Meet the Board!

Since its start in 2005, the New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) has been led by volunteers, all active members of the farming community. Seven directors are nominated by Agricultural membership organizations and three are “at-large” members.  The board relies on a network of farmers, organized into review panels, to evaluate proposals submitted to NYFVI’s competitive agricultural research and education grant program. These passionate individuals are committed to the advancement of agriculture and the use of scientific research to guide on-farm decisions to ensure the viability of New York’s farms. 

NYFVI Board Chair, Dave Ryan

Nominated by the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association, Dave Ryan has served on the board since 2018 and is in his second year as its chair. He is passionate about innovation and growth for the agricultural community. He owns Rare Earth Nursery, a bare root shade tree nursery in Cazenovia.

Ryan built Rare Earth Nursery after decades of working with traditional soil-based growing methods. The innovative nursery uses the Missouri Gravel System which allows bare-root trees to be harvested and transplanted during the entire growing season. The more robust root systems minimize transplant shock and are well-suited for urban landscapes. The trees are also lighter and require less labor and equipment to move and plant. His nursery is run on solar power and it uses only drip irrigation to minimize wasteful run-off.

“As a grower, I’ve seen firsthand how transformative research to develop new production systems can be to an operation. Growers need new ideas and proven approaches to continue to evolve their farms. That’s why the work of NYFVI, to connect grower’s perspectives to ag research and education, is so important,” said Ryan.

Learn more about all of NYFVI’s board members here.