Family farmer, environmental leader and Livingston Deputy Town Supervisor
Will Yandik is a fourth-generation farmer in New York’s Hudson Valley, an accomplished journalist and educator and an environmental leader. Will serves on the Livingston Town Council in Columbia County and he is the first Democrat to be appointed Deputy Town Supervisor.
For the past 15 years, Will has been an advocate and leader for sustainable farming, clean and renewable energy, historic preservation, and empowering seniors to ensure their retirement security. He is a leader in the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition, a group of farmers and families dedicated to protecting both the local economy and ratepayer dollars by advocating for an improved electricity transmission system to replace expensive, unsightly and dangerous transmission towers.
Born and raised in Hudson, Will learned the values of hard work and community on the family farm and bakery in Livingston. The 1996 Valedictorian at Hudson High School, he earned a scholarship to Princeton, then went to work as a writer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Will earned an additional degree in biology and completed his graduate studies at Brown University’s Center for Environmental Studies, all while working as a field ecology technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a regional state news reporter for AARP. Will has always enjoyed being in the outdoors. He grew up hunting and fishing on his family farm in Livingston.
Will won two prestigious Switzer Fellowship awards to study and co-author a nationally recognized public policy guide, Carbon and Communities, on how medium and small municipalities can identify and reduce their carbon footprint.
In 2009, Will returned to Livingston to manage and work the 190-acre farm his great-grandfather purchased in 1915 with money he had saved while working as a local iron miner. The Green Acres Farm grows a variety of sustainable fruits and vegetables, along with eggs and honey. The farm operates a popular roadside stand and a bakery that has been a regional staple for 50 years.
Will also spent the past five years as an adjunct professor of biology at Columbia-Greene Community College and still writes a monthly report on issues and legislation affecting seniors that is featured in the AARP Bulletin.
In 2011, Will earned the trust of his community and was elected to the Livingston Town Council. Despite a 4-1 Republican majority, Will has worked with his colleagues to pass progressive policies including a ban on hydrofracking, a reduction in the town’s carbon footprint, and additional investments in green spaces. He worked to balance the budget every year and was recently re-elected to the Livingston Town Board, receiving the most votes of any council candidate from an electorate dominated by Republicans.
Will has a broad and deep background on issues critical to rural farmers and families, working-class families, and retirees. His work ethic, collaborative approach, vision, and unique blend of rural values and science-based solutions have built a record of results. That’s exactly what we need in Congress today.