From our original 2010 organization, we are ever evolving to convey the story of our farm and ranch stays to the experiential travel market. We may be a small team and a small board, but we are passionate about our mission because we are farmers and ranchers too.
U. S. Farm Stay Association (aka Farm Stay USA) founder Scottie Jones and her husband Greg raise grass-fed lamb at Leaping Lamb Farm in the green hills of Oregon’s Coast Range. Since 2006 they have also operated a thriving farm stay where they’ve hosted guests from near and far.
Scottie brings years of entrepreneurial experience to Farm Stay USA, having been the Arizona franchisee for the socially-responsible British company, The Body Shop, and having worked in host services and marketing at the Phoenix Zoo, where species survival and conservation were critical components of zoo education.
Now through Farm Stay USA, she hopes to provide an economic, educational, even spiritual bridge for rural and urban Americans eager to renew a healthier food and farm system, and access to memorable and wonderful guest experiences.
You can learn more about Scottie and Farm Stay USA from this Forbes article.
Kate, a photographer and writer, grew up in sunny Southern California but felt immediately that she had arrived home when she moved to Oregon 12 years ago.
While working for the College of Science at OSU, Kate started a website in her spare time and began writing about local food and farms in the Willamette Valley. She and her husband now operate a small farm where they raise sheep and chickens.
Kate is the Membership and Marketing Manager for Farm Stay USA and assists with the daily business of the website.
Penny Leff is statewide Agritourism Coordinator with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She works with communities throughout California to assist farmers and ranchers in planning, developing and promoting their agritourism operations. Penny lives in Sacramento and enjoys visiting farms and ranches whenever she can.
Mike Porcaro specializes in helping organizations grow through strategic Communications and Marketing programs. Mike has a long history of working with and supporting local businesses and community-focused organizations.
Michael Johnson is the CFO for Khan Academy. He is a finance and operations executive who drives corporate marketing and sales strategy while focusing money and resources on highest areas for growth. He and his family have stayed at farm stays around the world and Michael has a keen interest in the development of this travel niche here in the U.S.
Greg Jones is a psychologist and retired community college instructor. He owns and operates Leaping Lamb Farm with his wife, Scottie. He understands group dynamics and is well-versed in the challenges faced by working family farms and ranches in the U.S.
Karen Searle represents the Intermountain West Region and brings a “hands-on” perspective to our organization. She is owner/manager of Montana Bunkhouses Working Ranch Vacations LLC where she matches guests with one of the 20 working cattle ranches in that group.
Bill Beckler is the VP of Engineering at StellaService. He was previously founder of lodging search service AllTheRooms. Before that he was manager of marketing analytics and director of innovation at travel booking site lastminute.com. He also co-founded camping booking site Pitchup.com.
Jodi Benoit is a 5th generation farmer and the farm events manager at her family’s White Oak Pastures in Georgia. She has served many roles on the farm, from working cattle to giving guided tours, in-house marketing and planning events.
Scott Shappell has run Netherfield Natural Farm Bed & Breakfast in Fontana, Kansas for the past 5 years. His background is in hospitality and food service. He grew up on a farm in Kansas, but spent many years in Washington, DC, managing Grillfish in Foggy Bottom. Scott is currently working on opening up a second B&B location nearby to expand the business and promote the farm.
Jennifer Adams works at East Hill Farm with her siblings, having taken over the agritourism and farming duties from her parents. East Hill Farm has a long history of hosting families on the farm, to educate and to entertain, with many generations passing through their gates.