Katie Barr

Research Associate


Katie is a local food systems advocate, organic farmer, researcher, and integrative nutrition health coach. She is passionate about the intersection of behavioral psychology and the development of regional and local food systems.

Katie worked as an organic farmer where she founded and managed a Community Supported Agriculture program. During her Masters program, she wrote a book on Farm Stops: grocery stores that prioritize sourcing local products and operate on consignment to better support the farmers they work with.

In addition to her research work with New Venture Advisors, Katie is an Outreach Specialist at The Common Market, a non-profit regional food distributor based out of Philadelphia, PA. She supports institutions in enhancing their local food procurement and in utilizing federal grant funding opportunities to improve access to fresh, local food.

Katie holds a B.A in Environmental Policy from Barnard College and a M.S. in Behavior, Education and Communication from University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She also received a certificate in integrative nutrition health coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, studying medicinal herbalism, cooking, and practicing yoga.


 Whatcom County Food System Plan

In 2021, the Whatcom County Food System Committee conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors partnered with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan focuses on five key goals for building a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system, and was informed by an inclusive community engagement process. The Food System Plan will provide the county with a policy roadmap that will strengthen the local food system for years to come. (2023)

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a collaborative production kitchen benefitting food access, school system, and community organizations. The goal is strengthening Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. NVA developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development through engagement and operational development. (2023)