Who We Are
To strengthen Western Pennsylvania's local food network by promoting ethical animal farming practices and supporting local, ethical animal farmers.
Our Core Values
Raising animals to be food is a decision that should not be taken lightly. We support the many farmers out there that strive to give their livestock a happy and comfortable life, and we enable consumers to redirect their support from factory farmed foods to humanely raised foods.
Ensuring a healthy planet for the future means supporting local, sustainable farms as much as it means conserving water and electricity. Farming humanely tends to mimic natural processes, which can not only reduce our environmental impact, it can also benefit the planet.
Pastured meats, eggs and dairy are more nutrient-dense and often leaner than industrial foods, and are free of antibiotics and added growth hormones. With the growing epidemics of obesity and antibiotic resistance, food that is nourishing and produced without antibiotics is more important than ever.
Buying food produced locally is increasingly important for strengthening your local economy and for the livelihoods of your farming neighbors. We connect Southwestern Pennsylvanians with humane animal farms in the area.
A strong food system must enable trust between those who produce the food and those who consume it. Our role is to ensure that consumers have the tools to make informed decisions about what they eat.
Board of Directors
Max grew up in Mtn. Home, Arkansas, a small town with many small farms. Now working for Whole Foods Market, he is a former secondary school teacher with a long-standing interest in animals and animal welfare. Although he loves horses, he finds that he only has room at home for his two cats.
Hannah is a Digital Advertiser with a passion for delivering strong, effective messages, to engaged audiences. Hannah hopes to expand reach and inform consumers about their diet decisions, choices and impact. She strives to deliver environmental stewardship by bringing brand awareness strategy and tactics to the Ethical Farming Fund. An eater her whole life, she believes we are what we eat and that transparency is key.
Adam is a wild food instructor in Western Pennsylvania. He is the creator of WildFoodism.com, a resource exploring the nutrition behind wild plants, fungi, and animals. He is also the founder of Learn Your Land, the world's first online database of naturalist educators featuring their events, classes, workshops, and more. Adam is also an avid hiker, a lover of old growth forests, and a hunter of natural springs.
Kate was raised in Pittsburgh and returned here after several years working overseas as an English teacher. She has always been an animal lover, but also grew into a foodie as she traveled through Asia, eating and visiting local markets. Her conundrum: animals are delicious (and an efficient source of nutrition). Her solution: support increased animal welfare and sustainable agriculture through the Ethical Farming Fund. Kate hopes that her participation in EFF will help to raise awareness and support for local farms and products, as well as greater concern for the environmental effects of agriculture. Kate currently works as an attorney in employment, black lung and whistleblower law.
Katie grew up rurally on a large rice farm in northern California. Raising sheep, pigs, and cows with her family as a child inspired her lifelong interest in animal agriculture. WWOOFing on small sustainable farms while living in Japan sparked her passion for supporting sustainability in food production, which led to working on a small organic goat farm in California and then earning a Master’s degree in Food Studies at Chatham University. Her thesis research focused on challenges and opportunities in growing the regional meat supply chain in southwestern PA. Through the Ethical Farming Fund, Katie is thrilled to support the promotion and growth of farmers in the region raising animals sustainably for the betterment of the ecosystem, the economy, and the overall health of the region.
Hannah Ridge, President/CEO and Co-Founder
Hannah has always loved animals and thus has struggled in the past with the idea of eating meat. Her study brought her to the conclusion that properly raised animals are important to the diet and to the environment. This belief became manifest in the founding of the Ethical Farming Fund with Tim Trout. Hannah is hopeful about the future of agriculture, and is excited and humbled to be playing a role in it. She holds a bachelors degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Arts in Food Studies from Chatham University.
Tim Trout, Vice President, Treasurer and Co-Founder
Tim comes to Pittsburgh from nearby Greensburg, where he has enjoyed hunting with his family for many years. He has also volunteered and worked on farms across the country, learning about agriculture and its effect on the environment. These experiences molded his idea of what sustainable agriculture means and through the Ethical Farming Fund Tim hopes to have a hand in shaping it.