Presenter Bios

Alphabetically, by last name

Philip Ackerman-Leist, Sterling College

Workshop: Political Pathways to Pesticide-Free Communities: A Suite of Stories & Approaches for Activists

Philip Ackerman-Leist is the new Dean of the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College. He is also a farmer and the author of "A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement"; "Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems"; and "Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader."  With interests in digital storytelling and supporting environmental activists, he and his collaborators at the Lexicon of Sustainability partner created the “Toppling Goliath” multimedia project, www.topplinggoliath.org, focused on the first town in the world to pass a binding referendum calling for the elimination of all synthetic pesticides.

Jenna Antonino DiMare, The Mushroom Forager LLC

Workshop: Hunting Wild Mushrooms in the Northeast

Jenna is business manager and creative director for The Mushroom Forager. She co-founded The Mushroom Forager with Ari in 2010, and frequently joins Ari in teaching workshops. Jenna is the creator of the popular ForageCast graphic. Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, Jenna is intimately familiar with New England forest ecology and relishes the treasure hunt of finding and collecting wild food. She is a passionate chef who loves to cook with fresh local ingredients and wild mushrooms. Jenna can periodically be found whipping up delectable morsels of wild mushrooms in The Mushroom Forager's forest pop-up kitchen, which makes special appearances at some workshops.
Jenna also serves as the Executive Director of non-profit Vermont Green Building Network and directs the Burlington 2030 District, a private/public partnership that works to reduce building energy consumption, water usage and transportation emissions 50% by 2030 in the City of Burlington. Jenna completed a graduate program (MLA) in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, and she received her B.A. from Brown University, where she studied architecture and environmental issues with a focus on sustainable agriculture.

Mike Bald, Got Weeds?

Workshop: Invasive Species Management: Application of the Science, Rehabilitation of the Land, Successful Transition

Mike Bald is Founder and Owner of Got Weeds?, which has operated across New England since 2011.  Mike manages non-native invasive plant species with non-chemical methods over extended time frames, working to transition sites in a rehabilitative manner.  Got Weeds? seeks to grow overall biodiversity and improve soil health while building stewardship capacity and a sense of connection within communities

Betzy Bancroft, Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism

Workshops: Herbal Medicine Making Basics; Making Herbal Tinctures and Salves; Introduction to Phytonutrients

Betzy is the co-founder and a member faculty of Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism

Annie Basehore Starbard, Farmer, Author, Consultant

Workshops: Homesteading with Small Ruminants; Pasturing Goats for the Commercial Scale

Ann Starbard is a lifelong agriculturalist, being born and raised on a Pennsylvania family dairy farm.   She owned and operated Crystal Brook Farm Goat Cheese in Sterling, MA for twenty years. During this tenure, she learned what it takes to develop and manage a successful small agricultural business - with all aspects of animal care, land stewardship, value added production, fiscal responsibility, employee management, customer service and community participation.  Ann authored “The Dairy Goat Handbook”, a complete guide to dairy goat care. She has presented at numerous conference on dairy goat management, cheese making and agricultural business development. She has traveled in the United States and abroad studying, participating and consulting with varied agricultural enterprises. Ann is passionate about farming - the people, plants, animals and land — and the goodness of food that we all share. 

Louis Battalen, NOFA Domestic Fair Trade Committee

Roundtable: Organizing for a Just Food Farm—Building Benefits for Farmers & Farmworkers

Louis homesteads on the eastern facing slopes of the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts, working and living at the confluence of social justice and agriculture in the field & with the pen. He serves on NOFA's Domestic Fair Trade Committee & is the Northeast Organizer for the Agricultural Justice Project.

Katy Bauer, Elmer Farm

Workshop: Agricultural Careers: Finding Your Place in Farming

Katy Bauer grew up in central Vermont and, after attending college in Colorado, returned to Vermont to work in agriculture.  Katy is entering her 8th season working at Elmer Farm in Middlebury.

Kyla Bedard, Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF)

Roundtable: Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) Meet & Greet

Kyla is a Certification Specialist (Dairy & Livestock) for Vermont Organic Farmers. 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.

Hannah Blackmer, Field Stone Farm

Workshop: Agricultural Careers: Finding Your Place in Farming

Hannah manages 1.5 acres of mixed veg with low-till and nutrient-dense practices in Northfield, VT. She and her mother (who makes wood-fired pizza!) own and operate Field Stone Farm as a farm family partnership.

Silas Branson, Intervale Community Farm

Workshop: Grow Your Own Nitrogen: How Cover Crops can Reduce Your Fertilizer Inputs

Silas is a manager at Intervale Community Farm, a diversified vegetable farm growing on roughly 40 acres of tillable land. He has worked there since 2010, and coordinates ICF’s fertility management.

Andre Brito, University of New Hampshire

Workshop: Opportunities for Strengthening Organic Dairy in the Northeast: From Kelp to Grass-Fed to Human Health

Dr. Andre Brito is a veterinarian (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) with a Ph.D. in Dairy Cattle Nutrition (University of Wisconsin). Dr. Brito joined the University of New Hampshire in 2009 as an Assistant Professor of Organic Dairy Management and moved to the rank of Associate Professor in 2016. Dr. Brito’s research has been guided by needs of northeastern organic dairy farmers including work done with liquid molasses, kelp meal, flaxseed, grazing, and high-forage diets.

Dia Brown, 350Vermont

Intensive: Finding Your Inner Activist: Exploring Connections between Climate Justice and Racial Justice

At 14, Dia started the Crochet for the Bay, an environmental organization that crochets, knits, and sews items to fundraise for environmental conservation and restoration. Dia also worked for Patuxent Riverkeeper, assisting in legal work to prevent corporations from polluting the river, and at Our Common Calvert, an organization she helped start that teaches leadership through community service and educates on social issues. Dia is a sophomore at the University of Vermont, majoring in Environmental Engineering. She now works as the Climate Justice Trainer for 350VT and also brings intersectional education through her work as a lab technician at the UVM Fab Lab and as a teaching assistant for a course on gender and trans liberation in leadership.

Megan Browning, NOFA-VT, Burnt Rock Farm

Workshop: Agricultural Careers: Finding Your Place in Farming

Megan works at Burnt Rock Farm as a grower during the warmer three seasons, and spends the cold winters at NOFA-VT coordinating the Winter Conference. She grew up in NYC and through a winding path ended up farming in VT, and loves to share stories about pathways to farming as a career.

Peter & Deb Burke, The Daily Gardener

Workshop: Year-Round Indoor Gardening

An avid gardener himself author Peter Burke has been teaching garden classes since 2006 when he started presenting workshops on Indoor Gardening, Square Foot Gardening, Extending the Garden Season, Salad Garden, Herb Garden, Growing Wheatgrass, Fall Garden and  Using a Food Dehydrator. He also started thedailygardener.com website to supply organic seeds for Indoor Gardening. He became a Certified Square Foot Garden Teacher by the SFG Foundation in 2010. Peter has lived and gardened in Calais, Vermont with his family since 1977.  

Stacy Burnstein, Intervale Center, Pine Island Community Farm

Workshop: Pine Island Community Food: Producing Culturally Significant Food for New Americans

As Community Agriculture Specialist at the Intervale Center, Stacy provides coordination and management of special agricultural projects in Vermont such as Pine Island Community Farm to help with ensuring their long term success. She brings a background in small scale organic farming and project management across the food chain as well as a longstanding commitment to advancing vibrant, healthy and equitable food systems.

Sam Burr, Last Resort Farm

Workshop: Land Succession: Passing the Agricultural Torch

Sam Burr and Eugenie Doyle have been farming together since 1980. Originally conventional dairy and strawberry farmers they sold the cows in 1994 and transitioned to organic production of small fruit, vegetables, and hay leading to certification by VOF in 1998. Their 272-acre Monkton farm in beautiful Addison County, Vermont, was formerly operated by the Shattuck family for 150 years. In 1992 it was conserved with the Addison County Community Trust / Vermont Land Trust ensuring that the land will remain undeveloped. In 2017 they signed a lease-to-own agreement with son, Silas, a transition they hope will sustain the farm’s long history.

