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 in 2006.
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 operated a small farm where they raised sheep and chickens, and they are now the Farm Managers at Leaping Lamb Farm in Oregon.
Kate is the Membership and Marketing Manager for Farm Stay USA and manages the daily business of the website.
Iris is a student at Middlebury College in Vermont, who grew up enjoying fresh, local food and spending time on nearby farms. She discovered her love for farm stays (and milking cows!) while working as a farmhand at Dogwood Hills Guest Farm in Arkansas. Currently, she is building on her interest in agritourism by updating the Farm Stay USA website with new destinations for travelers.
Emilee Amara is an avid traveler and herbalist with a passion for agritourism. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Entertainment and Tourism. In 2020, she attained her Permaculture certificate with Earth Activist Training and completed the soil advocacy program with Kiss The Ground. She loves to garden, make botanical medicine, and explore the natural world. Emilee resides in Los Angeles with her wild child rescue, Colibri.
Karen Searle brings a “hands-on” perspective to our organization. She represents the Intermountain West Region of Farm Stay USA. She is the owner/manager of Montana Bunkhouses Working Ranch Vacations LLC where she matches guests with 20 working cattle ranches in that group. The Montana Bunkhouse cooperative is featured on National Geographic’s MapGuide of the Greater Yellowstone Area for having met their criteria for authenticity of experience, culture, and heritage.
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.
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. Along with Scottie, he represents the Northwest and Pacific Coast regions of Farm Stay USA.
Jennifer Adams grew up at The Inn at East Hill Farm and runs the business with three generations of her family. East Hill Farm has a long history of hosting families on the farm, blending farm education with good old-fashioned family fun. After working and growing up on the farm, Jennifer worked for many years as an occupational therapist, then returned to the family business. Her role now ranges from director of the Farm School Program to managing social media and customer service. Jennifer represents the New England/MidAtlantic regions of Farm Stay USA
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. Jodi represents the Southern regions of Farm Stay USA.
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.
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. Scott represents the Midwest and Plains regions of Farm Stay USA.
Adam Becker fell in love with web development about 25 years ago, back when having animated GIF backgrounds and MIDI music was still a cool thing. Today he runs a team that works on some really cool software for small businesses. While helping out with the Farm Stay USA website he’s also always cooking up new ways to solve problems with code!