About the Hosts

Against the Grain: A Farm Aid Podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Jessica Ilyse Kurn and Michael Stewart Foley; with original music by Micah Nelson.

Michael Stewart Foley in front of a black backgroundMichael Stewart Foley is Farm Aid’s Cultural Impact Director, responsible for advancing Farm Aid’s mission by analyzing, communicating and deepening the cultural impact of the organization’s – and the greater farm movement’s – work. A native New Englander, Michael grew up obsessed with politics and popular music. Later, as an historian, writer, and organizer, he produced eight books on a range of social movements and on the intersection of politics and popular music; he also served as an advisor on a number of exhibition, film and television projects, including Mad Men. In addition to advising and co-writing The Boys Who Said No! Draft Resistance and the Vietnam War, he served as the film’s narrator. His writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe GuardianThe Washington PostThe Boston Sunday GlobeThe Daily Beast, and other news and public affairs outlets. (Photo © Suzanne Porter)

Jessica Ilyse Kurn is Farm Aid’s Online Communications and Marketing Manager. She’s been on staff since 2013 working on the newsletter, web and social media platforms to amplify Farm Aid’s work and expand its online engagement. She studied agriculture, food and environmental policy at Tufts University, and was a Reporter & Producer for PRI’s Living on Earth and a Producer at NPR’s On Point before coming to Farm Aid. Jessica has experience creating other podcasts such as the Tufts Nutrition Internet Radio Program and was a creator and contributor to the hyper-local podcast “Hey, Shaker!” Her written work has appeared on NPR, Architectural Digest, Time Out NYC, and more. Jessica lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her family and loves to drink coffee, garden, cook and host themed dinner parties.



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