Cat Buxton, Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition

Workshops: Cool the Planet: Food, Water, Soil, Climate, Hope! Parts 1 & 2.

Invasive Species Management: Application of the Science, Rehabilitation of the Land, Successful Transition

Cat Buxton is a community organizer, compost consultant and soil health educator. She runs Grow More, Waste Less in Sharon, VT and is founding director of the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition. She serves on the Board of Directors for Rural Vermont, the Soil Carbon Coalition, and Upper Valley Food Co-op. To learn more about her work visit www.growmorewasteless.com

Mark Cannella, UVM Extension

Workshop: Maple Economics and Business Viability

Mark Cannella is an Associate Professor and Farm Business Management Specialist with the University of Vermont Extension.  He currently directs UVM Extension Agricultural Business programs that deliver farm and forest business planning programs, financial analysis and applied business research to a broad audience. Mark works directly on maple economics projects throughout the Northeastern United States.

Phil Carter, Community Gardener (Ludlow)

Workshop: What Happens When You Compost In Community? Managing Food Waste and Garden Debris for Community Benefit

Phil Carter is a UVM Master Gardener and Master Composter, working with Ludlow Community Garden and community compost site. Phil has also served as a respiratory therapist, sugarmaker, professional landscaper, Ludlow Selectman, and is currently Chairman of the Ludlow Development Review Board. He’s run an organic homestead for 38 years.

Martha Caswell, Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC)

Workshop: Transformative Agroecology: U.S. and International Perspectives
Martha is Research and Outreach Coordinator at the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC), where she is part of the leadership team and participates in research projects and teaching in the Certificate of Graduate Study in Agroecology (CGSA).

Andrew Chamberlin, UVM Extension

Workshops: Veggie Wash-Pack Getting You Down? Dial in best practices to improve your post-harvest efficiency, profitability and food safety, Parts 1 & 2.

Andy Chamberlin is an Agricultural Engineering Tech from UVM Extension, who works tirelessly, combing the every corner of Vermont, with camera in hand, to find and share the best practices of the post-harvest produce world.  In addition to creating loaded fact sheets and videos, Andy works along-side Chris Callahan to help Vermont growers to plan and complete post-harvest improvement projects, and stay one step ahead.

Dave Chapman, Real Organic Project, Long Wind Farm

Workshop: The Birth Of The Real Organic Project

I have farmed organically since 1980. I grow organic greenhouse tomatoes in the soil. I co-founded Long Wind Farm, Keep The Soil In Organic, and Real Organic Project.

Yolanda Chen, University of Vermont

Workshop: New Breakthroughs in Swede Midge Management

Dr. Yolanda Chen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science. She has over 20 years of experience in working on ecology and management of insect pests in a variety of different cropping systems.

Andrea Chesman, Author

Workshop: The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure & Cook with Lard, Tallow & Poultry Fats

Andrea Chesman is the author of more than a dozen books focusing on the cooking from the garden and homestead, including The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How, Pickled Pantry, Recipes from the Root Cellar, New Vegetarian Grill, Serving Up the Harvest, and Roasted Vegetable.  Her newest book, is The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure & Cook with Lard, Tallow, & Poultry Fat. She frequently teaches workshops on various cooking and preserving techniques. She has written for numerous food publications, including Food and Wine, and frequently contributes articles to Mother Earth News.

Jennifer and John Churchman, Author & Illustrator

Workshop: Stories from the Farm, Garden, and Kitchen

Jennifer and John are the author and illustrator (and husband and wife) team behind the popular Sweet Pea & Friends series of picture books. Sweet Pea & Friends, The SheepOver received national attention as a crowdfunded self-published picture book that soon had multiple major publishing houses bidding for a series contract (Little Brown won). Their books are filled with unique, vibrant illustrations based on the animals on their farm in Essex, VT - it is literally a "storybook" farm. They have a very active social media presence as well, all of which can be found through their website http://www.sweetpeafriends.com

Elliot Cluba, Herbs and Arrows

Workshop: Understanding Invasive Plants: Ecology, History, Food, and Medicine

I am an herbalist, holistic health consultant, and wilderness awareness and primitive skills educator.  My focus on health and medicine revolves around locally wildcrafted food and herbs, with an emphasis on utilizing an individual's unique bioregion, native and invasive species alike.

Carol Collins, Singing Spindle Spinnery

Workshop: Saving Your Own Seed to Save Money

With my husband, Fred, we designed and built our own home in 1972 on land we cleared ourselves. I own and operate a wool crafts business that I started in 1982.  I teach individuals and groups spinning and other wool crafts; knitting, crocheting, felting, dyeing, circular weaving, needle felting and more. I have been collecting seeds for many years, each year harvesting more from my organic gardens.  I've been selling the seeds in the last few years. I've learned a lot about my plants and I've saved money by not having to buy those seeds. I also earn money by selling the seeds I save, clean, package, label and market. I want to share some of this knowledge that I've accumulated.

Ross Conrad, Dancing Bee Gardens

Workshops: Living Without Fossil Fuels; Treatment Free Beekeeping

In an experiment to try to live without using fossil fuels in his home use, beekeeper Ross has lived in a yurt without electricity, running water or a septic system for over seven years. Ross is a former president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, a regular contributor to Bee Culture magazine, and author of Natural Beekeeping: Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition.

Heather Darby, UVM Extension

Workshop: Hop Production in Vermont

Heather Darby is a professor of Agronomy at the University of Vermont. In 2009, she started the UVM Hop Program and since that time has developed numerous research projects and outreach materials to support the northeastern hop industry.

Carol Degener, Brand Inflection

Intensive: Effective and Efficient Business Branding: Weaving Your Story and Messaging

Roundtable: Using Film for Storytelling: The Mad River Taste Video Series

Carol Degener has over 30 years of experience in marketing and communication from her career as the VP of Innovation for Pepperidge Farm and with Saatchi & Saatchi advertising in NYC. Carol now happily resides in Vermont where she runs a consulting business called Brand Inflection. In Vermont she is shaping the brand story and strategy for a wide range of food and beverage businesses. From the Vermont Brewers Association, NOFA-VT farmers, the Vermont Food Venture Center businesses, to most

recently the Mad River Taste video series. Carol is living her passion of crafting stories for Vermont’s inspired and hard working entrepreneurs.

Nicole Dehne, Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF)

Roundtable: Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) Meet & Greet

Nicole is the Certification Director for Vermont Organic Farmers. 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.

Cheryl DeVos, Kimball Brook Farm

Workshop: Collaborative Marketing: Success Stories that Break the Mold

Cheryl & her partner JD own and operate Kimball Brook Farm in N. Ferrisburg and Green Mountain Organic Creamery in Hinesburg. The farm was established in 1967 by JD’s grandparents. JD and Cheryl began transitioning the 220 cow farm to organic dairy in 2003. Kimball Brook Farm became one of the largest certified organic dairy operations in the State of Vermont. The first shipment of organic milk was in September 2005.  In 2010, they began the process of another business – opening their own creamery. During this time, they received the VT Dairy Farm of the Year award in June 2011. Their dreams of opening a creamery became a reality on May 17, 2012 – that was the official opening of Green Mountain Organic Creamery located in Hinesburg.

Chuda Dhaurali, Pine Island Community Farm

Workshop: Pine Island Community Food: Producing Culturally Significant Food for New Americans

Chuda Dhaurali and his wife, Gita, are the goat farmers at Pine Island Community Farm. Originally from Bhutan, where Chuda’s father had a large diversified farm, they spent nearly 20 years in a refugee camp in Nepal before being resettled to Burlington in 2009.

Kyle Dittmer, Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources-UVM

Workshop: Where is Your Nitrogen Going? Soil Nitrogen Dynamics & an Online Nitrogen Management Tool

Kyle is a second-year master’s student at the University of Vermont studying global change biogeochemistry. His research focuses on the potential for best management practices (i.e., conservation tillage, alternative manure application methods/timing, and cover cropping) to mitigate nutrient losses via greenhouse gasses from agricultural soils without compromising crop yields.

