The Horn Farm Board of Directors volunteer to serve as the governing body of the farm. They establish the mission and purpose, ensure adequate resources are available to accomplish the mission, and provide oversight of the farm’s operations.
Meetings are typically held on the second Wednesday of each month (except August) at 6 p.m. Meeting minutes are available upon request. If you are interested in learning more about board service, please contact us!
David Dietz – President
David Dietz has farmed in Hellam Township for most of his life. Growing up, he helped every summer on his parents’ truck patch farm, and he helped tend the roadside stand on the Lincoln Highway about a mile west of Wrightsville. Always interested in history, David earned a BSE in Social Studies from Millersville University in 1995, and spent several years teaching. Eventually, however, his love of the land drew him back to farming. In 2002, David started vending produce at York Central Market, where he continued until 2017. A founding member of the Horn Farm board, David helped start the Community Gardens and the Incubator Farm Project. Currently employed as the produce and dairy manager at Lemon Street Market in Lancaster, David is now interested more than ever in the challenges faced by local small-scale agriculture in a globalized commodity-driven economy. He is thrilled to see the Horn Farm Center leading with a vision for regenerative practices, learning from and working with nature. David is happily married to Waldorf teacher extraordinaire, Rochelle Dietz, and they have a delightful teenaged son, Gabriel.
Marcus Sheffer – Vice President; Facilities Committee Chairperson
Marcus promotes the application of a living systems, regenerative approach to building projects. After 12 years at the Pennsylvania Energy Office, he founded Energy Opportunities in 1993 to provide technical consulting services on all manner of building energy issues, renewable energy systems, the environmental impacts of human enterprises. Marcus is also a partner in 7group, a multi-disciplinary team of professionals developing the capacity of your project and organization to affect how humans regenerate life through building. Marcus is a LEED Fellow, an accredited LEED Project Reviewer, and a Living Future Accredited Professional. Volunteer activities have included leadership positions with the USGBC (LEED Steering Committee, LEED Technical Committee, LEED Market Advisory Committee and past Chair of the Energy & Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group), the Green Building Association of Central PA (Founding Board Chair) and the International Living Future Institute as a Living Building Challenge Ambassador. He co-authored The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building published by John Wiley & Sons in 2009 and was the primary author of The Pennsylvania Solar Manual published by the PA Department of Environmental Protection in 2006. Sheffer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies in 1981 and a Master of Science degree in Public Administration in 1986, both from Shippensburg University.
Michael Barlett – Treasurer; Finance Committee Chairperson
Michael has had a lifelong interest in organic gardening and experimenting with different growing methods. Since his summer working on an organic farm outside of Pittsburgh, Pa Michael has worked hard to garden organically and broaden his understanding of how we interact with the world around us.
While pursuing his undergraduate degree in International Studies at Washington and Jefferson College Michael had the opportunity to spend a year in rural Japan where an entirely different way of living with the land allowed him to learn about how ancient and modern cultures lived side by side in rural communities.
Throughout his travels he has always taken time to learn about the rural communities and farming methods that locals use to adapt to their surroundings. Recently he has begun to experiment with breeding his own Dwarf Tomatoes to fit into his small garden and always trialing new varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Michael Taylor – Secretary
Born and raised in the City of York, Pennsylvania, Michael Taylor was introduced to gardening by his mother and has vivid memories of pulling carrots from their little backyard garden at the age of four. When Michael was six years old, his uncle started taking him on fishing trips, which allowed for an escape from the bricks, mortar, and noise of the inner city. Soon Michael would develop a love for rural landscapes, fields, ponds, rivers, streams, lakes, ocean beaches, bays, and woodlands. Sitting on a bank amongst reeds and cattails with fishing pole in hand, Michael experienced the peace of nature. Frogs, toads, snakes, birds, deer, fox, colorful butterflies, and insects of all types would present themselves to this young boy who had only viewed them on TV. Michael would often walk through the woods turning over logs and stones to reveal a world of exciting and strange organisms. This was also a great way to find fish bait! Michael was fascinated by the variety of plant life that surrounded him. His love for and interest in nature and gardening from childhood developed into an appreciation of our natural world, eco systems, and watersheds along with sustainable organic farming practices.
