Cortney Ahern

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Master of Environmental Management, 2019

Cortney is a Master of Environmental Management candidate focusing on food system innovation and regenerative agriculture. At CBEY, she co-leads the Corporate Water Risk Workshop and the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative, and is an advisor to the Climate Change Entrepreneurship and Innovation team.

Cortney spent her last summer working with the Impact Strategy team at Sir Kensington's, a food innovation company, to build the company's social and environmental impact strategy through projects like values-led sourcing, internal sustainability education, B Corp Assessment, and carbon-offset research.

Prior to Yale, Cortney built her career working across the food chain and across sectors. At Feeding America, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Slow Food, and as an independent researcher and consultant for many nonprofits, think tanks, and start-ups, she tackled complex issues including food insecurity, climate change, food system biodiversity, and international agricultural development.

Cortney is a proud Midwesterner from Minnesota and Chicago. She graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University, where she earned a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Authored Articles
Regenerative agriculture begins here

How deeply can regenerative farming affect the way societies value farming- and farmers build value? (Photo courtesy of Lukas via Pexels.) 

The State of Regenerative Agriculture: Growing With Room to Grow More

This article, by The Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (RAI) team at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY), is the first in a series on key opportunities to accelerate regenerative agriculture in the United States. Ordinary agricultural production aggravates greenhouse gas emissions as well as soil health, water quality, and biodiversity. At today’s rate of soil degradation, some scientists predict the world’s topsoil could be destroyed within 60 years. Regenerative agriculture can reverse that. The Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (RAI) conducted a landscape analysis of ongoing efforts to accelerate regenerative markets in the United States.