Sally Dodge, Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT

Workshop: Creative Options for Farm Access, Transfer and Conservation

Sally has served as Northeast Community Development Managers for Iroquois Valley Farms since 2013. Sally was a beefalo farmer and a pioneer in the locally grown foods movement in Vermont since the 1970s. Joining Iroquois Valley Farms has enabled Sally to contribute many years of experience in the promotion of organic farming, farm economics, and healthy food. She is a member of the advisory board of Soil4Climate, and owns a flock of Katahdin sheep.

Eugenie Doyle, Last Resort Farm Silas Doyle-Burr, Last Resort Farm

Workshop: Land Succession: Passing the Agricultural Torch

Sam Burr and Eugenie Doyle have been farming together since 1980. Originally conventional dairy and strawberry farmers they sold the cows in 1994 and transitioned to organic production of small fruit, vegetables, and hay leading to certification by VOF in 1998. Their 272-acre Monkton farm in beautiful Addison County, Vermont, was formerly operated by the Shattuck family for 150 years. In 1992 it was conserved with the Addison County Community Trust / Vermont Land Trust ensuring that the land will remain undeveloped. In 2017 they signed a lease-to-own agreement with son, Silas, a transition they hope will sustain the farm’s long history.

Workshop: Land Succession: Passing the Agricultural Torch

Along with his older sister and twin brother, Silas Doyle-Burr was born and raised on Last Resort Farm. It took a two year stint traveling and working as an agribusiness consultant in Southeast Asia for Silas to realize the true value and necessity of his parents’ operation. He returned to the farm in 2011, learned the ropes, and after signing a lease-to-own agreement in March of 2017, took over management of the farm. He aims to balance sustainable growth and expansion while retaining his parents’ commitment to quality and care for the land.

Keith Drinkwine, Flatlander Farm

Workshop: A Showcase of Smart Growth Farm Startups

Keith Drinkwine owns and operates Flatlander Farm, a diversified pastured meat operation specializing in chicken, duck, goat and duck eggs.

Brittany Dunn, 350Vermont

Intensive: Finding Your Inner Activist: Exploring Connections between Climate Justice and Racial Justice

Brittany is an educator and organizer, and also a board member for 350Vermont.

Casey Engels, Pine Island Community Farm

Workshop: Pine Island Community Food: Producing Culturally Significant Food for New Americans

Casey Engels is the Pine Island Community Garden Coordinator, located in Colchester, VT.

Hans Estrin, UVM Extension

Workshops: Veggie Wash-Pack Getting You Down? Dial in best practices to improve your post-harvest efficiency, profitability and food safety, Parts 1 & 2.

Hans Estrin is a Produce Safety Specialist for UVM Extension.  He co-developed UVM’s Practical Produce Safety Program in 2010, and since 2014, has developed and coordinate the Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) with the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association.  As an On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) lead for Extension, Hans provides on-farm technical support to help Vermont growers comply with FSMA and meet market expectations. Hans is an AFDO certified PSR trainer in produce safety, and regularly co-leads Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower training courses.  

Josh Faulkner, UVM Extension

Workshop: Forage Resiliency in an Unpredictable and Extreme Changing Climate

Joshua Faulkner coordinates the Farming and Climate Change Program in the UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  He does applied research and outreach on soil and water related issues across the state and provides technical assistance to farmers on practices and innovative solutions to improve the management of these resources.

Buzz Ferver, Perfect Circle Farm

Workshops: Backyard Nursery; Nut Trees for Northern Vermont

Buzz and Sandra Ferver are the proprietors of Perfect Circle Farm is a small family run farm and nursery in Central Vermont. We specialize in growing Nut Trees, Fruit Trees and Berry Shrubs. We grow most of what we sell from seed, cuttings or by grafting. We have a great selection of plants for your Farm, Orchard and Homestead. We love growing plants and believe that planting your own food is one of the most powerful things you can do. We have an ever growing collection of edible Orchard, Forest and Landscape plants for your homestead and farm. Our plants are collected from an amazing bunch of devoted growers and wild places all over North America.

Taylar Foster, Consultant

Workshop: Making Food Systems Change at the Local Level: Addressing Food Access through Municipal Planning

Amanda Franz, The Everything Space

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Amanda Franz is a somatic movement educator, embodiment activist, tender of food and medicine, and facilitator living in north central VT.  She co-curates The Everything Space, a somatic education studio dedicated to centering the intelligence of the body.  She has been involved with a decolonization study group focused on unlearning systems and ways of being that perpetuate genocide against native people and the earth.

Marie Frohlich, Taproot Herbals LLC

Workshop: Understanding the Power of Adaptogens and Tonics: Native and Wild Plant Medicines for Health and Vitality

Marie’s by-line is “Co-creating Health from the Heart.” As a holistic health coach, herbalist and principal of Taproot Herbals LLC, Marie finds joy on the green path through helping others reduce stress through food as medicine and sustainable strategies for self-care. She has a practice in Montpelier and teaches and hosts retreats at her mountain home in Central Vermont.

Greg Georgaklis, Farmers To You

Workshop: Collaborative Marketing: Success Stories that Break the Mold

After a 30 year career in horticulture farming, business, and retail distribution, Greg felt compelled to put his experience and skills to work to design a solution that would be better for both farmers and families and the communities in which they live.  Currently Farmers To You feeds over 900 Boston families each week by connecting them with 90 local Vermont and New England farmers and food producers.  Farmers To You is a true self contained regional food system built on collaboration and partnership.

Mike Ghia, Land for Good

Workshop: Creative Options for Farm Access, Transfer and Conservation

Through Land For Good, Mike coaches farmers and landowners on farmland access and tenure, and also assists with the development of tools and technical resources to help farmers and landowners with farmland tenure issues. Mike also assists farmers with business planning and financial management through the  UVM Viability Program and has done so since 2006. Through both organizations, Mike assists families with farm succession and transfers.

Erik Gillard,  Dawnland Decolonization

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Erik Gillard is an activist, gardener, artist and youth mentor living in north central VT.  Over the past few years he has been involved with a decolonization study group focused on unlearning systems and ways of being that perpetuate genocide against native people and the earth.

Phoebe Gooding, 350Vermont

Intensive: Finding Your Inner Activist: Exploring Connections between Climate Justice and Racial Justice

Phoebe Gooding has a master's of Environmental Studies. She currently works for the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform on campaigns and projects that support frontline communities, many of which are people of color and low income, that experience the daily impacts from industry and chemical pollution. She also works as a facilitator for 350Vermont, is a board member of The Root Racial Justice Center in Brattleboro, and a mother of two diligently raising her boys in gratitude of Mother Earth.

Lauren Griswold, Vital Communities

Workshop: POP Clubs: The Power of Children's Farmers Market Programming

Lauren worked to organize Vital Communities' Upper Valley Power of Produce (POP) Club initiative in 2017 and 2018. She joined Vital Communities in May 2017 after an enriching chapter in central Oregon where she served as a garden educator and farm manager. Lauren grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in English and Environmental Studies.

Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension

Workshops: Innovations on Vegetable and Berry Farms in 2018; Managing High Tunnel Soil Fertility

Vern is the vegetable and berry specialist with UVM Extension.

Elena Gustavson, Vermont Community Loan Foundation

Workshop: Sharing the Load: Knowing What and When to Outsource

Elena provides one-on-one business, marketing, financial support and advisory services to VCLF small business, farm, food, and early care and learning borrowers, as well as business and financial planning for potential borrowers. Prior to joining VCLF, Elena worked for more than 15 years in both entrepreneurial, food and nonprofit organizations, leveraging her skills in business and organizational development, marketing, communication, and analysis to increase efficiency and provide thoughtful, strategic outcomes.

