Denise is a farmer and has been involved in her community as well as in the agricultural sector for nearly 40 years. She is the founder of Women Food and Agriculture Network and is known for her organizing and policy work on the local, national and international level. Denise is a 2001-2003 Food and Society Fellow, a W.K. Kellogg funded program. In 2012 O’Brien completed a one-year assignment with the United States Department of Agriculture as an Agriculture Advisor in Afghanistan. She currently serves on the board of the Pesticide Action Network. Denise was recently recognized by Country Woman Magazine as one of 45 Amazing Women in 2015.