Joe Barbaree is the Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Program Manager at Rural Action. In this role, Joe works to increase economic opportunities for local farm and forestry producers in a multi-county service area of Appalachian Ohio. Core programming areas focus on production, aggregation, and distribution of local specialty crop and non-timber forest products to a diverse network of markets throughout the Central Appalachian region.
Joe primarily works on Rural Action’s peer learning workshops, beginning farmer initiatives, school and institutional sales, local food distribution, and strategic planning for local food hubs, like the Chesterhill Produce Auction.
Before working at Rural Action, Joe spent four years in the urban community development field in Cleveland, Ohio, including nationally-recognized work in the artisan neighborhood of Collinwood. He is a graduate of Mount Union College with a Bachelors in Communication and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional with the National Development Council. Joe is a member of the Central Appalachian Network’s Food & Agriculture Systems Working Group, serves on the Ohio Food Policy Network Steering Committee, and is a Board Member at Community Food Initiatives.