Trevor Hardy, Brookdale Farm Supplies

Workshop: Irrigation 101 for the Commercial Scale

Calley Hastings, Fat Toad Farm

Workshop: Storytelling Through Social Media

Calley Hastings is co-owner of Fat Toad Farm in Brookfield, Vermont specializing in Goat's Milk Caramel, also known as cajeta, a traditional Mexican confection. Fat Toad Farm is going into it's 12th year of business. The first 8 years they managed their own goat dairy and now purchase goat milk from local farms helping to support the local agricultural community. Calley, a native Vermonter, went to UVM for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental studies and has since dedicated her life to running Fat Toad Farm (sales, marketing and production) as well as teaching Holistic Management to farmers around New England.

Ann Hazelrigg, University of Vermont

Workshops: Pest & Disease Discussion for Commercial Growers; Pests & Diseases for Homesteaders & Gardeners

Ann is a plant pathologist at UVM and director of plant diagnostic clinic.

Deirde Heekin, Winemaker & Writer

Workshop: Stories from the Farm, Garden, and Kitchen

Deirde is often described as a "rockstar" winemaker, putting natural wines and in particular Vermont natural wines on the international map. Her vineyard and winery La Garagista is located in Barnard, VT. Deirdre is also a memoirist, travel writer, and collaborator with her husband Caleb Barber on books that combine stories and recipes. Her two most recent books are An Unlikely Vineyard (Chelsea Green, 2014) and In Late Winter, We Ate Pears (Chelsea Green, 2009). The prose in her newsletter, and even her wine labels, show a fully integrated approach of creativity and farming.

Steve Herbert, Earth Water Alliance, Living Waters Professional Dowsing Services

Workshop: Agricultural Dowsing as a Management Tool for the Farm

Steve Herbert is a geologist, anthropologist, writer, international development worker, and dowser with 33 years experience. His primary specialty is water, but also earth energies and agricultural dowsing. He has certifications as a Master Gardener, Master Composter and in Urban & Community Forestry. Steve lives and gardens in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Eli Hersh, Shadow Creek Farm

Workshops: Agricultural Careers: Finding Your Place in Farming; A Showcase of Smart Growth Farm Startups

Eli Hersh owns and operates Shadow Creek Farm, a certified organic vegetable operation specializing in niche vegetable production for wholesale accounts.

Ben Hewitt, Rural Vermont

Workshop: The Impact of Policy on Vermont's Food Traditions

Ben Hewitt is an author and farmer, and serves as the Communications Coordinator at Rural Vermont.

Todd Heyman, Fat Sheep Farm

Workshop: A Cabin, a Concert, and a Casual Farm Dinner: Agritourism Stories from Three Unique Farms

Todd quit his city job in 2011 and worked on various farms for four seasons before starting Fat Sheep Farm & Cabins with his wife, Suzy.  Together, they grow vegetables and berries, raise dairy sheep, laying hens, and Nigerian dwarf goats. They also rent out five cabins on their farm and allow guests to participate in life on the farm.

Dana Hudson, VT-FEED - Shelburne Farms

Workshop: Get on the Farm to School Bus! A Training for Advocates to Strengthen Farm to School Across Vermont

Dana Hudson, School Leaders Campaign Manager, has worked in Farm to School for 20 years. After working at the national and multi-state level, she is thrilled to be spending her time committed to school district level education change in Vermont.

John Hunt, Nulhegan-Coosuk Abenaki Tribe

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

John Hunt is a citizen of the Nulhegan band of Coosuk Abenaki. He serves on tribal council and helps tend the Nulhegan forest gardens on the tribal land as well as helps tend the ancestral seeds for the people.

Taylor Hutchison, Footprint Farm

Workshop: Storytelling Through Social Media

Taylor is a first generation farmer, and co-owner of Footprint Farm in Starksboro, VT. She has been farming for 8 years, 6 of them at Footprint, and have developed a great interest in the organizational structures that can help make farms viable. The farm is quite small, so intensive production and LEAN farming principles have been very important for our farm's success. In addition to managing the financial and organizational side of the farm, Taylor has worked as a bookkeeper, grant writer, and currently help run a mentoring program in the local elementary school.

Chris Irish, Milton Farmers Market

Workshop: POP Clubs: The Power of Children's Farmers Market Programming

Chris is a senior Dietetics, Nutrition & Food Sciences student at the University of Vermont who is passionate about community nutrition. He has led the Milton Farmers Market's POP Club for the past two years--initially as an intern, working to initiate and spread word about the program, and in the second year as assistant manager of the market, where he worked to expand the POP Club through various forms of outreach.  

Carol Irons, Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project (ACRP)

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Carol is a longtime advocate for Abenaki cultural regeneration and created the Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project (ACRP).  ACRP seeks to educate interested Abenaki adults about woods-lore and other Native traditional knowledge during a week-long immersive training session. Carol is also a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.

Vic Izzo, University of Vermont

Workshops: Pest & Disease Discussion for Commercial Growers; (Biological) Agents of Change: Managing Natural Enemies for Sustainable Pest Control

Vic is an entomologist and educator specializing in sustainable pest management strategies for temperate insect pests.

Abbi Jaffe, The Everything Space

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Abbi Jaffe is an embodiment activist who co-curates The Everything Space in Montpelier VT, which is dedicated to unleashing the intelligence of the body to co-create a more resilient world.  She has been involved with a decolonization study group focused on unlearning systems and ways of being that perpetuate genocide against native people and the earth.

Nicole Junas Ravlin, People Making Good PR

Intensive: Weaving Your Story: Efficient & Effective Business Branding and Messaging

Nicole has a passion for campaign development and the actual practice and craft of public relations. She leads the crisis management practice for the agency and oversees new business development.

Before co-founding People Making Good, Nicole was a senior manager at the national PR firms Cone Communications and Giles Communications. She served as Director of Sales and Marketing at Topnotch Resort for six years overseeing sales, marketing, and catering departments.

Nicole resides in Shelburne, VT with her two sons, Ethan and Colin. On weekends she can be found skiing on Vermont's mountains, sailing on Lake Champlain, or sharing food with friends and family.

Brendan Kelly, Jade Mountain Wellness

Workshop: The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis

Brendan has a master's in acupuncture and teaches about Chinese medicine nationally. He is a faculty member at Johnson State College and the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture. He practices full time at the clinic he co-founded in Burlington, VT-Jade Mountain Wellness. For 10 years, he has been integrating clinically the potency of western herbs with classical Chinese medicine. Last year, North Atlantic Books published his first book The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis, presenting the deeper causes of our warming planet.

Maddie Kempner, NOFA-VT

Workshops: Politics, Process & Power; Vermont’s New Cash Crop?: Practical Information for Growing Hemp

Roundtables: Vermont Congressional Meet & Greet: Share Your Farming Story; Unpacking the 2018 Farm Bill: What it Means for Food & Farming in Vermont

Maddie is NOFA’s Membership and Advocacy Coordinator. 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.

Harka Khadka, Pine Island Community Farm

Workshop: Pine Island Community Food: Producing Culturally Significant Food for New Americans

Harka is the Pine Island Community Garden Leader, located Pine Island Community Farm in Colchester, VT.

Helen Labun, Vermont’s Local Banquet

Workshop: Stories from the Farm, Garden, and Kitchen

Helen Labun is the editor / publisher for Vermont's Local Banquet - a magazine dedicated to telling the stories of the Vermont food system. Helen was a regular writer for Local Banquet from 2007 - 2017. When the original publishers retired in 2017 she took over to run the magazine as an online publication. She has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Lesley University, and her masters thesis "Discovering Flavor" was published by 99: The Press in 2015. She is currently Executive Director of the Vermont Fresh Network.  

Jack Lazor, Butterworks Farm

Workshop: Grain to Grass: Restoring Carbon to Vermont Soils

Jack and Anne are the creators and founders of Butterworks Farm, which they started in 1976. As long-time sustainable farmers and leaders in organic farming they continue to play an important role in the dynamics and operations at Butterworks and beyond. Jack is a writer and frequent inspirational keynote speaker at organic farming conferences everywhere. He enjoys food, friends and pursuing his passions- sustainability and soil science.

