A native of the Netherlands, Jean-Paul Stewart-Courtens graduated from Warmonderhof, part of Groenhorst Agriculture College, specializing in biodynamic farming. He moved to the US in 1986 and founded Roxbury Farm in 1990. Under his leadership, Roxbury Farm CSA grew into a 415-acre diversified operation in Kinderhook, New York. The farm has operated a CSA since 1991 and serves over 1400 families spread out between New York City, Westchester County, Columbia County, and New York’s Capital District.
Jean-Paul has dedicated much of his career to educating the next generation of farmers. In 1995, he was part of the original CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance of Farmer Training). He has also shared many resources on the Roxbury Agriculture Institute website (known as the Farm Manuals) and taught numerous workshops at farming conferences.
Between 2014 and 2017 Jean-Paul created the ProFarmer program at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub in Hurley, New York, an on-the-job training program to provide a path to farm ownership.
During this time, he guided the transition of their 1250-acre sweet corn operation to organic and biodynamic practices.
In 2000, in association with Chuck Matthei of Equity Trust, the Roxbury Farm community developed a model ground lease that protects the Roxbury Farm land through a combination of a conservation easement and resale restrictions to ensure that the land will always be in the hands of small farmers.
In 2018, Jean-Paul sold his interest in the farm business to his former partner Jody Bolluyt and her sister Keri Latolais. This transition was possible since the Roxbury Farm community had helped put the necessary tools in place to effectively remove the farm from the open market system, making a mutually agreeable transition possible.
Jean-Paul continues to be very active in farming and teaching. He founded the Roxbury Agriculture Institute at Philia Farm to further education and research in regenerative agriculture. Jean-Paul was recognized as Farmer of the Year by NOFA-NY in January 2018.
About Roxbury Farm
PLAY EPISODE 3: JEAN-PAUL COURTENS “PROTECTING CONTINUITY”