Nikki Seibert Kelley

Project Manager


Nikki Seibert Kelley is a passionate advocate for increasing connectivity, equity, and resilience in the local food system. With over 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, nine years in local food systems and a lifetime of her hands in the dirt, she enjoys supporting the broader sustainability movement through organizational management, funding development, program evaluation, project management, and coalition building. In addition to her work with New Venture Advisors, she is the proud owner of Wit Meets Grit, supporting food and farming organizations across the Southeast, and also serves as adjunct faculty at the College of Charleston.

Prior to her work in food system consulting, Nikki was the Director of Sustainable Agriculture for Lowcountry Local First, a position that included the development of a curriculum-based new farmer training program, a consumer education campaign, the launch of South Carolina’s first incubator farm “Dirt Works”, coordination of farmer training workshops, and academic mentorship. Nikki also serves on the board of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, the SC Food Policy Council, the Green Hearts Project, SC Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, and the Charleston County Farm Bureau.


 Whatcom County Food System Plan

The Whatcom County Food System Committee recently conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors will partner with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan will focus on six sectors of the food system including fishing, farming, labor, food access, environment, and waste, and will be informed by an inclusive and equitable 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. (2022)

 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 school district commissary. The goal is to strengthen 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. (2022)