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

Dr. Gabriela Pereyra
Beginning Farmer Program Manager

Gabriela (Gaby) Pereyra is a recent Venezuelan/Uruguayan transplant. Her immense love for plants started at an early age, when she started to learn everything and anything about them, especially their role for people, profit and the environment in agro-ecosystems. She believes that a resilient agricultural system is rooted in cultural diversity. Currently, she oversees the Beginning Farmer program at GrowNYC that mostly assists Black, Indegenous and People of Colorfarmers with land access opportunities and agricultural business development. She also has helped to develop bilingual universal curriculum for improving management skills, sustainable farming and equitable economy. Since September 2017, she has assisted directly in the creation of more than 20 farm businesses in the North East.

Gaby holds a Dr. rer. nat. in Geosciences from the Friedrich-​Schiller-University Jena completed at the Department of Biogeochemical Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany; an MSc in Agriculture from Hohenheim University (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

GrowNYC is facing unprecedented challenges and we need your financial support to keep basic programs going: community gardens, food access sites, composting, and environmental education. Please donate today.

  • 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.