For media or outreach requests, please contact Kim Mercer (

NOFA Vermont phone: (802) 434-4122

Kirsten Bower

Position: Finance Director


Extension: 16

Kirsten has worked with NOFA since 1989 in various roles and for the past 15 years has been NOFA Vermont’s Financial Manager. She has a BS in Forestry from West Virginia University and a Masters in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont. She spent two years in Peace Corps in Ecuador working in agroforestry where she fell in love with the culture and language. She currently lives in Richmond, Vermont, with her husband, cat, and flock of hens, and can often be found tending her garden.

Erin Buckwalter

Position: Market Development Director


Extension: 27

Erin joined NOFA-VT’s team in 2011 and is also a part of NOFA-VT's Farm to Institution programs team. She has been working and volunteering in a variety of capacities on food systems and sustainable agriculture issues in Vermont since 2005, including building and managing community gardens, managing a farmers’ market, and is currently a board member of the Vermont Community Garden Network. In 2011, Erin completed her master’s degree in Community Development and Applied Economics at The University of Vermont, focusing on farm-to-school programs’ effects on children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. While not at work, Erin enjoys dappling in farming and homesteading; cooking, baking and eating yummy local foods; and being crafty!

Nicole Dehne

Position: Certification Director


Extension: 13

Nicole first came to Vermont in the summer of 1995 to work at the farm at the Mountain School in Vershire. After graduating from the University of Montana in 1997, Nicole returned to the Green Mountain State to receive her teaching certificate from the post baccalaureate program at the University of Vermont. During the summers she worked at Shelburne Farms and Shelburne Orchards, combining her interests in education and agriculture. A winding road brought Nicole from teaching 3rd grade in Guatemala to placing high school students on farms with Vermont Farm Youth Core to working for the certification program at NOFA Vermont. She started working at NOFA Vermont in May 2003, and has been here ever since.

Sam Fuller

Position: Farmer Services Director


Extension: 14

Sam provides an array of services to commercial farmers ranging from in-depth whole farm business planning and technical production assistance to educational offerings and industry development. His work focuses primarily on sustainable livestock production, meat processing and value chain integration. Prior to joining NOFA-VT in 2008, he managed a number of different agricultural enterprises including a pasture-based livestock operation, a diversified crop farm and a multi-farm producer co-op. Sam graduated from Colorado College with a degree in Anthropology. His focus was on food systems, agricultural economics and migrant labor. His thesis work was on "Localizing Culture - How a New Agricultural Model Could Save the Family Farm".

Rachel Fussell

Position: Farmer Education Coordinator


Extension: 28

Rachel is a 2011 graduate of Warren Wilson College, with a degree in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Environmental Policy. Most recently, she has been working as the Vegetable Production Manager and Food Systems Coordinator at Vermont Technical College, prior to that she served as a Food Policy Researcher at Food and Water Watch in DC, was the Local Foods Program Coordinator at the Polk County (NC) Office of Economic Development and worked on an organic vegetable and heritage poultry farm in NC. She has WWOOFed in Italy and Costa Rica, and has lots of other great experiences to bring to her work at NOFA. She is excited about settling in the beautiful Green Mountains and soaking up all the adventures Vermont has to offer.

Amy Gifford

Position: School Food Programs Coordinator


Extension: 40

Amy has spent the past thirteen years working to transform school food. As an Education Specialist with the National Gardening Association she developed curriculum, published educational guides and traveled the country leading professional development programs on school gardening. As a farm to school coordinator and consultant, she has worked with multiple schools sourcing local food and fostering educational opportunities for students. As Project Coordinator for the recent Green Mountain Healthy Kids Challenge, Amy spent a year collaborating with schools and child care centers to identify promising practices in nutrition, nutrition education and physical activity. Amy is passionate about connecting people, especially kids, to their food and tirelessly seeks opportunities to plant, harvest, cook and eat with as many people as possible.

Michael Good

Position: Community Food Security Coordinator


Extension: 26

After finding his way to Vermont to complete the Farmer Training Program at the University of Vermont, Michael decided to set some roots by joining Americorp to serve as the Community Food Security Program Assistant at NOFA-VT in November 2013. Prior to moving to Vermont, he earned a BA in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University. While living in Baltimore, he worked on food systems mapping projects with the Center for a Livable Future and healthy stores projects in the city's food deserts with the Center for Human Nutrition. He is excited to settle down in Vermont, where he enjoys the opportunities to engage in cooking experiments, hiking adventures, and the comfort of Vermont business casual. Despite the allure of Tom Brady, he plans to maintain his commitment to Philadelphia sports.

