-profit she was tasked with building a movement for proportional representation in Canada. Carmichael comes from many generations of traditional farmers. As a young person, she spent summers on her grandmother’s farm. When she is not working as a communications professional, she and her husband run a regenerative, rotational grazing, farm-to-fork farm business serving the GTA. Kelly believes a return to ecological methods of farming are necessary to address many of the challenges facing humanity.

Jen Johnstone owns and operates Wyndberry Garden, a cut flower farm in Lakefield, Ontario. She is also a fund development manager and a member of the leadership team at the Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton. Jen has over 15 years experience in fundraising and is the incoming chair of the Peterborough Area Fundraisers’ Network executive board. Jen started in agriculture during her time with Everdale Community Teaching Farm, during which she helped establish the Black Creek Community Farm in Toronto. With over 10 years of experience in the food and farming sector, Jen is passionate about local food systems, the environment, and supporting new entry farmers to get off to a good start.

Pat Learmonth joined the new Board of Directors after serving as Project Director of Farms at Work for twelve years prior to its incorporation. She was the Environmental Farm Plan Representative and Workshop Leader for Peterborough County for seven years and co-founded the East Central Farm Stewardship Collaborative. She is past Chair of the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development Agricultural Advisory Committee and current Co-chair of the Peterborough Alliance for Food and Farming and Chair of the Peterborough Agricultural Roundtable. Pat and her husband own a farm near Peterborough.

Melissa Spearing is a professional seed biologist at the National Tree Seed Centre in Fredericton New Brunswick, while working towards a Master of Forest Science degree at the University of New Brunswick. Her background spans organic garlic and nursery production and promoting native Grow-Me-Insteads at her parent’s nursery business in Bethany, propagating Species at Risk for local recovery programs, delivering tree seed collection training for the Forest Gene Conservation Association, training at the Millennium Seed Bank in England, and a diploma from the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. Wherever she roams, she loves walking in the woods, foraging, preserving, eating and sharing stewardship of the land with others.