Bob Lesnikoksi, Vermont Cranbery Company

Workshop: Collaborative Marketing: Success Stories that Break the Mold

Bob is the owner of Vermont Cranberry Company located in Fletcher, VT. Vermont Cranberry Company is Vermont’s first and only commercial cranberry grower. They grow cranberries for wholesale buyers throughout the region and sell directly to customers at the Burlington Farmers Market.

Scott Lewins, University of Vermont

Workshops: Pest & Disease Discussion for Commercial Growers; (Biological) Agents of Change: Managing Natural Enemies for Sustainable Pest Control

Scott is an entomologist specializing in various pest management strategies, especially biological control tactics.

Ehrin Lingeman, Vermont Community Garden Network

Workshop: Growing and Dyeing: Our Favorite Plants for a Dye Garden

Ehrin inherited her interest and knowledge in natural dyes from her mother, a textile artist and instructor, but has only started growing and using dye plants from her own garden in the last few years. She is passionate about incorporating the natural world into every facet of her life and sharing that passion with others through garden-based education.

Beverly Little Thunder, Lakota Standing Rock Band

Workshop: Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Beverly Little Thunder is a resident of Huntington Vermont. An enrolled member of the Lakota Standing Rock Band in North Dakota she is also a grandmother and great grandmother. Living on land that she guides Womyn’s ceremonies based on Lakota teachings, she and her partner of 21 years , plan on leaving the land to the next generation to always be used for Indigenous ceremonies of all tribes. Environmental protection is of major concern to her as well as the racism that exist throughout Vermont.

 

Zea Luce, Vermont Fresh Network

Workshop: The Lifelong Pleasure of Local Foods

Zea is the Membership Manager at the Vermont Fresh Network.

Carolina Lukac, Vermont Community Garden Network

Workshop: Growing and Dyeing: Our Favorite Plants for a Dye Garden

Carolina is a garden-based educator who has spent over a decade working alongside children and adults.  As the lead instructor for the Community Teaching Garden course run by the Vermont Community Garden Network, she teaches hands-on gardening skills and incorporates lessons on traditional food preservation techniques, herbal medicine making, and plant-based dyes.  Carolina was first exposed to natural dyes during her Waldorf teacher training and has since then experimented with growing dye plants in her community garden plot and making simple crafts.

Becky Maden, UVM Extension & Farmer

Workshop: Grow Your Own Nitrogen: How Cover Crops can Reduce Your Fertilizer Inputs

Roundtable: Vermont Cover Crops: Perspectives from UVM Extension and Growers

Becky Maden is a vegetable nutrient management specialist with UVM Extension's Vegetable and Berry team. She also co-owns and operates a VOF certified farm in Orwell, VT.

Theogène Mahoro, Pine Island Community Farm

Workshop: Pine Island Community Food: Producing Culturally Significant Food for New Americans

Theogène Mahoro joined the farm in 2014 and are specializing in chicken production. He also have a sizeable garden plot. Theogene and his family are originally from Rwanda. Theogene arrived under the refugee resettlement program in 2004 after fleeing the Rwandan genocide via Congo Brazzaville. Theogene lives on the farm with his wife Hyacinthe and their four children.

Alayna Marchessault, Labor of Love

Workshop: Broth for Life: How This Easy-to-Make, Delicious Food Can Support Your Health

Alayna's background in nutrition, teaching, and farming has inspired a career of increasing education and access to nourishing foods for growing bodies. She has worked with several schools in Vermont and Maine to establish Farm to School programs and began working as a doula in 2018. In her role as a doula, Alayna supports growing families through birth, and she also provides nourishing foods during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Wellness starts at conception, and Alayna wants to inspire families to learn about how they can support their children from the very beginning.

Guido Masé, Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, Urban Moonshine

Workshops: The Language Plants Use: Molecular Signals and Behavior Response; Shade Gardening with Medicinal Plants

Guido Masé RH(AHG) is a clinician and educator in the Western herbal tradition. He spent his childhood in Italy and has been living in Vermont since 1996. His practice interweaves clinical experience, mythology, and science.

Daniel Mays, Frith Farm

Workshop: Efficient And Resilient Systems on the Small Farm

Intensive: No-Till Vegetable Farming: Rebuilding Soil, Health & Community

Daniel Mays owns and operates Frith Farm in Scarborough, Maine, where he grows vegetables on two and a half acres without tillage, spraying, or tractor work. Before farming, Daniel taught math and physics and studied environmental engineering, and has enjoyed applying elements of these subjects to his style of farming.

Carol McGranaghan, Nulhegan-Coosuk Abenaki Tribe

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Carol is a member of the Abenaki Nulhegan Tribe and live in Orange Vermont. She grew up in the Northeast Kingdom and learned about plants from my Grandmothers. She is the Chair of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and have been teaching about our culture and history at schools and other groups. Carol makes jelly from the wild flowers and herbs growing on her property. She is also the owner/creator of the Hidden Bear Treasures where she designs and creates Native themed necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Lou McKenna, Punch Up Media

Intensive: Effective and Efficient Business Branding: Weaving Your Story and Messaging

Laura "Lou" McKenna runs Burlington-based digital marketing firm Punch Up Media. She has been working in the Vermont media scene for over twelve years, and specializing in search engine marketing (SEM) for the last six of those.

Chance McNiff, Love Apples Farm

Workshop: Entry Level Tomato Grafting: Increasing Profitability and Plant Health

After receiving a quart of experimental blood in 2006, Chance McNiff moved back to Vermont in search of a new career. It was while helping a friend move out of her Burlington apartment when he came to a crossroads; take the desk job at the CIA that her father had offered him or, like McNiff’s descendants had done before him, farm. Choosing the later, McNiff ended up working for the legendary Howard Prussack of High Meadows Farm for eight years.  It was during this time that McNiff received first hand tomato grafting knowledge from a nearby farmer-guru by the name of Michael Collins. In 2016, Chance left High Meadows to start his own farming endeavor.

Charlie D.-Megeso, Nulhegan-Coosuk Abenaki Tribe

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Charlie D.-Megeso is a citizen of the Nulhegan-Coosuk Abenaki Tribe, one of four tribes recognized by the State of Vermont and always by N'dakinna our homeland. He is a former chair of the Vermont Commission Native American Affairs(VCNAA) which helped produce the criteria for tribal recognition. Currently,until February 1,2019, Assistant Judge in Chittenden County,Vt. For over thirty years involved within the Abenaki Movement from case law research for tribal judge,tribes; to aboriginal civil disobedience recognizing ourselves as"Indians" to legislation first for identifying Abenakis as Vermonts' original minority towards official tribal recognition. Today he is an Tribal Elder, active in tribal and inter-tribal affairs. Alnobawaii-The Abenaki Way is an example of Abenakis, inter-tribal continuing cultural practices to renew ceremonies,language,art of Wabanaki Peoples for the next generation and ourselves. Waubanowin-Dawn Society is another non-profit group made of Original Peoples inclusive of the greater society desiring to help and build bridges with Vermonts First Peoples. Decolonization is an ideal gaining public support intentionally defining our historic, cultural, being and how larger society can relate as such. Much needs to be persevered on this level to create a new equal relationship.

Ernesto Mendez, University of Vermont

Workshop: Transformative Agroecology: U.S. and International Perspectives

Ernesto is a professor of agroecology, Interim Chair of PSS and faculty director of the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC).

Charlie Merinoff, Breakthru Beverage Company

Workshop: Making Money in Agriculture: Lessons from the Wine Business

Charlie Merinoff, co-chairman of the Breakthru Beverage Group in NYC, has been working with farmers in Vermont on building terroir with small-scale producers to increase their price in the marketplace. How can farmers tell the story of their production that will connect with their customers? How has terroir helped farmers in the wine industry and how can farmers in Vermont benefit? Join Charlie as he shares his years of experience marketing wine.

