Linda worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension in New York City for many years, including managing the Farmers Markets Nutrition Program in all five boroughs. Recently retired, she is an urban agriculture expert who specializes in pest management.
John Ameroso is a Retired Extension Educator. He served for 34 years with Cornell Cooperative Extension's Urban Agriculture program in New York City, and was New York City’s first extension agent focused on farming.
Erik has been growing rice in the Champlain Valley since 2010, using a modern variant of an ancient "duck-rice" method in which ducks forage in rice paddies. Erik is committed to helping foster small scale rice agriculture in our region.
James Armour has been farming in the Hudson Valley for 30 years. 23 years ago, Found Winds Farm stopped plowing and tilling as a way to address their weed pressure. Over the years, James has included other no-till techniques and perfected a method to make lots of compost.
Rachel Asarnow is an artist, teacher and organic gardener working with children through older adults. She is looking forward to sharing art activities with Children's Conference participants.
Joseph (Ben) Atwood worked in agriculture and studied the arts since 2009. His passion for detail, beauty, and education came together spring 2018 when he was hired by The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center as their South End Garden Coordinator and CSA Manager.
Lia Babitch grew up on a biodynamic farm in Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, PA, graduated from Kimberton Waldorf School and then Macalester College, where she participated in and then co-led the organic gardening club. After several years working various jobs, she completed a two and a half year Biodynamic Farming and Gardening apprenticeship with the Severn Valley Biodynamic Land Training in Gloucestershire, UK and Herefordshire, UK, where she first started formal learning about saving seeds. Upon returning to the US, she became the Seed Garden Manager and Co-General Manager at Turtle Tree Seed in Camphill Village in Copake, NY in 2009. She has been continuing to learn and teach about seeds and seed saving ever since.
Malick cannot recall a time before he was farming -- in his Gambian village, everyone participates in growing food. They do not have electricity or even a car in his village, where knowledge is passed from generation to generation through the work. Rice is very important to his Jola tribe: it is their staple and they are known for our rice farming. Malick's family has been adapting their skills to the climate of Upstate New York. Farming for them is a community practice; they include their local community in planting and harvesting, sharing their cultural and agricultural practices through farming, food, song and drum.
Louis’s work is found in the confluence of social justice & agriculture in the field and with the pen; his home is on the eastern facing slopes of the Berkshires, where he homesteads with his life-long companion. He is the Northeast Project Coordinator for the Agricultural Justice Project; serves on NOFA’s Domestic Fair Trade Committee, represents NOFA for the Domestic Fair Trade Association; and is editing an anthology of the writings of Juanita Nelson, subsistence farmer & peacemaker.
Tim has been farming since 2006, and began Featherbed Lane Farm in 2015. Along with two employees, and a team of draft horses, he grows 5 acres of vegetables for a full year and free choice CSA. Tim also works part-time with American Farmland Trust, helping farmers to access, transfer and protect farmland in New York.
Bob’s expertise in the food and beverage industry for over 30 years helps him work alongside clients throughout the East Coast to provide the best possible coverage and programs for many aspects of the food chain. As the CEO at Eastern Classic Coverage Insurance Agency, Bob's knowledge and experience helps to put his clients minds at ease.
Maria Blon's life has transformed many times, most notably when she and her daughter volunteered in Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010. During this time, she helped launch the HEART in Haiti School (HEARTinHaiti.org), where she has trained the teachers and started sustainable programs. Maria loves growing food year round at her small city gardens in Middletown, NY and using her growing skills to raise money for the HEART in Haiti School.
Tom has been a lifelong gardener who uses his construction skills to enhance urban farms by building coldframes, greenhouses, walkways and fences. He teaches Physics and Astronomy at the high school and college level.
Lisa and Brendan Bloodnick have a diverse horse-powered market garden in Apalachin, NY. Lettuce lady, garlic goddess, bean queen...the evolution continues…
Bob Cat Bonagura
Bob Cat is co-owner of Main Street Farms, farming vegetables on 50 acres and 20,000 square feet of greenhouses/ high tunnels, year round in Cortland, NY. Main Street Farms distributes through wholesale, a farmers market, and a 350 member CSA. When he is not farming, he enjoys playing music with his band, The Local Farmers Union.
Will Bonsall is the director of the Scatterseed Project, co-founder of the Grassroots Seed Network, and author of two books: Through the Eyes of a Stranger (Book I of the Yaro Tales, an eco-fiction), and Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening. He lives and farms in Industry, ME.
Craig is an avid grower of interesting fruits and vegetables. He has been growing figs for 5 years. Craig is married to Anya and they have five children under the age of five.
Bill is a farmer at Ivory Silo Farm in south coast MA, where he and his wife grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit, and seed. He is also the Executive Director of Freed Seed Federation, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and diversification of seed for the public commons.