Erin McGuire

Position: Certification Program Assistant


Extension: 22

Erin is bringing a love of all things food to NOFA and is excited to be part of the global movement toward sustainable agriculture. She earned her B.S. in Biology in her home state of Michigan and (briefly) studied both wetland restoration ecology in Illinois and creative writing in Vermont. She's worked on a 1.25-acre urban vegetable farm in Chicago, as an artisan cheesemaking apprentice in Whiting, VT, and for several years at a family-owned natural foods market doing everything from slicing cheese to creating recipes to writing blogs. Erin lives in Burlington and is enjoying making her home in Vermont.

Kim Norman Mercer

Position: Communications Coordinator


Extension: 15

Kim is psyched to be promoting the amazing work of NOFA Vermont. She has extensive experience delivering brand consistency, website upkeep and non-profit outreach, and has worked for the Highfields Center for Composting, Senator Bernie Sanders, the University of Vermont, The Shubert Organization in New York City, and The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH. Kim lives in Jericho with her husband, two children, two cats, 11 hens, and a dog. She chairs her town’s Recreation Committee and strives to "make things happen" within local government.

Maddie Monty

Position: Office Manager & Policy Advisor


Extension: 10

After working and playing out West for the past few years, Maddie is excited to be back in her home state and joining the wonderful team here at NOFA-VT. She has worked in various capacities in outdoor education, agriculture, and food policy in Utah, Colorado, and here in Vermont. While living in Colorado, Maddie worked as Education Coordinator at a mountain ecology center and as CSA Manager for an organic vegetable farm. In 2014, she worked with the VT Right to Know Coalition on helping to pass Vermont’s GMO labeling law. Maddie graduated from UVM in 2009 with a BS in Environmental Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. She lives in Cambridge where she enjoys gardening, hiking, and canoeing on the Lamoille River.

Abbie Nelson

Position: Food Systems Education Director


Extension: 12

Abbie is involved in all aspects of local purchasing and professional development of school food service. She has been a teacher for over 20 years in regular and special education, and worked on an organic vegetable and flower farm. As part of NOFA Vermont and a VT FEED partner, she has been working in Vermont schools linking Food, Farm, and Nutrition education for 8 years. Her role has been focused on school food by connecting kitchen managers with local farmers, helping farmers with agricultural education on their farms, training school food service personnel, and teaching school staff how to introduce new foods to students.

Winston Rost

Position: Certification Specialist


Extension: 11

Winston worked at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters / Keurig for 24 years, starting out as a part-time barista in the Factory Outlet in Waterbury, Vt. Over time, he worked in the roasting plant, drove a fork truck, stamped paper bags, worked in the call center, and taught “Coffee College”, a one day overview of coffee from tree to cup, to thousands of new employees and customers. He led employee trips to “Origin” in Mexico and Costa Rica to learn about coffee and coffee farming. His most recent position was as the Farmer Relations Manager where he worked with hundreds of Fair Trade, Organic and conventional farmer groups around the globe. He is a certified Q Grader, which means not only does he like and drink a lot of coffee, he’s got good taste buds. (The Q Grader certification is 24 sensory, olfactory, and knowledge tests administered over 5 days). He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from Davidson College and ended up living two years in France - one as a student and one as a high school teacher. With his wife and two young kids, they have a small farm in Duxbury with a sprawling garden, goats, chickens, apple trees, and blueberries.

Gregg Stevens

Position: Certification Specialist


Extension: 23

Gregg earned a BS in Biology from the University of New Hampshire and earned his teaching certificate after completion of a post baccalaureate program at Rhode Island College. He taught high school science in Rhode Island for eight years before moving to Vermont in 2003. Gregg completed an apprenticeship program at Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, and most recently was the farm manager at Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, VT.

Becca Weiss

Position: Office Assistant & Share the Harvest Coordinator


Extension: 20

Becca has been at NOFA Vermont since 2002 and has helped out with with the Farm Share Program, membership, the Apprentice Directory, the annual Winter Conference, in the certification office, and with the Food Education Every Day (VT FEED) program. Becca has an MFA in studio art and has worked in both her own studio and in environmental education since 1990. She has three grown children and a wonderful husband who share her love for gardening and nature.

Enid Wonnacott

Position: Executive Director


Extension: 17

Enid has been with NOFA Vermont since 1987. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Lawrence University and her Masters in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont. Enid was raised on a small farm in Weybridge, VT and spent most of her childhood dreaming about becoming a large animal veterinarian. She now lives on a small farmstead with her family in Huntington.