Abdullah Ibrahimzada

Abdullah Ibrahimzada joined the NMPF staff in June 2022 as the FARM Program’s information system analyst. In this role, he manages the ongoing relationship with the program’s technology provider and oversees software development activities including design, development, implementation, and support.

Ibrahimzada joined NMPF after five years of program management experience with USAID, World Bank, and The Borgen Project, which addresses issues related to global poverty. He is a Fulbright and Campus France scholar and holds master’s degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arkansas and in Marketing and Management from Lille Catholic University, France. Ibrahimzada speaks five languages and loves soccer.

Sage Saffran

Sage Saffran currently serves as Manager of Sustainability Initiatives at NMPF. She works on the National Dairy FARM Program’s Environmental Stewardship and Workforce Development pillars. During her tenure at NMPF, Saffran has managed FARM Program implementation, resource development and stakeholder engagement for both program areas.

Prior to joining NMPF in February 2021, Saffran was the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Policy Intern, covering food systems, plant agriculture and natural resources policy. She also worked as the Food Export Northeast Intern at the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to implement USDA MAP funding, promoting small businesses, farmers markets and state fairs. Saffran graduated the University of Connecticut in May 2020. She grew up in a small town in Connecticut and currently resides in Arlington, VA.

Rachel Ravencraft

Rachel Ravencraft is the communications lead for the FARM Program, creating its media strategy, overseeing its publications, and managing vendor relationships in communications and marketing. Before joining the FARM Program, She was a manager at Purple Strategies, a DC-based communications agency, where she executed campaigns in many communications areas, including crisis and reputation management, brand awareness, regulatory compliance and litigation.

Prior to her work at Purple, Ravencraft led change management efforts in Global Operations at Marriott International. The Reston, VA native is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications.

Miquela Hanselman

Miquela Hanselman joined NMPF in 2019 as its Manager of Regulatory Affairs, leading NMPF’s regulatory-focused efforts on nutrition and public health, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. She also oversees NMPF’s efforts for the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments, the multi-sector Tuberculosis Working Group and NMPF’s internship program. She is also the program lead for FARM Biosecurity, focused on protecting the health of dairy farmers’ herds and employees.

Hanselman received her Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science and Master of Public Health with a concentration in food systems from Cornell University. Growing up on a dairy farm in upstate New York still operating today, she is thankful for the opportunities that being a part of the dairy industry has given her. She enjoys going home to help her brothers feed calves, milk cows and to spend time with her dog, Poppy.

Beverly Hampton Phifer

Beverly Hampton Phifer currently manages the day-to-day operations of the National Dairy FARM Animal Care program. She joined NMPF in 2016. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Animal Care evaluator certification process, program participant relations, farmer resource development and outreach with the internal dairy industry.

Her experience in livestock production and risk management is life-long. Prior to joining National Milk, her professional resume includes providing technical support and project management for animal care, environmental and worker safety matters for a variety of animal agriculture trade associations. These include the Animal Agriculture Alliance, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the Wild Alaska Pollock Association among others.

Jamie Jonker, Ph.D.

Jamie Jonker, Ph.D. is NMPF’s Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Sustainability & Scientific Affairs. Jonker is NMPF’s lead scientific expert on dairy issues ranging from animal health and sustainability to dairy farm biosecurity, air and water quality, and more. Jonker leads NMPF’s engagement with scientific groups such as the U.S. Animal Health Association, the International Dairy Federation (IDF), the World Animal Health Organization, and Codex Alimentarius. Jonker serves on the IDF Board of Directors and in 2020 was elected chair of the IDF Science Program Coordinating Committee. Jamie is also involved in coordinating relations with the Federation’s Animal Health & Wellbeing Committee and Environmental Issues Committee.

Jonker received his B.S. degree and M.S. degree from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining NMPF he worked at the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture.

Nicole Ayache

In her role as Chief Sustainability Officer, Nicole Ayache leads NMPF’s sustainability strategy and oversees the FARM Program’s Environmental Stewardship and Workforce Development pillars, developing tools and resources to enhance environmental and labor outcomes on U.S. dairy farms and provide supply chain assurances. She leverages her background in environmental science and expertise in value chain sustainability to advance NMPF’s efforts.

Before joining NMPF in 2018, she was a consultant for several clients in the food and ag sector, giving her a broad perspective on sustainability. She holds her M.S. in Agriculture, Food and Environment from Tufts University and B.S. in Biology from Yale University.

Emily Yeiser Stepp

Emily Yeiser Stepp is the Executive Director of the National Dairy FARM Program, responsible for managing strategic initiatives for the U.S. dairy industry’s social responsibility program encompassing animal care, antibiotic stewardship, biosecurity, environmental stewardship and workforce development. She joined NMPF in 2016.

Yeiser Stepp holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with a minor in Agribusiness Management from Penn State University as well as a Master of Science Degree in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech. Her research focused on how mastitis and metabolic diseases impact on dairy cow behavior. She also served as the Dairy Initiatives Manager for the Center for Dairy Excellence in Harrisburg, and the Dairy and Beef Extension Coordinator at the University of Maryland prior to joining NMPF.

Yeiser Stepp and her family maintain a small herd of registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss under the Spots-Pride prefix housed at Palmyra Farm in Maryland and Bullcreek Farm in Pennsylvania.