Zack Wyatt – President/CEO

Zack Wyatt grew up in northern Virginia. His family were caretakers of a 300-acre, old dairy farm. His family had a large garden, pigs, horses, chickens, and he also worked on neighboring farms. After graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 2003 with a degree in Business Administration, he worked in home mortgage lending and IT. Zack’s passion for bringing community together over food, his understanding of the importance of equitable food access, and his drive to improve local food systems led him to found Carolina Farm Trust in 2015. As the CEO of Carolina Farm Trust, Zack has produced two documentaries (The Farmer that Feeds Us series), and an annual music festival fundraiser called Carolina Jubilee. Zack lives in Cornelius with his wife and five children.

Allyssa Reitz Executive Assistant

Allyssa Reitz is a dedicated professional with a passion for administration and a deep commitment to nonprofit work. As the Executive Assistant at Carolina Farm Trust she is able to support the organization’s mission of fostering sustainable farming practices and ensuring equitable access to fresh, locally-grown food. Her skills amplify real impact because of her belief in the power of grassroots efforts and the importance of community collaboration.

Beyond the office, Allyssa finds joy in nurturing the natural world through gardening. An adventurer at heart, she relishes outdoor excursions, frequently embarking on hiking and camping adventures that allow her to connect with the beauty of the great outdoors.

Michael Bowling – General Manager

As the General Manager for Carolina Farm Trust, Michael Bowling brings a wealth of expertise in catering and management to the table. His culinary journey, which began in Roanoke, Virginia, was marked by a passion for food and innovation. Recognized for his talents, Michael’s career has evolved into a role that is about much more than just being a chef.

In his capacity as the General Manager for Carolina Farm Trust, Michael is dedicated to fostering sustainable, local, and community-focused food systems. He excels at orchestrating culinary experiences and managing logistics, all while driving forward a vision of a more sustainable and interconnected food landscape in the Carolinas. His leadership and management skills are key elements of Carolina Farm Trust’s mission, making a profound impact on the organization’s efforts.

Toni Eskridge – Operations Coordinator

Toni was born and raised in Charlotte, NC where she attended and graduated from Harding University High School top of her class. She turned her passion for helping the community and bringing people together into a business for Events and Marketing. Toni has worked with large corporations to assist in managing their Trade Show and Event Planning needs. When stepping away from her business due to the pandemic Toni brought her passion for helping others and making a difference to Carolina Farm Trust. Toni enjoys cooking, traveling, culture events, giving back to the community, museums, wineries and festivals.

Brenton Lowney – Food and Agriculture Operations

Brent Lowney is from South Carolina and has been involved with various types of agriculture his entire life. Agriculture became more of a focus for him after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Animal and Veterinary Sciences from Clemson University. Brent has held positions as a zookeeper, veterinary technician, a research technician, and as a client specialist for a compost company. These experiences allowed him to realize that they shared a common theme, one that he is passionate about – helping others. After completing his Master of Agriculture with an emphasis in Integrated Resource Management, Brent committed to sharing his knowledge of sustainable agriculture, community relations, food insecurity, and waste management. First and foremost, Brent seeks to create a community he is proud of by building an equitable and sustainable future alongside Carolina Farm Trust.

Mariah Henry – Director of Urban Agriculture

Mariah Henry is on a mission to re-educate, reform, and lead communities into economic resiliency through food. Mariah calls Indianapolis, IN home and where her roots sprouted for land stewardship and food production. She attended Florida A&M University and Johnson & Wales University. Classically trained as a chef, she has an immersive background in sustainability, international agriculture, community relations, farming systems, culinary arts, strategic planning, and small business enterprises which provides communities with the unique skill set to thrive where they are planted. Mariah has served communities by bridging gaps to ensure consistent access to quality meals, local foods, and identifying inequalities with BIPOC and minority farmers. She currently serves as the Director of Urban Agriculture for the Carolina Farm Trust. Through regenerative and climate smart practices she is developing a blueprint for equitable and profitable urban farm systems, training the next generation of agricultural leaders, and curating a seamless pipeline of sustainable production to equitable consumption.

Adam Ferguson – Farm Apprentice 

Adam is the first to join our Farm Apprenticeship Program and make an impact in the urban farming community. Adam’s background in construction gives him the confidence to work with his hands and seek out opportunities to learn new things. He has a passion for cooking at home and one day hopes to manage a farm of his own. Adam lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his awesome wife.

Nick Liles – Warehouse Manager

Nick was born and raised in Raleigh, with familial roots tracing back to Smithfield, NC. His family’s tradition of cooking with fresh vegetables shaped his deep love for fresh food. With over 22 years in the restaurant industry, predominantly as a Chef, Nick is committed to sourcing locally. He actively seeks out local sources driven by a strong belief in supporting local farmers who play a vital role in their communities. A lover of golf and traveling, Nick brings a keen eye to detail and a commitment to efficiency to the team.

Cierra Lannon – Content Specialist and Brand Storyteller

Cierra is a native North Carolinian passionate about all things communication – from marketing, to social media, to blog writing. She is the first internal Content Specialist and Brand Storyteller with Carolina Farm Trust, and she’s excited to grow CFT’s platforms and promote the organization’s mission.

She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Media and Journalism, and has vast marketing and advertising agency and small business experience. She is excited to continue to hone her craft – this time, with a genuine and honest purpose to strengthen local food systems in the Carolinas.

Amanda Halter – Farm Specialist Liaison

Amanda is a born and bred Georgia Girl that loves to learn through travel, adventure and most importantly by making deep connections with her community. Rural life has always been a part of her roots. Growing up she would travel to her family farms throughout the south where you could find acres of corn, cotton, soy, peanuts as well as cattle, goats, chickens and a few pet cows too. This appreciation for the hard work and dedication it takes to be a steward of the land has always been a pillar on how Amanda would approach her journey in food.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Georgia with studies in Food and Nutrition, Food Science and Food Consumerism. Her career has covered quite a spectrum from restaurant line work, catering, product development and demonstrations, cookbook publications and most recently her 16-year career in Organic Grocery where she worked hard to build leaders and educate consumers on the value of our food systems and how we can work together to grow, sell and eat better.

Amanda is excited to be with the Carolina Farm Trust team and to be a part of the change in the Carolina food ecosystem that brings sustainable, nutrient dense, safely harvested food from the farms and into the hands and bellies of our community.