Stephen McDonnell is the founder and CEO of Applegate Farms, a leading producer of organic and natural meats sold in supermarkets and natural food stores throughout the U.S.
A graduate of Hampshire College, Steve earned his Masters Degree in Organizational Development from Harvard University. He began his professional career as a costing analyst at Ford Motor Company and later served as a management consultant in organizational and strategic planning at Gray-Judson in Boston. After years in the corporate world, he worked as GM at esteemed glass blowing and pottery manufacturer Simon Pearce, whose commitment to quality craftsmanship has had a profound effect on Steve’s business philosophy.
Today, under Steve’s direction, Applegate Farms serves as a major proponent of sustainable agricultural practices and the humane treatment of livestock, working with a network of nearly 1000 family farms.
In addition, Stephen, and his wife Jill, work with a cooperative of 800 Quechua Indian families in the Ecuadorian rainforest, establishing an organic chocolate business, where 100% of the profits are returned to the region to support sustainable development, education and health initiatives.
The couple has also formed the Organic Schoolhouse, a foundation that addresses childhood obesity by supporting school lunch reform and non-profit initiatives that educate children about nutrition and the impact of sustainable agriculture on their health and the health of the environment.
Stephen serves on the boards of Stonyfield Yogurt and O Naturals, and is a member of the Organic Trade Association.
Stephen and his wife Jill reside in rural Pennsylvania, with their three daughters.