Cultivating Change Foundation Appoints Jones, Augusto to Board of Directors

At a recent meeting of the Cultivating Change Foundation Board of Directors, the leaders voted to add J.J. Jones and Melisa Augusto to its membership.

“J.J. and Melisa bring unique backgrounds and insight to the Board that will help us to achieve our vision for the Foundation,” said Board President Greg Van Dyke. “As the Foundation continues to grow and expand its reach, their addition will provide valuable points of view and leadership to impact the industry and LGBTQ+ community.”


Jones is the co-founder of Roots & Legacies Consulting, Inc., based in Manhattan, Kansas. He was raised in a diversified agribusiness family and was an active member of both 4-H and FFA. Earning degrees in Animal Science and Industry as well as International Agriculture from Kansas State University, he then went on to work with several agribusinesses. Jones is a strong leader in association management, communicating with various agriculture and food industry stakeholders and putting his passion for international agriculture to use in developing global markets for his clients.

Augusto is a lifelong advocate for agriculture and ally to the LGBTQ community. She was raised on a dairy in California’s Central Valley, and her passion for agriculture continued to grow through her involvement in 4-H and FFA. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Having grown up with multiple queer family members, Augusto has always identified as an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ community. Augusto has lived and worked in agriculture communications in Washington, D.C., for the past 9+ years.


The Foundation has recently adopted a strategic plan, with multiple short- and long-term goals. The goals include several new initiatives and expansion of current endeavors. Over the past three years, the Foundation has held several regional events and roadshows, and plans to expand and grow those opportunities. Other initiatives include developing and providing access to resources and trainings on diversity and inclusion for agribusinesses and organizations, and leadership trainings and symposiums.

The Cultivating Change Foundation will host its annual Cultivating Change Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, June 20-22. For more information about the Summit, please visit the website.

The complete Board of Directors roster and bios can be found here.