Heike Meyer, Brot Bakehouse School and Kitchen

Intensive: The Magic of Wild Yeasts: Bread Baking with Sourdough and Other Natural Starter Cultures

Heike was born and raised in Germany and studied Food & Nutrition as well as Tourism & Foreign Languages at Fachhochschule Kiel/Germany. She started baking at 3 and never lost my passion for it. In 2008 her and her husband moved to Vermont to focus solely on natural baking, the art of pastry making and food education. Heike learned the art of bread baking at Weichard Brot, Berlin's oldest biodynamic bakery, and with Jeffrey Hamelman at King Arthur Flour & Bakery in Vermont. Since then she has studied with craft bakers at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, Blue Hill at Stone Barnes in New York, Runner and Stone in Brooklyn, and many others around the world to learn about bread traditions - making sure those will be preserved and passed on.

Migrant Justice

Workshop: Milk with Dignity: An Update on the Program Bringing a New Day to Farmworkers Across Vermont

Roundtable: Organizing for a Just Food Farm: Building Benefits for Farmers & Farm Workers

Migrant Justice works to build the voice, capacity, and power of the farmworker community and engage community partners to organize for economic justice and human rights.

Jen Miller, NOFA-VT

Workshop: Whole Farm Planning and Decision-Making

Jen is the Farmers Services Director at NOFA-VT. 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.

Christine Moldovan, Age Well

Workshop: The Lifelong Pleasure of Local Foods

Christine Moldovan RD, CD, FAND, is the Nutrition Director at Age Well.

Stephanie Morningstar, Oneida Turtle Clan, Sky World Apothecary

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Stephanie is an herbalist at Sky World Apothecary, ethnobotanist, cultural anthropologist, student, and educator whose passion lies with native species plants and Indigenous Knowledge + Science; bioregional and ancestral plant medicines; and food sovereignty. Her anthropological work focuses on cultural safety in herbalism as well as the ethical translation between Western and Indigenous plant and medicine knowledges. Stephanie's ethnobotanical research focuses on the native species plant medicines of Dish With One Spoon territory. She is also Co-Director of the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, and a Leadership Council member for the New England Women's Herbal Conference and the International Herb Symposium.

Keith Morris, Willow Crossing Farm, Prospect Rock Permaculture

Workshop: Vermont’s New Cash Crop?: Practical Information for Growing Hemp

Keith Morris has been applying this lifelong love of nature and culture and experience as an activist to permaculture and ecological design since 1996. Since 200, he has worked professionally as a designer, builder and grower of ecologically regenerative, socially just and culturally appropriate whole-systems in cities and countrysides around the world.

Colin Nohl, Vermont Farmacy

Workshop: Small Scale Organic Hemp Seed Production

Colin and his wife Erin are certified organic hemp farmers for seed and fiber. They employee a host of permaculture principles on their family land.

Melissa Pasanen, Food Writer

Workshop: Storytelling Through Social Media

Melissa Pasanen is an award-winning freelance journalist specializing in food and agriculture. She co-authored The New York Times notable cookbook, “Cooking with Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont,” also named one of the best 25 cookbooks of the year by Food & Wine. Her work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, Saveur, EatingWell, Rodale’s New Farm magazine and on Foodnetwork.com. She is a regular contributor to Seven Days newspaper and Vermont Public Radio’s VPR Café. Follow her on Twitter @TasteofVermont.

Tara Pereira, Vermont Fresh Network

Workshop: A Cabin, a Concert, and a Casual Farm Dinner: Agritourism Stories from Three Unique Farms

Tara Pereira is the Communications Director at the Vermont Fresh Network (VFN). She manages outreach for VFN, which includes the DigInVT.com food tourism website and professional development programs related to marketing for agritourism. Tara joined VFN in early 2018 from Marketing Partners in Burlington where she developed and implemented content and communication strategy plans for Vermont nonprofits.  

Ruby Perry, Community Gardener (Burlington)

Workshop: What Happens When You Compost In Community? Managing Food Waste and Garden Debris for Community Benefit

Ruby Perry is a gardener, composter and community organizer. Ruby is at home with soil microbes, fungi, food scraps, people, sun, water and air. She’s currently co-site coordinator at Calahan Community Garden in Burlington.

Christopher Piana, Fable Farm Fermentory

Workshop: A Cabin, a Concert, and a Casual Farm Dinner: Agritourism Stories from Three Unique Farms

Christopher Piana began farming organic vegetables soon after college. With his brother Jon, he built not only a vegetable farm but also a community and farming collective in Barnard, Vermont. This collective has evolved over the years, and today Christopher focuses on fermentation, particularly wines and aged vinegars, at Fable Farm Fermentory. Fable Farm Fermentory includes an orchard, perennial plantings, and a venue for weddings and other gatherings.   

Benneth Phelps, Dirt Capital Partners

Workshop: Creative Options for Farm Access, Transfer and Conservation

Benneth joined Dirt Capital Partners in 2016 as the Director of Farmer Services to further develop and refine the company’s approach to investing in land in partnership with farmers, and the company’s organizational culture and infrastructure. Previously, Benneth was Loan and Business Assistance Manager at The Carrot Project, where she spent five years evaluating loan applications and working with farm and food enterprises to plan for business growth.  Prior to this she farmed vegetables and small fruit in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts, working on organic farms with 4-80 acres in production.

Marian Pollock, Orb Weaver Farm

Workshop: Land Succession: Passing the Agricultural Torch

Marian Pollock and Marjorie Susman founded Orb Weaver Farm in 1980. From the milk of their jersey cows they hand crafted the first farmhouse cheese in Vt. They also cultivate an organic market garden supplying veggies to the Middlebury coop. All of their products are sold locally. Currently they are transitioning the dairy portion of their farm to Kate Turcotte Munzer & Zack Munzer.

Julian Post, Champlain Valley Hops

Workshop: Hop Production in Vermont

Julian Post is a co-owner of Champlain Valley Hops in Starksboro, Vermont and manages the farm operations. The farm grows 7 varieties of hops on 26 acres, and puts great focus on both quality and responsible farming practices. Before starting Champlain Valley Hops with Peter Briggs, Julian worked for the University of Vermont Extension hop research program.

Tim Pratt, Living Well Group

Workshop: The Lifelong Pleasure of Local Foods

Tim Pratt is the food and beverage director at Living Well Group.

Howard Prussack, High Meadows Farm

Workshop: Small Scale Organic Hemp Seed Production

High Meadows Farm located in Westminster West, VT is owned and operated by Howard and Lisa Prussack. Established in 1971, they were Vermont’s first certified organic farm and specialize in growing herbs, flowers, vegetables and their most recent venture-hemp.

Jon Ramsay, Vermont Land Trust

Workshops: Creative Options for Farm Access; Land Success: Passing the Agricultural Torch

Jon grew up on his family’s dairy farm located in Greensboro. Jon continues to manage the farm, now raising Black Angus cattle. Jon started working at Vermont Land Trust in 1999 and is the Director of the Farmland Access Program at the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), focusing on farm affordability for new and beginning farmers statewide.

Sheryl Rapée-Adams, Community Gardener (Montpelier)

Workshop: What Happens When You Compost In Community? Managing Food Waste and Garden Debris for Community Benefit

Sheryl Rapée-Adams and Chris Adams had no composting and minimal gardening experience in 2014 when they converted an acre of their Montpelier lawn into fenced community garden, riparian buffer, pollinator plantings, and Compostville. Compostville is one of four sites for a Vermont grant program, Food Scrap Composting in Community Gardens.

Lee Reich, Springtown Farmden

Workshops: Theory and Practice of Nourishing Plants Organically; Pruning Fruit Trees, Shrubs and Vines; Grape Expectations; Everything From Choosing Varieties to Eating the Berries

Lee Reich, PhD is a scientist, an avid farmdener (more than a gardener, less than a farmer) and a book author, most recently of The Ever Curious Gardener. His farmden provides food year ‘round, and is a test site for innovative techniques in soil care, pruning, and growing fruits and vegetables.

Justin Rich, Burnt Rock Farm

Workshop: Adapting to Weather Extremes on Diversified Vegetable & Berry Farms

Justin is the owner and operator of Burnt Rock Farm in Huntington, VT. Burnt Rock specializes in certified organic sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, winter squash and baby spinach that are sold locally through stores, restaurants, online markets, and a winter CSA.

