Our Staff

Anna Zoodsma – Agriculture Programs Director

Anna has a Masters in Food Studies from Syracuse University, and is currently teaching a course in Food System Ethics at Tompkins Cortland Community College. Prior to this role, Anna worked as a researcher on projects examining the impacts of farming on New American mental health and on the intricacies of the H-2A Temporary Agricultural VISA program. Additionally, Anna has experience working with non-profit based farms in both Central New York and Colorado, including locally at Salt City Harvest Farm. In her free time, Anna enjoys cooking, reading, and cross-country skiing. She is excited to join an excellent team working towards making food sovereignty a reality among the RISE community and beyond.

Charles Madlock – Urban Agriculture Coordinator

Charles is a graphic designer and entrepreneur with a background in artist development and business marketing from Jackson, Mississippi. He became interested in farming as an adult living in Erie, PA where he had several friends with home gardens. Growing cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons in the backyard started his love of farming and now he is on a mission to get the tools of farming into schools and homes. Before joining RISE in the fall of 2021, Charles participated in Groundswell pilot BIPOC Farmer Training program, which immersed him into Ithaca’s food system for six months. He looks forward to enhancing food security, educating others about agriculture and connecting with the community. Charles spends his free time gardening, taking care of his plants, reading or exploring the great outdoors.

Bernard Randrianarisoa – Assistant Program Coordinator & Educator

Bernard is a woodworker, and enjoys nature, farming and knitting. He is originally from Madagascar where he mostly worked on sustainable farming and forestry programs for different organizations. In addition, Bernard has been involved in a few international development projects where he: provided technical support to the Botanical Garden of Quito in Ecuador to improve its agricultural practice, developed curriculum on micro-farming training programs for multiple Vocational Training Centers in Senegal through the Farmer to Farmer Program, and initiated the revitalization of the coffee program in the South Kivu Region of DR Congo. He temporarily taught wood technology and related fields for SUNY ESF, SUNY Morrisville and Utica College. Bernard mainly spends his free time gardening, hiking and crafts making.


Ahmed Abdirahman – Market Manager

Ahmed is originally from Somalia, and spent time in Georgia and Arizona before moving to Syracuse in 2011. He initially connected with RISE when it was still known as the Somali-Bantu Community Association (SBCA) to get support in finding new work after his move. Ahmed was one of the first farmers as SBCA evolved into RISE and SyRAP was born. He began farming at Salt City Harvest Farm but now maintains a larger plot at Matthew 25 Farm where he primarily grows a type of African corn that is hard to come by in the United States. He also grows a variety of other vegetables on a smaller scale. As Market Manager, Ahmed coordinates with farmers on a weekly basis throughout the growing season to consolidate their harvests and run the SyRAP stand at the CNY Regional Market.

Xinyuan Shi – CCE Urban Agriculture Educator/Farm Manager

Xinyuan has worked as the Lead Educator for SyRAP for the past year through a partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension, and will now be expanding her role with RISE as the Farm Manager. She received her Bachelor of Science in environmental science and sustainability. Prior to joining the team, Xinyuan worked with agricultural systems in a variety of capacities as a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Zambia and an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer serving in rural Ohio. She has a passion for permanent agricultural systems and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in agroforestry through the University of Missouri. Outside of work, you can find her trying new recipes or biking around CNY. 

Pat Dunn – Agriculture Program Coordinator

Pat is a farmer and educator with 10 years of experience teaching and working with others on farms and gardens and in schools in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining RISE, Pat worked on several medium-scale vegetable farms in Washington State in roles including education program coordination, marketing and communications, and vegetable production management. Other experiences include several years managing an elementary school garden, building professional landscapes on an outdoor construction crew, serving as a Washington State Master Gardener, and teaching English in Southeast Asia. Pat is passionate about finding novel ways of working towards productive, community-scale change in the food system. He lives in Syracuse.

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