Heron has worked at Fedco Seeds for more than 19 years, where his work continues to be diverse & engaging. Managing Fedco Seeds' collaborative trial programs allows him to see how brand new & older reliable vegetable varieties truly perform in Northern US gardens & farms. Heron resides in Maine in the same small town he was born in.
maggie and james Brewer
Maggie Brewer has been making mustard for over 30 years. James Brewer is a retired electrical engineer turned farmer. In 2008 Maggie and James established their business, The Mustard Seed 'N' More. They have a small farm in Bristol, NY where they grow most of the ingredients that have gone into the mustards, including more than 500 pepper plants each year. Their business has enabled them to give most of their profits to mission work.
Dr. Brito is an Associate Professor of Dairy Cattle Nutrition and Management with the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). He joined UNH in 2009 from a post-doc position at the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre in Sherbrooke, QC, Canada. Dr. Brito is native from Brazil where he received his Veterinary degree in 1996 and a Master degree in Animal Nutrition in 1999. Dr. Brito completed his Ph.D. studies in Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin in 2004.
Jonathan Brown is the director of the Food and Beverage Law Clinic, a legal clinic at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University that provides pro bono transactional legal services to small farms, food and beverage businesses, and nonprofits. He also serves on the board of NOFA-NY.
Catherine Bukowski is a researcher, author, educator and PhD candidate at Virginia Tech. She is also a consultant with Kindred Roots Design, focusing on creating abundant landscapes and growing connected communities. She is the co-author of The Community Food Forest Handbook: How to Plan, Organize, and Nurture Edible Gathering Places released by Chelsea Green Publishing in July 2018. More information on community food forests, consulting, and book orders is available on Catherine’s website: www.communityfoodforests.com/handbook.
Brian Caldwell is co-owner of Hemlock Grove Farm in West Danby, NY, with his wife, Twinkle Griggs, and their daughter, Jenny Caldwell. The small farm has produced certified organic apples, vegetables, and chestnuts since 1982. Brian received his BS from Empire State College in 1978 and his MS from Cornell University in 1986. He currently farms and works part time with the Cornell Small Farm Program’s Reduced Tillage Organic Vegetable project.
Chris Callahan is the Extension Associate Professor of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Vermont. His work focuses on the application of the engineering practice to food systems. Specific engagement is with food producers, processors, and distributors to improve efficiency, quality, safety and cost control through integration of technology, systems integration and process controls. Research and educational programming includes the following:
Post-harvest practices and storage - water management, environmental control, drying systems, humidification systems, refrigeration systems
Protected culture and covered growing systems - greenhouses, high tunnels
Chris Cardillo is a New York State based attorney who started, operated and owned one of Washington State's premier marijuana processing facilities. In addition, Mr. Cardillo is an owner and board member of M Brands, a national product development and marketing company focused on the marijuana industry.
From laboratory research to field applications, Rick Carr has been studying the science and utilization of compost, vermicompost, and liquid compost extracts. In 2012, Rick earned a Master of Science degree in Plant Pathology from Cornell University. Under the advisement of Dr. Eric Nelson, Rick conducted research on understanding the mechanisms associated with vermicompost-mediated disease suppression. His research has contributed to understanding biologically-based disease suppression as well as new information on Pythium aphanidermatum development and pathogenicity. When Rick was not in the lab, he was often doing outreach and education with Master Composters and Gardeners of New York State. Shortly after graduating from Cornell, Rick left the United States for a one-year research opportunity on a large certified organic farm in Argentina. While there he developed a new perspective on how laboratory studies translate to on-farm research and application, which has led to his current position at Rodale Institute. Rick has joined the research staff at Rodale Institute as the Compost Production Specialist and his current projects include managing the Institute’s large-scale composting facility, examining the nutrient variability from on-farm composting, maximizing the nutrient contribution of pastures for pork production, and exploring novel manure and pasture management strategies to reduce swine parasites in organic pastured pork production.
Raul is a Latino farmer in the Hudson Valley, New York. He was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas and for the past three years, he has worked as the Post-Harvest Coordinator at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. He helped create and implement the food safety policies, manages the Wash & Pack facility, and supports the food donation efforts. He also provides Spanish/English interpretation and translation for his community and farm co-workers in an effort to create, sustain, and uphold safer spaces where everyone can represent themselves, regardless of whether or not they speak English.
Lauren Caruso is a community gardener, educator, and activist in Rochester, NY. Lauren studies and practices permaculture in social, natural, and emotional landscapes and works for justice through regenerative community-based design.
