March's Member of the Month

In this monthly feature, we recognize one of our members as a way to celebrate all the amazing people who make up the NOFA-VT community. This month we talked to long-time member and recent past NOFA-VT board president, as well as organic farmer at Clear Brook Farm, Andrew Knafel of Shaftsbury, VT. Many thanks to Andrew for his nine years of service to the NOFA-VT board!

Why are you a NOFA-VT member?
As a farmer, NOFA-VT offers great resources to help me be successful. As a soul on this earth, NOFA-VT’s mission as a leader in promoting a healthy, sustainable food system that works for the betterment of people in VT as well as all life on this planet, is crucial now and on into the future.

What do you value most about NOFA-VT’s work?
The honesty and integrity of how NOFA-VT conducts itself as an organization is a model for this time. This reputation for integrity allows NOFA-VT to build bridges with those who hold common interest, but perhaps different approaches, to move towards joint solutions to complex issues.

How long have you been a member?
Since the late 1990s.

Do you identify as a…. (eater, gardener, homesteader, farmer, etc.)?
Farmer… but I do love to eat too!

How have you been involved with NOFA-VT in the last year?
I just finished my 9th year (3rd term) serving on the board. I was a member of the executive committee.

What's the best garden/farm experiment you did this year?
There were many, but most recently we made 350 pounds of sauerkraut for our winter CSA member. We have wanted to do it for years, and finally did. It was so easy, and super tasty!

Why does organic matter to you?
As a believer in the interconnectedness of life on this planet and the importance of diversity in the ecosystem, organic farming is one way to help maintain and strengthen the webs that connect all life and helps to sustain us at the most basic level.

What's your number one priority for NOFA-VT this year?
Right now, there are so many things that need attending to, but I think NOFA-VT helping to support the struggling dairy farmers throughout the state as well as continued innovative approaches to food security are crucial right now.