JACOB ISRAELOW, FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR
Jacob founded Dirt Capital Partners in 2013 as a platform to channel private investment in support of farmland access, conservation and long-term land security for sustainable farmers. The company’s innovative approach has been featured at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow Conference, the US Sustainable Investment Forum, the Slow Money National Gathering and various other gatherings of investors, farmers and food system advocates.
Jacob serves as a Board Director and was formerly Treasurer of the National Young Farmers Coalition, and on the New York Advisory Council of the American Farmland Trust. He is also an investor and advisor to several food companies in the Northeast US. Previously, Jacob was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in Asia, where he spent five years acquiring and developing real estate and infrastructure on behalf of the firm.
Jacob has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a BA from Williams College. He lives in Chatham, NY with his wife and children on a former dairy farm.
BENNETH PHELPS, DIRECTOR OF FARMER SERVICES
Benneth joined Dirt Capital Partners in 2016 as the Director of Farmer Services to further develop and refine the company’s approach to investing in land in partnership with farmers, and the company’s organizational culture and infrastructure.
Previously, Benneth was Loan and Business Assistance Manager at The Carrot Project, where she spent five years evaluating loan applications and working with farm and food enterprises to plan for business growth. Prior to this she farmed vegetables and small fruit in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts, working on organic farms with 4-80 acres in production.
Benneth has served as a member of the Fund Advisory Committee of PVGrows, currently serves on the Loan Review Committee of The Carrot Project and as a Board Member of the Vermont Grass Farmers Association. She holds an MRP in community and regional planning from the University of Massachusetts, and a BA from Smith College where she studied American Studies and Economics.
REBECCA FERRY, FARMER SERVICES
Becky joined Dirt Capital Partners’ Farmer Services team in 2018 to coordinate activities in the New York area. This includes overseeing a growing portfolio of existing projects, working with farmers on new land acquisitions, and collaborating with project partners.
Prior to joining, Becky spent eleven years as a Loan Officer at Farm Service Agency, most recently in the 14-county territory from Clinton County south through Columbia, west to Montgomery and Schoharie Counties. She is co-owner with her sister of an 80-cow Jersey working dairy farm in Johnstown, NY.
Becky holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science with a concentration in finance from Cornell University. She currently resides in Johnstown, NY and serves in multiple roles in support of agriculture and dairy farming. Becky currently serves as Vice President of the New York State Jersey Cattle Club, is a former 4H Advisor and is a dairy cow judge and mentor for youth showing dairy cows.
JASON KENNY, FINANCE DIRECTOR
Jason joined Dirt Capital Partners in 2018 as the Finance Director to assist with the treasury and administrative needs of the business as it grows in complexity.
Previously, Jason spent three years as the CFO and CCO of Kings Peak Asset Management, a currency and rates-based investment manager in New York. Prior to this, he spent seven years at Metacapital Management, a fixed income investment manager in New York in a similar role. Jason has public accounting experience through his time spent as an auditor at Anchin, Block and Anchin.
He holds a Bachelors in Business Administration and Finance from Marist College and is a CPA. He currently resides in Philmont, NY and serves as the Treasurer of the Philmont Public Library.