Chris owns and operates (with his wife Katie Smith, their four children and 12 employees) a diverse organic vegetable, grain, beef, pork, maple syrup and bedding plant operation. Entering their 20th season, they market their products to CSA, farmer's markets, NYC food pantries, wholesale, and their own on-farm retail store.
Jason Cavatorta is a plant breeder and president of EarthWork Seeds Inc., a small Florida-based seed company dedicated to developing and producing new vegetable cultivars with great flavor and strong agronomic performance, such as ‘Damsel’ tomato. Jason previously worked as a commercial plant breeder for Seminis/Monsanto specializing in onion varieties for diverse global markets. He holds an MS and PhD in Plant Breeding from Cornell University.
Jesse is a former middle school teacher, now studying horticulture at SUNY Morrisville. He has worked with mushrooms for the past 4 years.
Dave has been an organic vegetable farmer in Vermont for the last 38 years. He is a founding member of Keep The Soil In Organic and the Real Organic Project.
Brett Chedzoy is a regional extension forester with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County, and the Forest Manager of Cornell’s Arnot Teaching and Research Forest. Brett and his family own and operate Angus Glen Farms, LLC in Watkins Glen, NY – a 450-acre grazing operation that extensively utilizes silvopasturing. Brett’s experience with silvopasturing started in the early 1990s while working with Argentine ranchers through the US Peace Corps.
Ben Cohen is an author, poet, herbalist, gardener, seed saver and wanderer. He lives and works at Small House Farm with his wife and two sons, on their family homestead in Sanford, Michigan. He is also the founder of Michigan Seed Library, a community seed sharing initiative that has worked closely with a number of communities to help establish seed library programs throughout the Midwest. Ben spends his time outside of his gardens offering workshops and lectures across the country on the benefits of living closer to the land through seeds, herbs and locally grown food. In July of 2018, Ben published his first book, From Our Seeds & Their Keepers: A Collection of Stories.
Micaela Colley leads OSA’s research and education programs focused on organic seed production and organic plant breeding. She is the author of several publications. Micaela frequently teaches and speaks on organic seed topics and collaborates on research projects nationally. Micaela is also pursuing a PhD focused on organic and participatory plant breeding under Dr. Edith Lammerts van Bueren at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Silas has 13 years of grassroots experience in regional food supply chains, as well as MicroMasters credential in Supply Chain Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Silas worked across many sectors of food supply chains before founding the Crooked Carrot, a food processing and aggregation hub in 2011. In 2018, Silas merged his business with Headwater Food Hub and became director of supply chain, overseeing relationships with over 140 farms and processing partners in New York State.
Kathleen Curtis, LPN, has 30 years of experience in the environmental health movement and is a widely recognized national leader whose policy expertise is in high demand. She is Clean and Healthy New York’s chief lobbyist and organizer, responsible for CHNY’s relationship with allies and policymakers. Her leadership has guided enactment of several local, state and federal policies regulating toxic chemicals.
Megan has been working with honeybees for fifteen years. During the spring and fall she loves to spend time in the forest tracking down wild honeybees. With the help of her partner Jorik’s queen rearing expertise, she introduces their genetic potential to her own bees.
Aabir developed his passion for seeds while he was completing his Sustainable Farming Certificate at Everdale, a teaching farm in Hillsburgh, Ontario, and supporting research trials for Seeds of Diversity's collection of over 3,000 different Canadian seed varieties. Aabir has been instrumental in shaping and leading the training, research, and policy programs developed for The Bauta Family Seed Initiative, and created their flagship vegetable varietal improvement program that involves over 100 farmers across the country. Aabir loves working in the field with seed producers and farmers all over Canada, and is thrilled to continue to steward The Bauta Family Seed Initiative at a national level into the future. Aabir is based at the regional host organization in Ontario, Seeds of Diversity.
Sally has served as a Northeast Community Development Managers for Iroquois Valley Farms since 2014. Sally was a beefalo farmer and a pioneer in the locally grown foods movement in Vermont since the 1970s. Sally enjoys working with farmers, investors, and many agricultural organizations to promote the mission of Iroquois Valley Farms.
Robert leads the team at Tend.ag, where he brings together his farming background and design expertise to build software for diversified farmers.
Shelby has been the Animal Husbandry Coordinator at Rodale Institute since 2016. At Rodale she oversees the care of their livestock, managing pastures and rotational grazing. Prior to Rodale she attended University of Delaware, where she received her B.S. in Animal and Food Sciences.
Dr. Amara Dunn received her M.S. and Ph.D. in plant pathology at Cornell University, with a focus on vegetable diseases. After completing a post-doctoral position at Cornell in plant pathology and teaching in the Biology Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY), she began her current position as Biocontrol Specialist with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program in June 2017.
