NOFA Staff

NOFA Vermont Staff

» For media or outreach requests, please contact Kim Mercer.

KIRSTEN BOWER  - extension 16


Kirsten Bower is NOFA Vermont’s Financial Manager and has worked with NOFA for over 20 years. Her previous positions include Office Manager and Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) Certification Inspector as well as coordinator of various programs. She has a BS in forestry from West Virginia University and a masters in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont. Kirsten lives in Richmond with her husband Steve, two daughters Camille and Maya, their dog Luna, cat Eva, and 5 chickens.

Kirsten Bower

ERIN BUCKWALTER - extension 27

Erin joined NOFA-VT’s team in 2011 as the Market Development and Community Food Security Coordinator.  She also is 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 currenty 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!

Erin Buckwalter
NICOLE DEHNE - extension 13



Nicole Dehne administers NOFA Vermont's certification program. She 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.

Nicole Dehne

SAM FULLER - extension 14

Sam Fuller manages NOFA-VT’s Technical Assistance Program, which 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".

Sam Fuller

AMY GIFFORD - extension 40

Amy is NOFA-VT's Local Purchasing and Food Service Development Coordintoar, and 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.


Caitlin Gildrien produces print materials and web design for NOFA Vermont. She studied graphic design at Drexel University and received her bachelor's degree in Agroecology from Prescott College. When not coordinating outreach, she helps her husband run Gildrien Farm, writes, cooks, and chases her toddler.

Caitlin Gildrien

Michael Good - 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 lure of Tom Brady, he plans to maintain his commitment to Philadelphia sports.

Michael Good

ASHLEY GREEN - extension 18

Ashley Green joined NOFA-VT as a Livestock Certification Specialist in October 2013. Ashley earned a BS in Environmental Science and a MS in Natural Resources with a focus on Agroecology from the University of New Hampshire (UNH). She began working with organic dairy cattle in New Hampshire, with particular interest in rotational grazing and feed systems. Following graduation, she spent several years in Oregon exploring meat processing and goat ranching. Returning to the Northeast, Ashley worked with an organic dairy management program in New York. She is eager to settle in Vermont, exploring her many hobbies and crafting her future farmstead.

Ashley Green 

Kim Norman Mercer - extension 15

Kim is NOFA-VT's Marketing and Outreach Coordinator.


ABBIE NELSON - extension 12


Abbie Nelson is the Education Coordinator of NOFA Vermont and the VT Food Education Every Day (VT FEED) Director 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.

Abbie Nelson

LAURA NUNZIATA - extension 11

Laura Nunziata works in NOFA-VT’s organic certification program. She works with organic producers throughout the state as the Processing and Field Crop Certification Specialist and Financial Accounts Manager. As a native Vermonter, she grew up raising vegetable gardens, chickens, turkeys, horses and dogs and boiling sap into syrup with her family. After attending college she traveled around the country working on farms, in greenhouses, nurseries, and financial establishments. She brought her varied life experiences together when she began working for NOFA in 2010. She’s now settled back into Vermont where she lives with her husband raising two young children.


Johanna Prader - extension 22

Johanna Prader joined the staff of NOFA‐VT in October 2013 as the Certification Staff Assistant. She found her home in the state of Vermont in 2003, where she obtained her BS from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. Since then she has also lived in upstate New York and northern California working in organic produce distribution, organic farming, managing farmers markets, and with at‐risk youth. She has spent time volunteering and working on food security projects and with community gardens. She enjoys rock climbing, cooking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Barbara Richardson became Office Manager in June 2010. She grew up in Vermont and received a Plant & Soil Science degree from UVM in 1989, then apprenticed on farms, worked in apple IPM research, and spent most of the next two decades at Gardener's Supply Company and the National Gardening Association. Barbara is a lifelong gardener thrilled to be part of this stellar team supporting sustainable, local and organic food systems for Vermonters. She lives in Burlington with her husband, Terry Souers. 

GREGG STEVENS - extension 23

Gregg Stevens started working as an Organic Certification Specialist for VOF in May, 2010. 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.

Gregg Stevens

BECCA WEISS - extension 20


Becca Weiss has been at NOFA Vermont since 2002 as Share the Harvest Coordinator and office assistant. She 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.

Becca Weiss
ENID WONNACOTT - extension 17

Enid Wonnacott has been the Executive Director of 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.