Ari Rockland-Miller, The Mushroom Forager LLC

Workshop: Hunting Wild Mushrooms in the Northeast

Ari is a writer, instructor and lecturer on wild and cultivated mushrooms and edible plants, and is co-founder of The Mushroom Forager.

Ari is an ardent mycophile who enjoys nothing more than the exhilarating feeling of the mushroom hunt. Over the years he has found hundreds of pounds of gourmet and medicinal wild mushrooms, and he loves sharing his knowledge and adventures with blog readers and workshop participants. Ari has facilitated over 150 presentations and hands-on workshops to over 3,000 mycophiles from around the world.

He finds inspiration in the gourmet mycorrhizal mushrooms, like porcini and chanterelles, which only thrive in the wild and resist cultivation. He became an expert in cultivating shiitake mushrooms in agroforestry systems when he managed Cornell University’s Mushroom Research Project and Cornell University's agroforestry teaching site and farm, the MacDaniels Nut Grove. He has a B.A. from Brown University, and a J.D. from Vermont Law School.

Betsy Rosenbluth, VT-FEED - Shelburne Farms

Workshop: Get on the Farm to School Bus! A Training for Advocates to Strengthen Farm to School Across Vermont

Betsy Rosenbluth, Project Director, provides leadership and coordination to advance Vermont FEED, a nationally recognized farm to school program. Betsy provides backbone support to the Vermont Farm to School Network and the Northeast FTS Collaborative. Betsy helped launch the Burlington School Food Project and Burlington’s sustainable schools program.

Jess Rubin, Dawnland Decolonization

Workshops: Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Parts 1 & 2.

Jess Rubin is a Kohenet, ecological restoration researcher, naturalist, earth tender, mentor, and educator. While living near the Lake Between, she nurtures MycoEvolve & Roots and Trails. She has been involved with a decolonization study group focused on unlearning systems and ways of being that perpetuate genocide against native people and the earth.

Nicko Rubin, East Hill Tree Farm

Workshops: Backyard Nursery; Nut Trees for Northern Vermont

Nicko Rubin owns and operates East Hill Tree Farm, a nursery for fruit trees, nuts and berry plants, on the land where he grew up in Plainfield VT. He holds a master’s degree in landscape design.

Lindsay Ruhl, UVM Extension

Workshops: Where is Your Nitrogen Going? Soil Nitrogen Dynamics & an Online Nitrogen Management Tool; Forage Resiliency in an Unpredictable and Extreme Changing Climate

Lindsey Ruhl is a Crops and Soils Coordinator for UVM Extension's Northwest Crops and Soils Team.  She conducts field research focusing on long-term crop studies,works with farmers on nutrient management plans, and provides outreach on research results and RAPs.

Falko Schilling, Action Circles

Workshop: Politics, Process & Power

Falko Schilling, Esq. has worked in Vermont State House on a wide range of issues including health care reform, consumer protection, and environmental regulation since 2010. A native of Vermont, Falko received his law degree from Vermont Law School and is a licensed attorney. Before joining Action Circles, Falko spent five years leading winning legislative and grassroots campaigns as the Consumer and Environmental Advocate at Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Major victories included helping pass the nation’s first mandatory genetically engineered food labeling law, and allowing dental therapists to practice in Vermont.

Becca Schrader, Vermont Community Loan Foundation

Workshop: Sharing the Load: Knowing What and When to Outsource

Becca Schrader is the Business Resource Manager at the Vermont Community Loan Fund. In addition to working one-on-one with borrowers and potential borrowers, Becca provides group trainings and participates in committees and working groups seeking systems-level solutions to complex problems. Becca has over ten years of experience working with individuals, families, early care and learning providers, businesses, and non-profits, coaching them on how to maximize income, manage debt and credit, build assets, and save for the future.

Ellie Searles, Butterworks Farm

Workshop: Grain to Grass: Restoring Carbon to Vermont Soils

Ellie has worked for Butterworks Farm since high school milking cows, harvesting forages, and participating in the revival of the soil of traditionally grain-cropped river bottom land.  She's due to graduate from UVM in the spring with a degree in a self-designed major of the Diversified Agriculture for the Owner-Operator. After working on several organic diaries across the state, Ellie aspires to own and operate her own diversified grass-fed dairy farm in her home of northern Vermont.

Rhonda Sherman, North Carolina State University

Workshop: Waste to Wealth with Vermicomposting

Her book, The Worm Farmer's Handbook, was just published by Chelsea Green Publishing. An extension specialist at NC State University, Rhonda is the director of the Compost Learning Lab. She just held her 19th Annual Vermiculture Conference, the nation's only training on mid-to-large-scale vermicomposting.

Brian Shevrin, Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF)

Workshops: Agricultural Careers: Finding Your Place in Farming; Vermont’s New Cash Crop?: Practical Information for Growing Hemp

Roundtable: Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) Meet & Greet

Brian is a Certification Specialist (Vegetables & Fruit) for Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). He graduated from Green Mountain College in 2014 with a B.A. in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems. In the years before, during, and after his studies Brian worked on a variety of vegetable, livestock, maple, and processing operations in Massachusetts and Vermont, with a focus on organic vegetable farming. Brian spends his time outside of the office biking, kayaking, and obsessing over food & cooking.

Julia Shipley, Poet

Workshop: Stories from the Farm, Garden, and Kitchen

Julia is a poet, freelance journalist, and essayist, her books include The Academy of Hay (Bonafide, 2015), and a book of mostly prose, Adam’s Mark (Plowboy Press, 2014). Recently she became the first female in 227 years to write the calendar essays for the Old Farmer’s Almanac. She tends six acres in the Northeast Kingdom. Her website, which contains a long portfolio of short pieces, is writingonthefarm.com.

Andrea Solazzo, Vermont Foodbank

Workshop: Agricultural Careers: Finding Your Place in Farming

Andrea Solazzo manages the Northern Vermont gleaning program, coordinates with area food shelves on nutrition outreach and works with the various fresh produce programs at the Vermont Foodbank. Additionally, Andrea supports the Foodbank through diversity and inclusion work, advocacy and story gathering initiatives. Prior to her four years at the Foodbank, she led delegations to international conferences for UN based NGO’s around climate justice and food sovereignty issues, owned an agriculturally focused study abroad organization and had active leadership in various community organizing campaigns around livable wages.  

Jordan Spencer, Labor of Love

Workshop: Broth for Life: How This Easy-to-Make, Delicious Food Can Support Your Health

Jordan’s background in nutrition, herbal medicine, yoga, mindfulness and meditation practices has culminated into the holistic approach she uses to support the health and wellbeing of her clients. As a doula, Jordan supports growing families using these modalities through out the transformative periods of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. The quality of care and nourishment parents receive during these important times will greatly impact the physical, mental and emotional health of their child for years to come. Jordan’s own experiences as a mother, combined with the examples she witnesses with her clients, family and friends are what drive her to educate and support others on their journey towards better health. The health of a family directly impacts the health of our society and planet as a whole.

Kate Spring, Good Heart Farmstead

Workshop: Effective Email Marketing & Copywriting for Farmers; Storytelling Through Social Media

Kate Spring runs Good Heart Farmstead in Worcester, VT, an organic farm with a mission to make local food more accessible to low-income Vermonters.  Along with farming, Kate is a published writer, and runs The Good Heart Life blog. Through photography and writing, she blends organic farming and storytelling to illuminate what it means to be an organic farmer today, and help others grow a life that feeds them from soil to soul.  Find her on instagram @goodheartfarmstead and online at thegoodheartlife.com

Andrea Stander, Rural Vermont

Saturday Night Film Screening Panelist Andrea currently serves as Rural Vermont's Policy Consultant. From 2012-2017 she served as its Executive Director. Her tenure included VT's historic GMO Labeling campaign. Before that she has a long and complicated history of advocating for environmental, economic and social justice.

