The Grass Roots Team

CODY HOPKINS

General Manager

Cody, an Arkansas native, brings ten years of experience developing and growing a vertically integrated, sustainable livestock farm—Falling Sky Farm, a founding member of Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. He was the recipient of a Wild Gift Fellowship, has been named a Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur, and was featured in Forbes’s as an “Up and Comer.” Cody has a BA in physics from Hendrix College and—before pursuing his career in agriculture—he taught high school physics and math and worked as a baker.

Andy Shaw

Operations Manager

Andy is the owner of Cypress Valley Meat Company/ Meat Director of Goodes Cashsaver Grocery Stores. He has almost 20 years of experience in the meat industry. He started a small processing facility in Vilonia, Arkansas, in 2010. In less than 16 months, Andy and his business partner Steve Goode added two more facilities. The two additional facilities— located in Romance, Arkansas, and Hot Springs, Arkansas—are under USDA federal inspection.

ERIN PAYNE

LIVESTOCK TECHNICAL ASSISTANT

Erin Payne utilizes her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Vermont in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Sustainable Agriculture to help educate farmers in the state of Arkansas about sustainable livestock production in pasture based systems.  Erin has worked on all different types of farm from conventional, organic, to environmentally sustainable since she was a teenager growing up in Northern Indiana, and loves being able to share her passion for agricultural production models that provide economically and environmentally sustainable local, quality, and healthy foods to their communities.  If you can’t find Erin in the field she is most likely out running, hiking, eating, or enjoying the company of friends and family.

Elizabeth Quinn

Communications Manager

Elizabeth graduated from the University of the South with a bachelor’s degree in studio art, where she specialized in photography, video, and digital art. She came to Arkansas as a graduate student of creative writing and returned to Fayetteville after completing her MFA in Fiction Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kerry Harrington

Inventory and Order Fulfillment Manager

Kerry moved to Arkansas from the Chicago area to attend the University of Central Arkansas where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. Before she and her husband Josh joined Grass Roots as The Other Side Farm, Kerry worked for Falling Sky Farm. Kerry now manages inventory and order fulfillment for Grass Roots and serves as the board secretary. She was featured in World Ark, Heifer International’s quarterly magazine.

Christine Weingartz

Livestock Specialist

After Christine graduated from Michigan State with her BS in Animal Science, she took a position as a livestock educator volunteer at Heifer International’s educational ranch in central Arkansas. While at Heifer she discovered her passion for working with animals and small­scale farmers. Because she fell in love with Arkansas, she moved to Fayetteville and attended the University of Arkansas, where she earned her MS in Animal Science with a concentration in Parasitology.

LEVI ROSS

Financial Manager

Levi is an accounting professional with seven years of public accounting experience in both public and private industries. His public accounting industry experience includes specialty in agriculture and food processing, telecommunications providers, construction, manufacturers/distributors, and various service providers and many types of closely-held businesses. His areas of practice include financial statement audits for both private and public (Securities and Exchange Commission) companies, as well as review and compilation services. He has assisted transitional entities with accounting management solutions and accounting models surrounding complex and difficult audit areas such as business combinations and mergers, segment reporting and multi-level consolidations.

Rebecca Watkins

Accounts Payable Manager

Becky has enjoyed over 20 years of experience in bookkeeping and office management. She was born and raised in Arkansas and—after spending several years living and working in New York City, Kansas City and Cincinnati—she is happy to be back in Arkansas working with Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative to bring local farmers quality sustainably­raised food.

Dave THOMASoN

Virtual CFO Consultant

Dave is a senior executive with over 30 years experience in business operations and manufacturing with a primary emphasis on business turnarounds and operational improvement. He has as an MBA from Duke University and an bachelor’s degree in engineering operations from North Carolina State.