Tillers International Welcomes Rob Burdick to Role as Interim Executive Director

Dear Friends,

With the arrival of 2019 come fresh challenges and opportunities for Tillers International. After spending nearly three years with Tillers International as executive director, Jonathan Kline accepted a position with a non-profit in his hometown of Seattle, WA. In January, he and his family returned to the West Coast to begin their new adventure. We are thankful to Jonathan for everything he did here, but are happy for him, his wife, and four children. Fortunately for us, we have a dedicated and experienced staff member well-suited to assume this important position: I’m pleased to introduce you to our new Interim Executive Director, Robert Burdick.

Tillers International Interim Executive Director, Rob Burdick.

Tillers International Interim Executive Director, Rob Burdick.

Rob has been deeply involved with Tillers for some 16 years now, arriving first as an intern in 2003. He has served as a staff member since 2004, working at the Cook’s Mill campus in Scotts, Michigan as head of our construction team. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French Literature from the University of Delaware and a Master of International Development Administration (MIDA) from Western Michigan University. In the past few years, Rob has spent time at our international training centers in Uganda and Mozambique. He recently has had a flurry of trips to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia working with our SIIL Consortium partners (that’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab, part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative) to improve smallholder farmers’ cropping systems and on-farm operations.

Rob is fluent in French and Portuguese, and passable in a few other languages as well. Combined with his formal education, his experience as a woodworker, tool developer, ox drover, international trainer, and now as team leader and liaison with our international partners, Rob is a definite Renaissance man, an all-rounder that knows Tillers’ operations from every angle. We were most pleased when Rob agreed to step into the gap and take on the role of Interim Executive Director.

The Board and Rob have agreed to take a year to let this change settle in. Rob is committed to Tillers’ international work and our mission to collaborate with small-scale farmers in developing countries to improve food security in their communities. Tillers’ founder Dick Roosenberg has expressed his support for Rob and will be working with Rob on various projects.

Join us in offering Rob our congratulations and wishes for every success in his new position. Rob will be on hand during the Midwest Ox Drovers Association (MODA) Gathering, June 21 to 23, 2019 at Tillers’ Cook’s Mill campus. Rob would love to share with you the exciting opportunities we are developing in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and elsewhere, and to get your feedback on what Tillers does. Please let him hear from you as to opportunities you see to enhance our effectiveness both at home and abroad. You can contact him at [email protected] .

Thanks so much for your ongoing support of Tillers’ work. We rely on your help to make the dream of sustainable food security come true.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Tillers International,

Daniel Wengerd

Board Chair
[email protected]