Farmer Assistance Profiles

Chris Wayne
Farmer Assistance Director

Chris came to GrowNYC in 2009 after 2 years of small scale fruit and vegetable farming in Costa Rica and a childhood on his dad's farm in Danbury, CT. After a season as a Greenmarket manager, Chris joined the team of the New Farmer Development Project, where he helped to identify, educate, and support immigrant farmers to start environmentally and economically sustainable farms within 200 miles of NYC. In 2010 Chris stepped into the role of Beginning Farmer Coordinator, where he managed workshop, mentorship, business training, and microloan programming for aspiring farmers. 

In his current capacity as Farmer Assistance Director, Chris works to develop and manage technical assistance programming for both beginning farmers and established farmers who sell through the Greenmarket Program, with a specific focus on land transition, succession, and marketing projects.

You can reach Chris Wayne at:
(p) 212.341.2254
(f) 212.571.0778

Gabriela Pereyra
Beginning Farmer Program Manager

Gabby Pereyra is the Manager of the Beginning Farmer Program. As part of her work at the Greenmarket, she is primarily responsible for providing direct technical assistance in marketing and business development to established farmers, and also works on training aspiring farmers to start viable farm businesses. Prior to assuming her role at Farmer Assistance, Gabby managed Greenmarkets in Queens, where she learned the importance of expanding access to high-quality, locally-grown products for a diverse range of customers in New York.

A scientist at heart, Gabby spent time on the research side of agriculture before transitioning to the non-profit world. While working on her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Gabby investigated the feedback of plant development and environmental cues, such as nutrient availability, drought, and elevated CO2. By doing so, she designed and built hydroponic systems to study the potential yield of several crops under controlled environments. After volunteering in food justice organizations in Venezuela and Germany, Gabby developed an interest in food security and sustainable agriculture which led her to the Synergos Institute as Program Intern, where she researched adaptation and mitigation strategies on climate-smart agriculture to secure the livelihood of vulnerable communities. Gabby holds a PhD in Geosciences from the FSU Jena (Germany), an MSc in Agriculture from the University of Hohenheim (Germany) and a BSc in Biology from the Central University of Venezuela.

You can reach Gabby Pereyra at:
(p) 212.788.7900 x 288
(f)  212.571.0778

Jack Hornickel
Business Planning & Legal Specialist

Jack grew up in Midwestern farm communities and moved to New York City for college. He stumbled on his first Greenmarket while exploring the Bronx by bicycle and was inspired by the urban-rural connection around fresh food. In 2012, Jack enrolled in law school to support regionalized food systems and advocate for small farmers. He was a legal intern for Farmer Assistance in the summer of 2014, revising leases, drafting curriculum for the Farm Beginnings course, and researching farm labor law. In his position as Business Planning Specialist, Jack assists Greenmarket producers with cash flow management, business formation, land tenure, and farm succession. Jack holds a Juris Doctor and Master of Environmental Law & Policy from Vermont Law School.

You can reach Jack Hornickel at:
(p) 212-788-7900 x265
(f) 212.571.0778


Erik Hassert
Strategic Marketing Manager


Erik's connection with food first began while cooking in kitchens on the Jersey Shore as a teenager.  While studying art at college in upstate New York and after moving to New York City, the importance of supporting agriculture as a means to enriching communities upstate and downstate became apparent. 

In 2009, Erik shifted from a career in video production and photography to train and work as a butcher at a whole animal butcher shop in NYC which sourced from farms in the Northeast.  Working closely with those farmers to help deliver and market their products led Erik to his position at Sun Fed Beef as the Director of Sales and Operations.  During his time there and while working alongside GrowNYC over the last five years, Erik has helped farms to develop their brands, add new product lines, increase customer engagement, design websites and analyze potential markets to increase profitability, diversify revenue streams and minimize risks.

As the Strategic Marketing Manager, Erik is responsible for a full suite of marketing programming for farmers including at-market display optimization, Point of Sale implementation, customer behavioral analysis, market channel assessment, enterprise costs, supply chain strategy, sales forecasting and scaling up to wholesale.

You can reach Erik Hassert at:
(p) 212-788-7900 x269

In a moment where New Yorkers have turned to parks and gardening to ease the mental and emotional strain the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on residents, when the need for education surrounding nutrition and health couldn’t be more critical, the same nonprofits that make green space and nutrition education possible are in danger of going under, while vital city agencies like the New York City Parks Department’s GreenThumb program are facing severe budget cuts.

  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Conservation

    We provide food scrap drop-offs, clothing collections, Stop 'N' Swap® community reuse events, and zero waste trainings to make resource conservation easy for all.

  • Green Space

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.