Zoe Stapp, Brookdale Farm Supplies

Workshop: Irrigation 101 for the Commercial Scale

Carol Stedman, Clay Hill Farm, Hartland Farmers Market

Workshop: POP Clubs: The Power of Children's Farmers Market Programming

Carol Stedman owns and runs Clay Hill Corners Farm, which produces blueberries and specialty crops, and a home-based catering service, named Green Thumb Quiches, in Hartland, VT. She is on the board of the Hartland Farmers' Market. Inspired by a VT Farmers' Market Association Conference workshop, she began organizing the Market's POP Club in 2015, and has remained involved since.

Marjorie Susman, Orb Weaver Farm

Workshop: Land Succession: Passing the Agricultural Torch

Marian Pollock and Marjorie Susman founded Orb Weaver Farm in 1980. From the milk of their jersey cows they hand crafted the first farmhouse cheese in Vt. They also cultivate an organic market garden supplying veggies to the Middlebury coop. All of their products are sold locally. Currently they are transitioning the dairy portion of their farm to Kate Turcotte Munzer & Zack Munzer.

Henry Swayze, Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition

Workshops: Cool the Planet: Food, Water, Soil, Climate, Hope! Parts 1 & 2.

Henry's historical background is in land improvement with a flock of 400 sheep.  Now he is spreading the word on cooling the planet now. This is based on the work of Australian soil microbiology and climate scientist Walter Jehne, Slovenian hydrologist Michal Kravcik and New Mexico state university scientist David C.Johnson among others. Henry has co-hosted a weekly environmental program called Vermont GreenZine on WFVR-LP for the last 4+ years.  

Ariana Taylor-Stanley, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

Roundtable: Unpacking the 2018 Farm Bill: What it Means for Food & Farming in Vermont

Ariana serves as Northeast Regional Organizer for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. She also co-owns and operates Here We Are Farm in Trumansburg, NY, growing vegetables for CSA and farmers markets. She is active in her community as a chapter leader of Showing Up for Racial Justice and the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Amy Todisco, VT Food & Farm Tours, Hartshorn Farm

Workshop: A Cabin, a Concert, and a Casual Farm Dinner: Agritourism Stories from Three Unique Farms

Together Amy and Dave have grown Dave's farm, Hartshorn Certified Organic Farm, in Waitsfield, into an educational & experiential center with farm camps for kids, 4 annual food festivals, farm to table dinners, special events, workshops, personal growth & wellness retreats, and now VT Food and Farm Tours. Amy created the website, Facebook page, and all other social media and online listings and is largely responsible for the event planning and promotion.

Anastasia Tsekeris, Winooski Farmers Market

Workshop: POP Clubs: The Power of Children's Farmers Market Programming

Anastasia is a fourth-year student at the University of Vermont pursuing degrees in Food Systems and Nutrition and Food Sciences. She operated as the Winooski Farmers Market Assistant Manager and POP Club Coordinator in summer 2018. Tsekeris has experience working in nutrition outreach and education, food access, and state level implementation of nutrition assistance programs. Anastasia is passionate about increasing food access and nutrition education to marginalized communities, as well as creating a just, sustainable food system.

Kate Turcotte Munzer, Orb Weaver Creamery

Workshop: Land Succession: Passing the Agricultural Torch

Kate Turcotte Munzer is the cheesemaker and owner at Orb Weaver Creamery, a small dairy and cheese company located in Monkton, Vermont. Kate and her husband are currently leasing from Marjorie Susman and Marian Pollack with the plans to purchase the farm and continue their legacy of producing small batch, farmstead cheese. Prior to this, Kate was the Operations Manager and Head Cheesemaker at Shelburne Farms where she worked for nine years. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Ecological Agriculture and has her Cheesemaking Certificate from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. Kate was on the NOFA-VT Board of Directors from 2010-2017 and is currently on the board of the Vermont Cheese Council where she serves as secretary and chair of the education committee. When she's not making cheese she enjoys hiking with her husband and two dogs and working through her never-ending reading list.   

Jon Turner, Wild Roots Farm Vermont

Workshop: Agricultural Solutions for Social Regeneration

Jon is the owner and manager of Wild Roots Farm VT, a 10.6 acre homestead operation that focuses on education in ecological design and resilient food systems for K-12, college students and the veteran population. He is the founding and former chair of the Vermont State Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.  

Allison Van Akkeren, Sterling College

Workshop: Epigenetics, Our Gut Biome, Phytochemicals and More: A Closer Look at Whole Foods
Allison has her Masters Degree in Nutrition, teaching at Sterling College since 1991.  She has been involved in the conception and follow-through of the Sterling College Environmental Kitchen Mission since 1993. In her Nutrition and Environmental classes, the Sterling College work program Sterling students are involved in projects involving local foods in the Community. A whole foods philosophy has been the foundation of nutrition courses she has engaged students in since the 1980's.

Nancy VanWinkle, Nomadic Roots Kitchen

Workshop: Fermentation 101

Nancy VanWinkle has a deep love for food, art, and nature, and an even deeper desire to share those passions with others. With a diverse background that ranges from operating a sustainable farm to teaching at a land-based Montessori adolescent program, Nancy has a range of teaching interests centered around the land, holistic wellness, food and the arts.  Nancy caught fermentation fever in 2003, and has been operating Nomadic Roots Studio and Kitchen since 2014. She loves spreading the fermentation bug through intensive hands-on learning experiences. She most recently taught a three-day intensive, "Living Foods: Fearless Fermentation from Farm, Field, and Forest", at Sterling College's School of the New American Farmstead in Craftsbury, VT.  She also teaches at City Market's educational kitchen in Burlington

Libby Weiland, Vermont Community Garden Network

Workshop: What Happens When You Compost In Community? Managing Food Waste and Garden Debris for Community Benefit

As Statewide Network Coordinator for Vermont Community Garden Network, Libby coordinates and supports Vermont's community and school garden network.  She works most directly with garden leaders, building their skills, confidence and access to resources for their garden groups through training, technical support, grants, and networking opportunities.  

Alissa White, University of Vermont

Workshop: Adapting to Weather Extremes on Diversified Vegetable & Berry Farms

Alissa spent a decade working on farms across the country before pursuing a graduate degree at UVM.  She studies agroecology and works closely with extension and applied research projects across the northeast.  

Seth Wilner, University of New Hampshire Extension

Workshop: Build Your Labor Management Know-How

Seth works for UNH Cooperative Extension as a Regional Field Specialist in Farm Business Management. He is part of a multi-state effort lead by UVM Extension that researched effective labor management practices for small to medium sized produce farms. Seth works with farmers in our New England region on financial benchmarking, record keeping, labor management, and the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Richard Wiswall, Cate Farm

Workshops: Farm Mechanizations and Efficiencies; Farming Smarter, Not Harder: Planning for Profit

Richard Wiswall is owner/operator of Cate Farm in East Montpelier, VT, where he has been farming organically for over 35 years. Known for his work on farm profitability and appropriate business tools, he has consulted with over 90 farmers in New England, helping them increase profitability and meet their long term goals. Richard is author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook- A Complete guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff- and Making a Profit, and gives workshops frequently on the subject of farm business. To learn more about Richard and Cate Farm, visit www.catefarm.com.

Kerry Wood, St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Workshops: Dancing the Abenaki Year: The Agricultural Calendar of Indigenous Vermont; Rethinking Land Ownership in Honoring Vermont’s Original Inhabitants, Part 2.

Kerry Wood is a citizen of the the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi.  She participated in the Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project’s first week-long camp and continues to learn about Abenaki heritage and traditional knowledge so she can help teach the next generation.  Kerry is a traditional Abenaki Basketmaker. She learned the craft under Master Basketmaker Jeanne Brink through an apprenticeship program sponsored by the Vermont Folklife Center. Kerry’s Great-Grandmother, Elvine Obomsawin and her family made and sold baskets in the Champlain Valley in the early to mid 1900’s.  Brown ash trees and sweetgrass are essential for the continuation of this traditional craft representing Abenaki culture.

Graham Unangst-Rufenacht, Rural Vermont

Workshop: The Impact of Policy on Vermont's Food Traditions

Graham runs Robinson Hill Beef, a grass-based beef operation in Central Vermont. He is the Field Organizer at Rural Vermont, and also works extensively in the policy arena.