BKBF Founder, Erin Fairbanks
Erin started her career at the University of Michigan, graduating with a BA in creative writing. In Ann Arbor, she got her first “behind the scenes” look into a food business: as a manager at the renowned Zingerman’s Deli. After leaving the Midwest for New York City, she built on that experience – first, as a delivery driver for Heritage Foods USA, then as a line cook at Peter Hoffman’s Savoy and in-house charcuterie maker at Michelin-starred Gramercy Tavern.
Following her passion for agriculture, she moved north where she spent a year at Flying Pigs Farm in Shushan, NY, where she designed and directed “Farm Camp at Flying Pigs Farm.” The program targeted New York City based food professionals for an intensive three-day overview of regional farming infrastructure. Erin created six sessions that were attended by a variety of the city’s chefs and nonprofit leaders. The program was profiled by the New York Times (2010).
After returning to New York City to pursue an M.S. in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at the New School, Erin launched “No Goat Left Behind,” a national project of Heritage Foods USA. The project connected dozens of small-scale farmstead cheese producers with chefs in an effort to create an outlet for goat meat. It gained international attention and continues to educate the public and culinary community about the connection between cheese and meat production. The program has been featured in Life & Thyme (2015) Modern Farmer (2013), Food Curated (2012) and more.
In the summer of 2012 Erin joined Heritage Radio Network as the station's first Executive Director. Under her stewardship, listenership has increased over seven hundred percent; the station’s programming has expanded from eighteen to thirty plus weekly programs.
In 2014, Erin launched a scholarship program designed to give high-need high school students the tools and know-how to produce and document their own radio stories. Erin has hosted a weekly podcast “The Farm Report” since August of 2010 and co-produces “Evolutionaries” a radio series dedicated to celebrating the food world's most important influencers.
The network has been profiled by CBS This Morning (2016), Pix 11 Nightly News (2016), Brooklyn Magazine (2015), La Liberation (2014), Sotokoto , AM New York (2014), Edible Brooklyn (2014), and Saveur (2013) among others.
Erin is a frequent speaker and moderator for conferences and summits. She also sits on the advisory council for Glynwood, an agricultural non-profit serving New York State’s Hudson Valley.
Erin is deeply committed to stewarding female leadership and workplace empowerment. In 2013 she created Ladies’ Night a fun monthly networking event for women in the food world. She loves to ride her bike and practices Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand.