Consulting Editor Program

JAFSCD's Consulting Editor Program (CEP) assists new authors or non–native English-speaking authors who have an important contribution to make to the agriculture, food system, and community development literature, but whose manuscript fails to meet JAFSCD editorial criteria or has other weaknesses (e.g., poor writing, structure, logic, nonstandard usage of English). It helps match these authors with editors who can help improve their manuscripts so they are more likely to be approved to be reviewed in the JAFSCD peer-review system and perhaps accepted for publication (depending on the outcome of the blind peer-review process).

Please note that participating in the CEP does not guarantee submission for review; it simply may increase the chance of the manuscript being reviewed. Also note that while JAFSCD and its publisher, the Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, facilitate the consulting editor program, they are not directly involved with a CEP contract since doing so would create a conflict of interest.

If you are interested in being added to our list of consulting editors, please contact Paivi Abernethy:

If you would like to contact a consulting editor about your draft or completed manuscript, use the contact information below.

How CEP Works

STEP 1. An author who would like editorial assistance directly contacts a consulting editor from the list below. Attach the manuscript to the email and include details such as:

  1. the stage of the manuscript (e.g. early draft, completed draft, etc.);
  2. any specific needs of the paper (e.g., light editing, heavy editing);
  3. compensatory arrangements offered (payment, coauthorship, acknowledgement, or a combination); and
  4. a time frame.

STEP 2. The consulting editor (CE) conducts a quick review of the manuscript and responds promptly to the author with details on what he or she believes the manuscript requires and what compensatory arrangement he or she is willing to accept. If a fee is required, the CE provides a rate per hour and an estimate of the number of hours needed.

STEP 3. The author responds to the CE to confirm the details of the agreement and copies (cc's) Duncan Hilchey ( on the email.

Keys to a Successful CE Arrangement

We have found the following to make for the most successful arrangements:

  • Clear agreement on terms
  • Open dialog and frank disclosure
  • Friendly and supportive interaction
  • Timely responses and brisk process
  • Fair compensation

JAFSCD Consulting Editors

Please fill out our brief online form if you are interested in being added to JAFSCD's list of consulting editors. If you are an author looking for the assistance of a consulting editor, review the experience and credentials of these consulting editors and contact the one you feel matches your needs the best.

Sandip Banerjee

Sandip Banerjee is Professor (Animal Breeding and Genetics) and Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Mansarovar Global University, India. Sandip would be happy to be associated with the project as a consultant editor. Sandip is from India, He has a rich experience in both research and academics. Sandip has a bachelors in agriculture and animal husbandry, masters and Ph.D. in Animal breeding and genetics, followed by a course on sustainable agriculture from Wageningen UR, The Netherlands. He has also carried out research with Invermay AgResearch, New Zealand. Sandip has 100+ research publications to his credit and has been leading a couple of international projects. Sandip is presently an adviser to 18 MSc. students and 6 Ph.D. students. So far, he has advised more than 60 Masters students specializing in the fields of, Animal Breeding and Genetics, Livestock Production and Animal Nutrition. He also is associated with commercial livestock farming ventures, organic certification and farming, and contract farming in India with small and marginal farmers. He is concerned about domestic animal diversity and is a regular contributor to FAO, DAD-Net and panel-level discussions. Sandip also is on editorial board of some other reputed journals and is presently reviewing for six international journals. He is presently serving as an expatriate staff for the last 10 years with the School of Animal and Range Sciences, Hawassa University, Ethiopia. His studies also include those associated with community based livestock breeding projects, traditional livestock selection methods and also on environmental issues including, soil plant and animal relationships, specializing in trace mineral. Sandip would be happy to assist authors in improving their presentation skills, developing protocols pertaining to developing methodologies, and assisting in analyzing and interpreting data — or with overall project concerns. He can be reached at or

Stephen J. Christian

Stephen J. Christian has extensive experience writing and editing, including editing academic papers and masters theses on a variety of subjects. He attended Macalester College, the University of Minnesota, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He now lends his expertise to the sharpening of many JAFSCD papers as a contract editor and is available as a consulting editor. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, daughter, and multiple dogs, cats, and chickens. He can be reached at

Cathy Rozel Farnworth

Cathy Rozel Farnworth, PhD., is happy to offer her services as a consulting editor to help ensure that your ideas are transmitted effectively. 

