Kathryn Spann

Bio: Kathryn Spann co-founded Prodigal Farm, an Animal Welfare Approved pasture-based goat dairy in North Carolina, with her partner David Krabbe in 2010.  They produce a wide range of aged goat and cow milk cheeses.

Before coming home to Durham County, NC, where she grew up, she practiced law in New York City. She worked for three international law firms, federal and state judges, and served as an assistant attorney general for the State of New York. Though she no longer practices law for a living, she has lobbied and done advocacy work in NC at the local, state and federal level for an array of nonprofit causes, and has served on several local boards, frequently as an officer.  She testified before the North Carolina legislature to secure unanimous passage of scale-appropriate requirements for small-scale creameries, which have proliferated at a more rapid rate since then.  She also secured changes to the local zoning code to benefit urban and rural farmers.

Kathryn volunteered with a grassroots rural group to successfully reverse Homeland Security’s plan to site a large-scale foreign animal disease research lab in North Carolina. She helped to write North Carolina’s State Action Plan to Promote Sustainable Local Food Systems, and has served as a guest lecturer at Duke University and the North Carolina State University Veterinary School.

Statement of Intent: If elected, I hope to serve the ACS community in two areas.  The first is regulatory, where change is inevitable. I believe strongly in developing and maintaining a dialogue with regulators at all levels so solutions to crises can be pursued against a backdrop of mutual trust. With my legal background and advocacy experience, I am uniquely equipped to support ACS on this front.

I also wish to expand educational opportunities to reflect the various scales and stages of development of our cheesemaker members (both as individuals and as businesses). I view producers within ACS much like educational cohorts, progressing through similar technical, business, and regulatory challenges at similar points following their entry into the business. I hope to promote robust educational programming to serve members at all stages of development, as well as sessions designed to empower members in all membership sectors to build strong relationships with their local regulators.