After graduating from York Catholic High School, Michael attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a B.S. Degree in Exercise Physiology with a minor in Sociology. Employed in the health and wellness field for several years before taking a position as a Health Educator for the York City Health Bureau, Michael would implement several initiatives, one of which was developing an urban community garden located in the city’s East End in front of the United Way of York. Michael also took a position at York College of Pennsylvania as an Adjunct Professor teaching courses in health, wellness, and fitness for eight years. Michael later returned to school and graduated from York College with a degree in Respiratory Care and began to practice as a Respiratory Therapist. Michael is currently the Director of Respiratory Therapy at a local hospital.
Michael began his relationship with the Horn Farm Center as a community gardener and later completed one season of the Horn Farm Centers Farm Internship Program (now known as the Regenerative Farming Training Program). Currently Michael continues to use the skills he learned growing food for his family as part of the Horn Farm community gardens. Michael focuses on practicing and experimenting with various no till and deep mulch methods of sustainable, organic farming. Serving as a member of the Board of Directors is a great honor for Michael and he looks forward to being part of the Horn Farm Center’s growth and continued positive impact within our community.
David Freiberg – Nominating Committee Chairperson
David Freiberg’s lifelong interest in agriculture started in his early childhood years growing up playing and learning at his grandparent’s farm in Chester County. This interest was nurtured during adolescence as he worked in his parent’s garden and orchard.
David received his BA in Business Administration from Bowling Green University in 1976 and subsequently a MPIA in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978. During these college years David’s interest in environmental issues and food policies, especially in developing countries, continued to grow. After leaving Pittsburgh, David started his own business related to his other great interest: history. His agricultural enthusiasm persisted and he completed a one year course in biodynamics at the Sunbridge Institute in New York in 1999. He went on to receive an associate degree of biodynamic at Emerson College in Forest Row, UK in 2004.
He has a small homestead where he has been able to practice biodynamics during the past 25 years. He has grown a variety of fruits and vegetables and raised various livestock including a Jersey cow, sheep and chickens. David’s other passions include travel, gastronomy, history, beekeeping, hiking, and his family.
Julia grew up on her family’s vineyard and winery in Lower Chanceford Township, York County. She first became interested in the land on their farm, helping in her grandparent’s garden and harvesting grapes. Julia attended Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences, where she served as an Ag Advocate, participated in NAMA (National Agricultural Marketing Association), and majored in Agricultural Business Management.
Upon graduation, Julia interned with Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Waugh, Chair of the Ag and Rural Affairs Committee before attending the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle. During law school, Julia worked on campus at the Ag Law Center and at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Office of General Counsel. Upon graduation, Julia clerked in Ocean County, New Jersey before returning to York County. Julia was an associate at the Law Office of Marc Roberts in York before moving to her current office, Lancaster Law Group, LLC, where she practices estate planning, estate administration, and general civil matters. Julia is most proud of her children than she and her husband, Mark, are raising in Lower Windsor Township, where she serves on the Planning Commission.
Nathan was raised in York, Pennsylvania. For as long as he can remember, his parents and grandparents have kept and tended to family gardens. As an avid lover of tomatoes and being outdoors in general, Nathan would often find himself in the garden tending to the tomatoes and other various fruits and vegetables and, of course, providing quality control.
After graduating from York Suburban High School, Nathan attended Messiah College where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Since then, he has been working at C.S. Davidson, Inc. as a civil engineer on various types of projects including: stream restoration, land development, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment. He is a graduate of Leadership York and is passionate about his local community.
Nathan has always had a drive to make the world a better place and believes that everyone should have access to healthy food options and that the production of food should be both beneficial to the recipient and the soil that it comes from. In his free time, Nathan likes to tend to his garden and house plants and spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, and skiing.
Jonathan is dedicated to educating people about the intersection of farming and ecology, to growing tomorrow’s farmers, and to building community resilience in uncertain times. Jonathan is a wild foods enthusiast and educator, former owner and operator of Sterling Farm, and has been active in the local farming community for the past ten years.
Jonathan has been involved at the Horn Farm since 2008 when he volunteered on the committee that conceived and created the Incubator Farm Project. Jonathan received his Permaculture Design Certification in 2011 from Susquehanna Permaculture and in 2014 completed his Permaculture Teacher Training through Dynamic Ecological Design. On January 1, 2016, Jonathan Darby was promoted to Education Director at the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education. In January 2021, after retiring his role as Education Director and pursuing his other local business ventures, Jonathan made the decision to continue to serve the Horn Farm in a new role as a member of the Board of Directors.