Freeville, New York
Rafael Aponte was born and raised in the South Bronx, NY, and holds over fifteen years of experience working as a community activist, advocate, and educator. Continue reading
After graduating from Farm School NYC’s certificate program in urban agriculture in 2011, he relocated to Tompkins County and established Rocky Acres Community Farm in Freeville, NY in 2013. Rocky Acres is a 10-acre farm that focuses on education and the sustainable production of local vegetables, eggs, and meat for low-resourced communities. It combines the knowledge and spirit of social justice with the transformative healing aspects of nature and agriculture to promote equity in both urban and rural food systems. In 2014, Rafael began working with the Youth Farm Project, bringing his experience in day-to-day farm operations and after-school education. He served as director of the Youth Farm Project from 2016-2018, where he worked alongside youth, staff, and farmers to bring his experience to programing dedicated to equity, food justice, and livestock production. He also spearheaded the Harvest Box program, an affordable farmshare to serve the needs of underserved residents of Tompkins County. Rafael works in various leadership roles in the Ithaca community; he currently serves on the Tompkins County Food Policy Council and is a working group member for Black Lives Matter Ithaca (BLMI).