DK’s mission in life is to bring Harmonic Balance into this world first with herself, then spreading it all around! DK teaches yoga and singing, and loves both. She enjoys teaching all forms of yoga and has been teaching for decades. DK is excited to teach at the NOFA-NY conference this year.
Jamie Edelstein is the owner operator of Wyllie Fox Farm, which recently celebrated 15 years of organic agricultural practices.
Sara Perl Egendorf
Sara Perl Egendorf (aka Perl) is a doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center, Advanced Science Research Center, and Brooklyn College. She conducts research on urban soil contaminant and nutrient cycling, and is interested in the potential for urban soils to promote environmental and social justice. She conducted the garden pilot study for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation’s Clean Soil Bank, and collaborates on research with the Healthy Soils Healthy Communities team with Cornell University and the NYS Department of Health. As co-founder of the Just Soil project and the Legacy Lead coalition, she works in partnership with scientists, city agencies, non-profit organizations, composters, gardeners, and young people to both study and apply best practices for systemic contaminant mitigation, waste reduction, greenhouse gas sequestration, food justice, and access to STEM knowledge and skills.
Daniel has worked as the brand manager of Harris Seeds Organic since April 2017. He is a self taught homesteader who is passionate about organic agriculture and the sustainability of the planet.
Jenny farms cut flowers, along with her partner Luke, at Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake, NY. Together they run a wholesale cut flower business, do wedding and event floral design, and run their new retail flower shop in neighboring Hillsdale.
Amy P. Ellis is Honest Weight Food Co-op’s community outreach coordinator. Amy has held the position since November 2010, where handles all aspects of community outreach including the Co-op’s Ready, Set, Grow! program which brings whole foods and cooking classes to school-age children. Amy takes great pride in sharing and prepping real food with children. The Co-op also demonstrates cooking, sampling and good nutrition to adult audiences at companies, community-based organizations, college campuses, public school systems, libraries and senior centers across the Capital Region. Amy takes great pride in supporting local producers and farmers and enjoys showcasing all of the store’s local vendors. Amy manages and works in conjunction with a team of approximately 20 member workers to implement the many facets of community outreach, helping to make the Co-op much more than “just” a grocery store. She grew up in the Capital Region and currently lives in Albany with her husband Aaron, and their two boys Jack and Andrew. She’s a graduate of Albany High School ‘94 and Syracuse University ‘98. Prior to joining the team at Honest Weight, Amy brought many years of experience in the non-profit, management and fundraising to her role at the Co-op. For fun, she enjoys the great outdoors, loves to swim, cook, travel, and the theater but most of all spending time with family and friends.
Christian is the founder and co-owner of South River Miso Company in Conway, Massachusetts, which has been producing and distributing certified organic, unpasteurized miso throughout the United States and Canada since 1979.
Christian has been growing rice on a small scale at his home in Conway for about 35 years, selecting and saving seed from year to year. His work with rice has been largely devoted to developing the 'South River' strain of one particular variety, which is now fully acclimated to the northeast. From a small paddy of about 1000 square feet, this rice has given a yield equivalency of over 5000 pounds per acre.
Ken is a a co-founder of the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium. He introduced the Cutchogue (Long Island) Cheese Pumpkin into the Seed Saver's Exchange. Ken is an advocate of "on farm" plant breeding as a way to select for the kinds of traits one values most. Ken likes growing diversity and, like most people, he learns as he goes.
Matt has been working in the Department of Plant Breeding at Cornell University for almost 19 years. The first half of that time was spent breeding cucurbits and peppers. He was also involved setting up and running the Public Seed Initiative which eventually turned into the Organic Seed Partnership. For the second half of his career he has been breeding new varieties of potato for both the chipping and tablestock markets.
Andrew is one of the premier Permaculture teachers and designers in North America, with over two decades of experience in the field. His passionate, visionary presentations, and curriculum have inspired and motivated teachers and students since his days as a high school teacher at a open community free school in Glenmoore, PA, which he graduated from in 1986.
Jay Feldman, executive director of the national environmental and public health group Beyond Pesticides, has a 38-year history of working with communities nationwide on toxics and organic policies, and agricultural and land management practices that maintain ecological balance, biodiversity, and avoid reliance on toxic chemicals. Jay has successfully fought for the removal of some of the most hazard chemicals ever on the market and helped draft the Agricultural Productivity Act, which established the Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture (LISA) program at USDA that became the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, and later the Organic Foods Production Act. In 2010, he was appointed by the Obama administration to a 5-year appointment to the National Organic Standards Board, a stakeholder board that advises on organic and determines allowable materials. He currently serves on the executive board of the National Organic Coalition and the standards board of the Real Organic Project.
