According to the Association by-laws, NOFA-VT shall have not less than 9 and not more than 12 directors. The Nominating Committee develops a board slate based on self-nominations, nominations from other members, or committee nominees. The following criteria are taken into account when developing the board slate: gender balance, geographic representation, and skills and expertise. A guideline is that 50% of the board of directors shall be commercial organic farmers, and the balance of board members shall represent the other member classifications (gardener, homesteader, consumer). There are 4 open seats on the NOFA-VT board. The following nominees will be voted on by paper ballot at the Winter Conference, February 18-19.
Cheryl Cesario is a Grazing Specialist with UVM Extension in Middlebury where she works with dairy and beef producers on improved grazing management practices. Cheryl has a history with NOFA-VT, working for VOF as a livestock certification specialist for 8 years before moving to Addison County. At home, Cheryl and her husband Marc own and operate Meeting Place Pastures in Cornwall. Their grass-fed beef and custom grazing operation raises cow/calf pairs, stocker cattle and dairy heifers on approximately 375 acres of owned and leased pastures.
Will Stevens and his wife Judy farm at Golden Russet Farm in Shoreham. They started growing vegetables commercially in 1981 in Monkton, and moved to Golden Russet Farm in 1984, where they produce certified organic vegetables and bedding plants in their greenhouses. Will and Judy focus on local sales, with 90% of their produce consumed within 20 miles of their farm through their farm stand, CSA, and retail markets and restaurants in Addison County. Will served 4 terms in the Vermont legislature (2006-2014), serving on the House Ag and Forest Products Committee.
Maggie Donin grew up in New Hampshire and has been farming in Vermont since she graduated from the University of Vermont in 2010 with a degree in Community and International Development. Maggie works at the Intervale Center as the Beginning Farmer Specialist where she coordinates and assists Incubator farms through their nationally known Farms Program. In addition, Maggie works with new farmers across the state to make their first few years in business as smooth and successful as possible. When she is not working with new farmers Maggie can be found teaching yoga, raising poultry and pork, walking in the woods, learning about making sausage and salami, and spending time with family and friends.
Jon Turner operates Wild Roots Farm Vermont in Bristol, teaching students, veterans and community members ways to interact with the land and produce a yield from a whole systems approach. He is the former chair and co-founder of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont, while also sitting on the board for Addison County Farm Bureau. Wild Roots Farm Vermont consists of a 2.5 acre forest farm and 10.5 acre homestead and utilizes crop rotations, limited/no tilling, cover cropping, and rotational grazing to produce a yield.
The standing board members are Seth Gardner (organic dairy farmer, McKnight Farm), Deb Heleba (VT SARE Coordinator, and eOrganic Coordinator, UVM), Annette Higby (attorney), Andrew Knafel (organic vegetable producer, Clearbrook Farm), David Marchant (organic vegetable producer, Riverberry Farm), Lynn-Ellen Schimoler (City Market), Kate Turcotte (Cheese Operations Manager, Shelburne Farms)