Cathy is a social scientist with a strong theoretical and practical background on gender issues in agriculture, value chains, and climate change. As commissioning editor/lead editor of several books, Cathy has worked closely with authors from many countries to finalize their manuscripts. These books include Gender-transformative Approaches to Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa (SIANI/SEI, 2013), Participatory Plant Breeding (CGIAR-PRGA), and Creating Food Futures: Ethics, Trade & the Environment (Gower). Cathy was a lecturer at the University of Flensburg, Germany, on gender, program management, etc., and guided a number of masters theses to completion while there. She was a global author for the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) on indigenous technical knowledge/gender and she prepared "Module 5, Gender and Agricultural Markets" for the Gender and Agricultural Livelihoods Sourcebook (World Bank). She has also co-authored a number of peer-reviewed papers, most recently on addressing the gender dimensions of adopting climate-smart agricultural practices in India and  Bangladesh, in conservation agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, in aquaculture interventions in Bangladesh, and on livestock in Ethiopia. Her country experience includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Syria, Zambia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Germany, Uganda, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark, as well as two years each in China, Kenya, and Madagascar. She can be reached at

Luis Freire

The research phase is a time-consuming and error-prone process that can be alleviated with the right type of editing support. I started this line of work by returning to the Rutgers University English Department as a writing and research tutor. Since that time, my responsibilities have expanded into private mentoring for master level and doctoral level research. I have flexibility with scheduling and will make the editing of drafts a seamless project. Contact: 

Bethann Garramon Merkle

Bethann Garramon Merkle, MFA, is an award-winning science communicator and scicomm researcher. She has written over 300 articles, and she has bylines and illustrations in books, publications, and peer-reviewed journals including Nature, American Scientist, BioScience, Ecology and Society, Western Confluence and more. She is an associate editor of Natural Sciences Education, the founding editor of the Communicating Science section of The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, and director and co-founder of the University of Wyoming Science Communication Initiative. Specializing in art-science integration and inclusive science communication, she has trained nearly 600 scientists how to share their science with diverse, public audiences and raise funding to do so. On faculty in the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming, Bethann works closely with the Wyoming Migration Initaitive and the Biodiversity Institute to share their science. She can be reached at b.g.merkle (at)

Nicholas Parrott

I am a freelance independent English language editor and author and formerly editor for Ecology and Farming and Farming Matters. I was the lead author of The Real Green Revolution (Greenpeace, 2002) and several well received and highly cited reports and articles on organic farming, regional foods and rural development. I have a degree in Human Ecology and a master's and PhD in Environmental Assessment.

For the past 20 years I have been working as as independent English language editor, helping academics and NGOs "get the best" out of their material. With a multidisciplinary background, I am able to deal with natural and social sciences and the places where the two meet. While most of my clients are non–native English speakers, my service covers more than just proofreading or editing. It also draws on an in-depth understanding of a wide range of sustainability issues, a keen eye for scientific detail, and an ability to interpret statistics and to help authors to find the right tone for the audience that they want to reach (be it policy makers, academics or the general public).

I also have practical experience in JAFSCD's fields of interest — having worked (usually voluntarily) on organic farms, with distributors, box and CSA schemes, and now on a permaculture garden in Hendaye (Pays Basque), where I am now based. I have previously worked for an author submitting to (and having his paper accepted by) JAFSCD. Details of commissions, clients etc., can be found at Contact me at

William Swanson (Bill)

Bill has over 30 years of experience in education, scientific research, landscape design, civil engineering, habitat delineation, restoration and management, landscape ecology, agriculture, small business ownership/management, and consultation. In 1982 Bill received his Master of Science in Botany and Plant Ecology from Miami University. For more detailed information visit his  Linkedin profile. He started his career as a museum curator and educator. He gained professional skills in museum management and research of plant and animal collections, pedagogy and curriculum development for classroom and informal educational settings. He moved into landscape and civil engineering design for the next 20 years, first as founder of his own landscape architectural and consulting company, and later working with other civil engineering, landscape architectural and architectural firms. During this time, he also worked toward a Masters in Landscape Architecture to enhance his design and presentation skills.

Since 2009, he has refined his scientific, educational and design skills operating an ecologically sustainable chemical-free produce farm, bakery and native plant nursery. This farm brings all his scientific content, teaching capabilities, agriculture and design skills together. The peri-urban farm has allowed him to reach diverse audiences and present local food production, distribution and land use constraints affecting local farmers and consumers ( For the past five years, he has been a peer reviewer for the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development ( You may contact him at Bill. Pricing is negotiable based on your needs.