After 15 years as an industrial engineer and manager, Andy started the Fellenz Family Farm in 2002. From 2002 through 2017 he operated the farm as a certified organic farm with CSAs, a farmstand, and farmers market sales. Starting in 2015 he began transitioning the farm to his son Erik and Erik's partner Jenny. Erik and Jenny took over the farm in 2018.
Fellenz Family Farms has been growing organic vegetables, fruit, and herbs in Phelps, NY for 16 years. Erik focuses on the mechanical side of the farm, from basic maintenance & keeping the tractors running to designing & fabricating new tools & equipment for the farm.
Aaron has worked for the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets since 1984. He attended Finger Lakes Community College and SUNY Sullivan. He is a member of the Central Atlantic Association of Food and Drug Officials (CASAFDO) and the New York State Association for Food Protection.
Chris is the co-owner of Growing Family Farms in Spencerport, NY. He holds a BS in Biology from SUNY Brockport. Growing Family Farms has been producing commercially for seven years, and they also have a growing CSA program.
Jean-Martin Fortier (JM) is a farmer, educator and best-selling author specializing in organic and biologically intensive vegetable production. His award-winning book, The Market Gardener, has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide to reimagine ecological human-scale food systems. He is the co-founder, with his wife Maude-Hélène Desroches, of Les jardins de la grelinette, an internationally recognized micro-farm in Southern Quebec known for its high productivity and profitability. Since 2015, he has been the farm director at Ferme des Quatre-Temps, an experimental farm in Hemmingford, Quebec.
Carly Fox is the Senior Organizing and Advocacy Coordinator at the Worker Justice Center of NY - a legal service organization that pursues justice for those denied human rights. As such, she has spent more than seven years working with hundreds of farmworkers across the state to share information about workers' rights, conduct workshops and provide opportunities for workers to become leaders for workplace justice and to fight for their rights as immigrant workers. Carly co-authored the 2016 report MILKED and has been organizing workers in a campaign to address injustice in the NYS dairy industry. Carly’s current project is to support the Alianza Agricola, a farmworker-led effort to win the right to have driver’s license in NYS, and to build immigrant worker power.
Luke farms cut flowers, along with his partner Jenny, at Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake, NY. Together they run a wholesale cut flower business, do wedding and event floral design, and run their new retail flower shop in neighboring Hillsdale.
Ever since he was a child growing up in rural Western NY, Ed has had an interest in growing his own food. He is now completing his 25th year in the garlic business, and has been organic certified since 2002. His focus has evolved into helping others farm organically and finding different ways to market seed garlic and other organic produce.
Fellenz Family Farms grows organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. Jennifer specializes in herbs and medicinal plants. They sell at market and have a nearly year round CSA, and starting this season Jennifer will be teaching herbal classes on the farm.
Olivia Gamber graduated from Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts in 2018. She has a degree in Environmental Studies with minors in Spanish and Global Studies. Her research focused on the intersection of social and environmental change in agriculture. Olivia has worked on small farms and gardens, producing food and teaching workshops, since she was 13 years old. She is now the farmer in residence at a 5,000 sq. ft. urban farm located within the Staten Island Urby apartment complex in Staten Island’s Stapleton neighborhood. Through organic and sustainable practices, Olivia and her team grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers for CSA members, farmers markets, and wholesale clients. In addition to growing produce, they strive to be an integrated community hub for Urby residents and for the larger Staten Island community by providing programming such as farm dinners and educational workshops on cooking, gardening, art, science, sustainability, and more. While the farm is not certified organic, her farming practice goes beyond conventional organics. She strives to learn and incorporate practices from the organic, biointensive, biodynamic, permaculture, and agroecology fields.
Lucy grew up growing and eating local produce year-round here in Upstate NY, geeking out on seed catalogs, and getting involved with the intersection of plants, people, and food however she could. She has been at Stick and Stone Farm for the past 18 years, and has pushed the boundaries on fall production by paying careful attention to crop and variety selection and utilizing low-tech storage solutions.
Steph Gaylor has been a lifelong seed saver. In 2005 she founded Invincible Summer Farms to grow and sell fresh produce, collaborate with chefs and the food community, and save rare seeds. In 2014, she began selling the saved seeds through Salt of the Earth Seed Company. Steph works to preserve the history and story of heirloom plants and is a steward for orphaned varieties. She maintains a seed bank that contains over 2000 different tomato varieties alone. Steph is one of the founding members of the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium and the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project.
Larry Geohring is a Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University where he teaches and does research and extension on soil and water management. Having grown up on a farm in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, Larry learned first-hand the importance of soil and water management to putting food on the table.
Jason Grauer is Crop Production and Farm Consulting Manager at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a nonprofit farm and education center in Pocantico Hills, NY. Jason manages the daily responsibilities and organization of crop production, field and vegetable experimentation, and research.
