Jean-Paul Courtens is a native of the Netherlands. He is a graduate of Warmonderhof, part of Groenhorst Agriculture College, specializing in biodynamic farming. He moved to the US in 1986 and founded Roxbury Farm in 1990. In 2018 he founded Roxbury Agriculture Institute at Philia Farm to further education and research in regenerative agriculture.
Jean-Paul has dedicated much of his career educating the next generation of farmers. He was part of the original CRAFT (collaborative Regional Alliance of Farmer Training) in 1995. He 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 NY; 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.
He currently serves on the board of Yggdrasil Land Foundation and the Equity Trust Farm Affordability Program. He served as president of the board of the Biodynamic Association from 2006 until 2015. He also served on the board of La Bruyere Blanche as the North American representative of the BDA.
Jean-Paul was recognized as Farmer of the Year by NOFA NY in January 2018.