Nate Kleinman was born in Philadelphia. He graduated from Abington Friends School in 2000 and from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2004. He worked a wide range of jobs, from landscaper to spotlight operator to office manager, before choosing to pursue a life of activism. He has since primarily sought work in politics and organizing, though he quit his last “real job” in 2012 (as an organizer with the Service Employees International Union). As co-founder and co-director of the Experimental Farm Network, he is grateful to be able to consider himself equal parts farmer and organizer today.
While working in politics, Nate was a field organizer on former President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, served as an elected delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, become a top aide to then-Congressman Joe Sestak during his 2010 run for US Senate, and worked as a Legislative Assistant to then-State Representative Josh Shapiro.
As a volunteer, Nate has been involved in efforts ranging from the Sudan Freedom Walk to Occupy Sandy. He helped found InterOccupy.net, an open communication platform for activists. He ran for U.S. Congress in 2012 and was called “the first Occupy candidate” by Politico. In addition to JSPAN, he has served on the Executive Board of the Project for Nuclear Awareness (PNA), the Cumberland County (NJ) Long Term Recovery Group, and GMO Free Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Seed Advisory Committee of the Non-GMO Project.
Since 2013, Nate has been building the Experimental Farm Network into a non-profit with a national and global reach. EFN is a facilitator of collaborative research in sustainable agriculture, plant breeding, and climate change mitigation (especially through the development of perennial staple crops). The ultimate aim of EFN is to become a massive citizen science project, large enough to eventually change agriculture from a major driver of climate change to a potential solution. EFN's work has been featured by media outlets including The Guardian, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Organic Broadcaster. As a plant breeder and experimenter, Nate has a broad range of interests, but he is most excited at the moment by sorghum, chestnuts, jojoba, and perennial brassicas (cabbage family). He currently farms 3.5 acres outside Elmer, New Jersey.