Ken Greene founded the first seed library in the country which grew into the Hudson Valley Seed Co. He now co-directs the non-profit Seedshed, which is focused on seed justice through engaging communities in seed stewardship practices that strengthen agricultural, cultural, and biological diversity. Seedshed's programs include the Native American Seed Sanctuary, Kitchen Cultivars, and helping communities start their own seed initiatives.
Maria is a dedicated farm to market consultant and educator. She is committed to empowering communities in developing a just and healthy food system for all.
Ethan has been a vegetable crops specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension since 2016, working primarily in the Black Dirt region of Orange County, New York. Prior to joining extension, he managed a 40 acre mixed vegetable operation in Massachusetts and co-managed an organic research and teaching farm at the University of California, Davis.
Dale Guldbrandsen and his partner, Sally Dodge, have been Northeast Community Development Managers at Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT since 2014 . They are helping to develop the company’s presence and brand across the Northeastern U.S (New York and New England states), developing economic lease structures, creative financing products, and a sustainable farmland succession plan for retiring farmers or exiting landowners.
Amy Halloran fell in love with fresh flour and wrote a book about it, The New Bread Basket. She started the Flour Ambassador pledge to help draw attention to small mills. Her day job is running a food pantry and soup kitchen, and one day, she will make a bridge between specialty grains and the emergency feeding system.
Morgan Hartman is the Dairy and Livestock Coordinator at NOFA-NY. He also owns and operates Black Queen Angus Farm, LLC in Berlin, NY where he raises Registered Angus breeding stock in a 100% grassfed production model utilizing linebreeding principles and intense selection pressure/criteria. Morgan is also an associate with Sustainable Genetics, LLC, a semen and embryo company which makes linebred, functional, commercially efficient beef and dairy genetics available to the grassfed and organic segments of the beef and dairy industries.
Born in the city of Prague, Czech Republic, Jarmila has always had a passion for the outdoors – spending time hiking, gardening and training service dogs in one of the Prague's largest city park. She studied agronomy and crop production at the University of Agriculture, Prague, leaving her country soon after graduation. Coming to Rochester, she started working at Eastman Kodak but, to keep true to her passion for the Nature and outdoors, she started her own business designing sustainable gardens for residential properties. After leaving Kodak, she worked as a Farmers' Market Specialist in CCE of Wayne County, helping strengthen the success of farmers’ markets in the Genesee Valley Region, including Monroe County. Today she works at CCE of Monroe County as an Agricultural Educator, helping reconnect farmers and non-farm residents while increasing the agricultural awareness of the public. One way to do this is through Agritourism. Funded by the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority she developed a curriculum to help farmers who wants to start their own Agritourism activity on their farms and is leading an group of enrollees to support them in their efforts. In her free time, Jarmila woks with her dog Finn at an agility track, grows her own fruit and veggies in her backyard and tries to beat the deer to eating them!
Frank is a Senior Extension Associate in Plant Pathology with Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, NY, where he undertakes research on integrated management of fungal diseases of onion and garlic, and nematode in garlic and potato. He has over 28 years experience in vegetable crop diseases.
Elizabeth Henderson farmed at Peacework Farm in Wayne County, New York, producing organically grown vegetables for the fresh market for over 30 years. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), co-chairs the Policy Committee, and represents the NOFA Interstate Council on the Board of the Agricultural Justice Project. She serves as Honorary President of Urgenci, the International CSA Network. For 20 years, from 1993 – 2013, she chaired the Agricultural Development Board in Wayne County and took an active role in creating the Farming and Farmland Protection Plan for the county. In 2001, the organic industry honored her with one of the first “Spirit of Organic awards, in 2007, Abundance Co-op honored her with the “Cooperating for Communities” award and in 2009 NOFA-NY honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award and then a Golden Carrot in 2013. In 2014 Eco-Farm presented her with their “Advocate of Social Justice Award, the Justie.” Her writings on organic agriculture appear in The Natural Farmer and other publications, and she is the lead author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (Chelsea Green, 2007), with a Spanish language e-book edition in 2017. She also wrote A Food Book for a Sustainable Harvest for the members of Peacework Organic Community Supported Agriculture (aka GVOCSA) which had its thirtieth year in 2018.
Donn Hewes and Maryrose Livingston milk sheep and make cheese at the Northland Sheep Dairy in Marathon, NY. Donn makes all the hay with horses and mules and teaches beginning teamsters.
Donna has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monroe Community College for over 15 years, helping students understand how they can make personal money management work for them. She holds a BA in Economics from Indiana University and an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Donna's father left his family's conventional farm because he knew it couldn't support both him and his brother. That experience left a deep desire in her to help people achieve their goals.
