Dean Koyanagi


Veterans Project Associate


I am a former U.S. Marine who grew up downstate, and first came to Cornell University as an undergraduate. I returned to Ithaca to pursue my own farming adventures over the past decade. Prior to launching our farm, I had worked in facilities management consulting for a string of large corporate, government, and university clients in a very ... non-farming career. After a graduate degree focused on experiential learning, I landed back at Cornell as the University’s first sustainability coordinator. After 4 years of that intense launch, I retreated to our 40 acres to plant trees, raise a few pigs and chickens, and grow tons of veggies.

But in 2016 Anu asked for help in supporting my fellow veterans, and since then I’ve been willing to clean up and come off the farm a few days each week.Our farm continues to evolve, albeit with part-time farmers, and we’re currently focusing our attention on improving our infrastructure and practices to deal with the era of a changing climate. Coming from a professional background that included a good deal of disaster management and planning, it doesn’t take much to get me rambling about resiliency and the fragility of our current agricultural systems.