The Powerful Change Enid Created
Enid Wonnacott started working at NOFA Vermont in 1988 with a single milk crate of files. She built that into a movement of over 1,000 organic farmers, thousands of homesteaders, gardeners, mindful eaters and cooks, hundreds of businesses, all working together on a shared vision for what Vermont agriculture can be. Enid changed Vermont for the better, and created an aspirational model for the rest of our country. Enid left us far too early. Now her death asks us all to step up and assure that her values and legacy are carried forward.
Power of voice.
Enid built a movement through tireless work and also by leading us in song.
Enid’s Values & Legacy
Personal, practical, hopeful, Enid walked the talk. She didn’t preach these values, she lived them every day. Her steadfast confidence that we are stronger together gave our movement a powerful framework for the future. She connected ideas and people, and helped us to see that caring for the land also means caring for people.Enid’s passion for bringing people together and cultivating long lasting relationships shaped NOFA-VT into the trusted, solid anchor institution we have today, which is a model for sustainable agriculture here and far beyond Vermont’s borders.Enid’s belief in the big and lasting values of life - work, love, feeding one another, voice, listening, interdependence - gave our movement powerful symbols and examples that inspire us to continue.
Raise a Big Tent.
She pulled us together into one tent, never dividing us from one another, even when we disagreed.
Enid was always there when we needed her. Now we need to be there for NOFA.
As we move into a new chapter, our goal is to ensure that the values Enid held so well continue to be firmly anchored in NOFA-VT’s work for generations to come. With The Enid Fund we will build on Enid’s legacy, creating an important funding source—as substantial and grand as the woman herself—to support NOFA-VT’s ongoing and evolving work, supporting farmers and building strong, agriculturally-based communities. We will honor Enid and assure continuance of her work, with a permanent fund to generate income each year. In keeping with Enid’s visionary leadership we will capture remarkable opportunities while holding on to the strong underpinnings of NOFA’s work. We will use the income from this fund to guarantee stability and also to give us courage to take creative risks. We know NOFA and the organic movement are still in a growing season, and this fund will empower us to continue.
We aim to establish this fund with $500,000 in immediate memorial gifts, and we will continue to build it in the future. We invite you to join us now, to invest in the sustenance of Enid’s vision and values, and to be part of our continuing work toward a healthier, wiser world. This is what Enid hoped for, and we invite you to make it happen.
Love of land.
She was a strong, respected voice in our Statehouse and nation’s capital, and she also loved to hike and walk between farms and mountains.
We Remember Enid’s Voice
Over her 30 years leadership, NOFA-VT has grown from 250 household members and 57 certified organic producers to over 1,100 household members and 719 certified organic producers. By hiring talented staff and successfully obtaining funding, she expanded NOFA-VT to include organic certification, farmer services, agricultural education, and promotion of direct markets.With the respect she earned from others, Enid was able to bring together people from different perspectives to move the organic movement forward. During the formation of the National Organic Program, she helped to craft a program that worked for both Vermont scale farms and much bigger farms across the country. Enid also worked locally, representing organic farmers at the Statehouse to pass important legislation and to highlight and fund a variety of issues.
While having farmers obtain organic certification was an ultimate goal, Enid continually supported inclusivity. She felt it was important for certified organic farmers, farmers using some organic methods, and conventional farmers to learn together through round table discussions, on-farm workshops, and at the annual Winter Conference attended by over 1,000 farmers and gardeners.
Enid was instrumental in developing NOFA’s Farm Share Program to help make local and organic foods through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model more accessible to low-income families.A true visionary, Enid recognized needs and took risks to develop programs such as the Farm-to-School program before they were of national interest. Vermont is now seen as a leader in this movement.Enid loved and inspired people. Because of her charisma, passion, true concern for and commitment to organic agriculture, Vermont has enjoyed significant growth in the number of organic producers and acreage, over 70 staff and 20 interns have been nurtured, and consistent essential funding has been secured, over decades of hard work. Former staff have gone on to become organic farmers, organic inspectors, lobbyists, extension agents, nutritionists, teachers, therapists, and leaders in the organic movement – all inspired by Enid’s leadership and passion. Enid has inspired us all.