Liana Hoodes has worked on a wide range of organic and sustainable agriculture policy issues since 1994. She was the organic policy coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture from 1994 through 2006. In that capacity she facilitated the successful effort to garner hundreds of thousands of comments to repeal and re-write the first organic regulation. From 2003 to 2015, she was the Executive Director of the National Organic Coalition. She has worked extensively on Farm Bills, annual appropriations, as well as on the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act at the USDA National Organic Program and on organic standards at the National Organic Standards Board. Liana is currently the Policy Advisor to NOFA-NY. She grows organic food and lives with her family in Ulster County, New York.
Jack grew up in Midwestern farm communities, learned about local food as a Greenmarket shopper, and became a lawyer to preserve farmland. In his role at GrowNYC, Jack provides Greenmarket farmers with transactional legal services, with an emphasis on farm succession planning. Jack holds a Juris Doctor and Master of Environmental Law & Policy from Vermont Law School.
Eric Houppert brings five years of small-scale organic farming experience to the NOFA-NY Winter Conference. In 2018, after four years at Mud Creek Farm CSA, he began Deep Root Farm - an intensively managed, diverse market farm selling through a CSA, farmers' market and select wholesale accounts. In his first season, Eric broke ground on 2/3 acre of fallow pasture with no infrastructure and limited additional labor, grossing ~$50,000 with plans to grow into 2.5 acres of production over the coming seasons.
David pursues state and local policy change in the Northeast to improve land access for young farmers, and to help them be successful in growing their farm businesses. David previously served on former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s staff, and in the Obama Administration under former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. He hails from the small town of Marble Rock, Iowa and holds a BA in political science from the University of Northern Iowa.
In 2013, when her husband, Nfamara, who had been cultivating rice for 40 years in his native country, Gambia, said the land of the property they just bought would be perfect for growing rice, Dawn replied, "You're crazy." Five years, later, their rice business continues to grow. Utilizing hand cultivation, cultural know-how, and heart, Dawn, Nfamara, son Malick, and cousin Moustapha cultivate African, Japanese, Russian, Italian and Indian rice.
Dr. Kristopher Hubbard holds a Doctorate in Cultural Anthropology & a Doctorate in Ethnobotany, is a Master Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, and a Clinical Herbalist. He is a Cherokee Linguist & Traditionalist, Indigenous Seed Keeper & Farmer. In 2016, Kris founded The Kentucky Seed Society, a school-system based project with a Seed Bank, and a Seed Saving -Agricultural teaching curriculum. Kris is a Bee Keeper, an Appalachian-American Indian Artist, Teacher, Photographer, Author, he has founded The Wild Wood Farms Mountain Jamboree: An Appalachian Roots and Music Festival, and owns Wild Wood Farms Heirloom Seed Company.
Lindsy Iglesias, phd
Lindsy Iglesias is a postdoctoral researcher in the Vegetable IPM Lab at Cornell AgriTech. Her research focuses on evaluating integrated pest management strategies for onion thrips in organic onion production.
David Ingalls is the son of an 11th generation farmer. His family were dairy farmers and then moved into fruit and vegetable farming; they raised 45 acres of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries and thirty-five acres of vegetables. Two generations of Ingalls kids were raised on the farm and sent to college by pulling weeds, picking corn, and selling berries. The first generation continues the tradition even as the successive generation looks back fondly on all those days.
John keeps his eyes on the weather for Nine Mile Farm. He is a grandfather, an architect, and loves teaching people of all ages and skills to build and make things.
Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins
Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Science at SUNY Morrisville. There, Jen works with students who will move on to be the next generation of farmers and agricultural support sector professionals, ensuring that agriculture in New York State has a bright future. Currently Jen's research interests include nutrient management for industrial hemp production, promotion of soil health practices, and urban food production.
Luis Jimenez is the co-founder and current president of the Alianza Agricola, a group of mostly dairy farmworkers in Western NY fighting for immigrant workers' rights. He has been working as a dairy farmworker in the US for over 15 years and is here with his wife and three children.
Having learned to walk in the Adirondacks, raised in "The Burgh" (North Troy), and being a graduate of Hudson Valley Community College and Russell Sage College, Janice has a special connection to "The Great Northeast". Following the traditions of her mother's lifelong Victory Garden, with the added element of vertical aeroponic farming, Janice has been growing food her entire life. She currently lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she heads Solar CITIES' home office. Janice spends much of her time homestead farming and sharing Solar CITIES' Biogas Education via on site hands-on workshops and their mobile classroom that serves K-12, university, and community programs.
David Kennard of Wellscroft Fence Systems has helped thousands of farmers in the Northeast design fence systems for the protection of crops and livestock for over 40 years. He has field-tested his fencing products on his own 300-acre farm, one of the largest working sheep farms in New England. David is a regular speaker at NOFA conferences and farm shows, and hosts popular educational workshops such as Lambing Clinics, Fence Clinics and Grazing Workshops.
