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Home > Panel Discussion: For the Long Haul: Supporting Diverse Business Partners Beyond the Certification Process Speakers

Panel Discussion: For the Long Haul: Supporting Diverse Business Partners Beyond the Certification Process Speakers

Amara Brown, Communications Strategist at Black Farmers Index

Amara Brown is the Communications Strategist for Black Farmers Index, a non-profit organization that connects consumers with Black farmers through an online directory of over 1,200 traditional and non-traditional farms. With over ten years of experience in corporate communication, Amara fosters long-lasting partnerships and creates favorable opportunities for network member sustainability. Her passion for ensuring equal access to nutritious food drives her to support Black farmers in finding opportunities to be more competitive in the food industry.  




Robert Haynes, CEO of Yoro

Robert Haynes is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Cadera Brands, where he oversees Sales, Strategy, Manufacturing, and Operations for all of Cadera Brand’s offerings. With 15 years in the food and beverage arena, he has leveraged his experience in beverage production, product development, import/export relations, product placement, buyer psychology, and distribution sales. Implementing his experience, entrepreneurship and love of beverage, he created Yoro in his office in New Orleans to bring to scale for production. Our goal was to allow the world to adapt to the ebbs and flows of everyday life and his personal experience with nootropics is a testament to its power.




Leonard Freeman, Managing Director at Oregon Tilth

Leonard Freeman is the Managing Director of Oregon Tilth, a nonprofit organization focused on making food and agriculture biologically sound and socially equitable through organic certification, education, and advocacy. Leonard is recognized for his work as a community strategist and influencer across the nation. His specialty is designing and developing community-based programs, grant writing and establishing local, state and national partnerships. Through his diverse professional and personal experience, he is leading the charge and continuing his legacy for change across the nation. Leonard graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Special Education at Sam Houston State University. Leonard graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Government and Policy. Currently, Leonard is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on Organizational Development from Grand Canyon University. Leonard resides in Houston, Texas, where he is a board member executive for The National Society of Black Sports Professionals and the Hue Project. 



Seanicaa Herron-Edwards, Founder & Executive Director of Freedmen Heirs Foundation

Seanicaa Edwards Herron is a agricultural economist with close to 20 years of experience in agricultural economics/agribusiness spanning across the academic, private, and government sectors. Seanicaa serves as Founder and Executive Director of Freedmen Heirs Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization with a mission and vision to promote the prominence, profitability, and sustainability of Black-owned farms and farmers by providing technical assistance, access to capital, and new market entry. Edwards Herron earned her Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness in 2004 and Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics in 2008, both from Mississippi State University.  Seanicaa is the 2009 recipient of the Albert R. Hagan Awards for excellence in Agricultural Economics and 2022 Mississippi State University Reveille 25 inaugural class for excellence among young Mississippi State University Alumni. 





Stephanie Jerger, Vice President of Administration at Organic Trade Association (Discussion Leader)

Stephanie Jerger is the Vice President of Administration at the Organic Trade Association. 





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