Staff

For media or outreach requests, please contact Kim Mercer ([email protected]).

NOFA Vermont phone: (802) 434-4122


Kyla Bedard

Position: Certification Specialist- Dairy & Livestock

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 18

Kyla graduated from UVM in 2008 with a B.S in Environmental Science, focusing on Conservation Biology. After graduating she apprenticed on an organic vegetable farm which sparked her passion for sustainable agriculture. Afterwards, she worked for an organic dairy in Addison County and fell in love with cows and dairying. Kyla has spent the last 5 years in California working for a large organic dairy and smaller family owned farms as a farmer, administrative assistant and event planner.

Kirsten Bower

Position: Finance Director

Email: [email protected]

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

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 27

Erin joined NOFA-VT’s team in 2011, overseeing NOFA-VT's direct marketing and community food security programs. She 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 and managing a farmers market. 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 living and working on her family's homestead; preserving, cooking and eating yummy local foods; and being crafty.

Nicole Dehne

Position: Certification Director

Email: [email protected]

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.

Phoebe Judge

Position: Materials Review Specialist/Staff Inspector

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 37

Phoebe grew up on a dairy farm in Addison County and spent many years working on nearby Golden Russet Farm. She studied physics and geology, studying the development of mountain ranges in the southern hemisphere in grad school at Cornell University. She has taught middle school science in Montpelier and, most recently, started her own gardening-landscaping business in the Champlain Valley. She currently lives in Shelburne with her family and tends to large vegetable and fruit gardens.

Maddie Kempner

Position: Membership & Advocacy Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 32

After working and playing out West for a 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. In 2014, Maddie worked with the VT Right to Know GMOs Coalition to help pass Vermont’s GMO labeling law. She is passionate about advocating for positive food and farm policy change and thrilled to be doing so here at NOFA-VT. Maddie has a BS in Environmental Studies from UVM and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She lives in Cambridge where she enjoys mountain biking, gardening, and canoeing on the Lamoille River.

Katy Lash

Position: Certification Program Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 22

Katy joins the VOF certification staff with technical skills and computer systems expertise. She has worked in several administrative roles and most recently as an HR specialist with a focus on system management and optimization. She is excited to bring these skills and her interest in Vermont’s local food movement to NOFA. In summer 2016 she completed a community herbal apprenticeship program with Spoonful Herbals and is on staff at Railyard Apothecary in Burlington, helping to manifest their vision of providing high quality, locally grown and affordable herbs and herbal education to the community. She is a foodie with a passion for organic, sustainable agriculture and is inspired by the local farming community. An aspiring homesteader living in Fletcher, she can often be found playing in her garden, exploring the woods or reading books!

Kim Norman Mercer

Position: Communications Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 15

Kim is psyched to be promoting the amazing work of NOFA Vermont. She has extensive experience delivering brand consistency, website upkeep, and promotional content. Kim 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. She lives in Jericho, where she keeps chickens and a large weedy garden, as well as unruly teenagers.

Jen Miller

Position: Farmer Services Director

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 14

After a couple seasons farming in California and Massachusetts, Jen came to Vermont in 2007 and spent the next five years working on and managing farms in the Intervale, growing diversified vegetables, pigs, and broiler chickens. Jen also spent time at the Intervale Food Hub, coordinating the subscription program and managing membership. In 2014, Jen completed her masters’ degree in Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont with a focus on USDA conservation programs and agricultural best management practices. After a few years providing business planning and educational services to beginning farmers in southern Vermont (an area which she now loves), Jen joined the NOFA team, excited to work statewide with farmers of all experience levels.

Abbie Nelson

Position: Food Systems Education Director

Email: [email protected]

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.

Laura Nunziata

Position: Quality Assurance Specialist

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 29

Laura has worked for NOFA-VT's organic certification program since May of 2010, taking a brief hiatus during 2016. She started here as the Certification Program Assistant, worked for 4 years as the Processing Certification Specialist, and is now the Quality Assurance Specialist. In 2001, she earned her degree in Landscape Development and Ornamental Horticulture from Vermont Technical College. She lives in Williston where she loves to focus her energy on raising a family and studying traditional nutrition and wellness.

Jennie Porter

Position: Community Food Security Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 36

Jennie graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.S. in mathematics and art history. A winding road of farming and non-profit work brought her to Vermont to complete a M.S. in Food Systems at The University of Vermont. Since graduating in 2015 she has completed a Permaculture Design Certificate in Nepal and has worked as a Farm to Institution Coordinator at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. When not in the office, she can likely be found exploring Vermont’s mountains, swimming holes, and bakeries.

Winston Rost

Position: Certification Specialist

Email: [email protected]

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 and ending as the Farmer Relations Manager, working with coffee farmers all over the world. He has a BA 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, sheep, apple trees, and blueberries.

Gregg Stevens

Position: Certification Specialist

Email: [email protected]

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

Email: [email protected]

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

Email: [email protected]

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.

Lauren Young

Position: Office Manager

Email: [email protected]

Extension: 10

A native of Colorado, Lauren came to New England in 2014 to help organize the Common Ground Country Fair. She received her BA in Environmental Science at Carleton College and has worked on a handful of organic agriculture operations in Maine including a seed garlic production, a dairy specializing in sheep blue cheese, and a u-pick blueberry farm. She currently lives in Burlington and is enjoying the perks of "urban" living.