Nate Looney is Avodah’s JOC Recruiter, leading diversity strategies at Avodah with a focus on Jews of Color. Nate is the CEO and Owner of Westside Urban Gardens, an urban agricultural company based in Los Angeles, CA. Nate is an AJU alum, entrepreneur, strategist, US Army Veteran and Urban Farmer.
Nate joined the US Army National Guard in 2003. After bootcamp, Nate relocated to New Orleans where he was both a military police soldier and a full-time college transfer student at Dillard University, an HBCU. Nate was part of rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and deployed to Iraq in 2008.
Nate decided to leave the Army to finish his college education and begin his gender transition. In 2015, Nate graduated with his B.A. in Business from American Jewish University.
Nate has been featured as a veteran farmer on the “Lydia Celebrates America” program on PBS and LA Fox Morning News. He has been a guest speaker for USDA, Kaiser, FoodTank Summit and Virginia Tech. Nate is a Jeremiah fellow, a Selah alum and is the chair of the LAGLCC Inclusion Taskforce.
Currently, he consults controlled environment agriculture start-ups and speaks publicly about intersectionality and diversity.