Letter from NOFA-VT board chairperson

Dear NOFA-VT members & supporters,

Enclosed in this mailing is a very important letter from Enid Wonnacott, a champion of organic agriculture, a great Vermont leader, and a dear friend announcing her retirement from NOFA-VT next Spring.  What a moment this is for her and for NOFA.

Enid’s induction into the Agricultural Hall of Fame and her receipt of a Lifetime Achievement Award speaks to her stature in our community. Enid and her team have also created a vibrant, solid, and inclusive organization poised to expand upon Enid’s legacy for our community, economy and the landscape of Vermont. I’m writing today to begin the search for our next Executive Director.  

Since 1971, NOFA-VT has served as the Vermont voice for organic production for commercial producers, homesteaders and gardeners. Today, we are proud to serve 1100 members throughout the state and to certify over 715 farms and processors to the USDA National Organic Program Standards. We work to help every producer understand the values of farming organically, and every consumer to understand the benefits of eating organic food.

Unlike Enid’s start, the new ED will not come to NOFA-VT when the entirety of our organization could fit in a milk crate.  During the last 30 years, NOFA-VT has grown to become an active, thriving organization deeply woven into the fabric of Vermont agriculture, encompassing many diverse programs managed by a team of 20 talented full-time staff.  NOFA-VT has a devoted Board of Directors, and a passionate and committed membership.  Our transition to new leadership comes at a time when NOFA-VT has a well-developed partnership between staff and Board, and a solid sense of operational and strategic direction. Our new Executive Director will build on Enid’s strengths of vision, creativity, management, eloquence, and joy, while bringing new skills and ideas to the table.

Help us now to find that next leader.

The Search Committee is chaired by Andy Jones, former longtime NOFA board chair and currently the Farm Manager of the Intervale Community Farm. The committee includes Cheryl Cesario, on the board’s governance committee and with UVM extension; Maggie Donin, a Farm Business Specialist at the Intervale Center and a NOFA board member; Peter Forbes, the co-owner of Knoll Farm and NOFA board member; Deb Heleba, a University of Vermont Extension staffer and former board member who has worked in the organic and sustainable agriculture communities for more than 25 years; and Lynn-Ellen Schimoler who works in business development with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and served as Vice Chair for the NOFA Board.  They are supported by consultant, Marc Mihaly, recent Dean of the Vermont Law School and transition consultant.   

We will be reaching out for your thoughts and suggestions through the fall and winter.  Letters of interest should be directed to: Andy Jones, chairperson for the Search Committee, at [email protected].

Timetable:

October 15:     Position announced on NOFA-VT website, shared with partners and posted on national search sites.

January 15th:   Deadline for Expressions of Interest

April 2019:      New Executive Director announced

While it’s hard right now to imagine a NOFA-VT not led by Enid, we are excited to find and support our next leader and to welcome in a new and exciting era for the health of organic agriculture in Vermont.

Thank you,

Andrew Knafel
NOFA-Vermont Board Chair
Clearbrook Farm, Shaftsbury