Daniel is the owner of Kent Family Growers in Lisbon, NY. Kent Family Growers is in its 17th year offering mixed veg to local direct markets in way upstate NY, as well as wholesale regional markets. Two somewhat unusual features of their farm include their use of migrant labor and their winter CSA which features frozen and prepared foods as well as cold storage and fresh items.
Jenna Kincaid is the farm manager at Four Winds Farm, a vegetable farm that has been in no-till production for 23 years. As its manager, Jenna focuses on maximizing crop production in permanent beds and integrating other no-till techniques into the farm's compost based no-till system.
Amy Klein is Chief Executive Officer at Capital Roots (formerly Capital District Community Gardens) where she spearheads the 40+ year-old non-profit’s mission to nourish healthy communities by providing access to fresh food and green spaces for all. Since joining Capital Roots in 1996, she has launched ten new programs that increase access to fresh, affordable food in our region’s underserved neighborhoods and expanded the non-profit’s geographical reach to include four counties. She currently oversees 32 staff members who work to implement the various programs that have been created under her leadership, including the nationally recognized Veggie Mobile.
Nate is a seed farmer, plant breeder, and activist based in southern New Jersey. In 2013 he co-founded the Experimental Farm Network, a Philadelphia-based cooperative using open source collaboration to drive innovation in agriculture, with a focus on climate change mitigation and rare germplasm conservation. He can't seem to help himself from running for Congress.
Neal was introduced to beekeeping while living on the family dairy farm as a teenager. He has been keeping bees regularly for the past 18 years. Neal currently co-owns and helps manage Betterbee, a beekeeping supply store and commercial beekeeping operation, in Greenwich NY.
Victoria has spent the last 14 years working on Windflower Farm while finding ways to make homesteading and preserving fit into everyday life in a practical way. She enjoys ancient history and so aspires to find the old ways of doing things.
Zaid is a partner at Norwich Meadows Farm, a 240 acre farm, 12 of which are high tunnels. Norwich Meadows Farm grows over 1,000 different varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Kimberly works in economic and food system development and has over 20 years of successful grantsmanship. She works to connect the dots among food system stakeholders to create efficiencies and greater access in the movement of local food within the regional foodshed. She lives in an 1890 farmhouse with her wife and menagerie of house pets in rural southwest New York State where they live their homesteading values and operate their small natural soap and body products business.
In her role at Glynwood, Megan directs region‐wide collaborations and trainings with and for regional food and farming professionals, continuing and expanding Glynwood’s niche as a convener and creative producer of efforts that will ensure the Hudson Valley is a region defined by food.
Bill Lauris is the owner of Off the Beaten Path Nursery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He has been growing figs for 18 years and is a respected member of the fig community nationally. Bill's nursery also grows other unique edibles such as pomegranates, jujubes, green tea, lingonberries, citrus, and a host of other fascinating fruits.
Fred and Karen Lee
Fred and Karen Lee operate Sang Lee Farms with their son William, Lucy Senesac, and many other dedicated staff. The farm produces more than 100 varieties of specialty vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, baby greens, and herbs. Consistent with the heritage of the farm, they feature Asian produce, growing many varieties of Chinese cabbages, greens, and radishes.
Fred Lee grew up working on the farm that his uncles and dad started just after World War II. For many decades, the farm’s production was focused on wholesale distribution catering to Asian markets along the East Coast, from Miami to Montreal.
In 1987, Fred moved the farm to Peconic, on the north fork of eastern Long Island. Over the last 20 years, Sang Lee Farms’ distribution and product line has changed dramatically. Sang Lee Farms was certified organic by NOFA-NY in 2007. Since then, they have focused on direct sales of their specialty organic vegetables through their CSA program, their farm stand, and at four local farmers markets.
Karen Lee has developed and produces an extensive line of value-added products with recipes which feature their produce along with dips, dressings, and sauces developed to complement their vegetables. All production is done at the farm in their certified organic farm kitchen.
Karen and Fred met at Boston University, where they were both enrolled in the Graduate School of Business. They have been married for 37 years and have three grown kids. Their son William now helps manage all aspects of the farm. Fred and Karen feel fortunate to continue to have a great team to help them weather all the ups and downs of a farm business.
Lou and his wife Merby have been farming at Elderberry Pond in Auburn for 33 years. They sell NOFA Certified organic farm produce at a country food store on their farm, at local farmers markets, and at a fine dining restaurant located on the farm overlooking our fields and pastures. Elderberry Pond specializes in unique varieties of fruits and vegetables, including over 80 varieties of new and heirloom apples.
Based in New York, Peter Lehner directs Earthjustice's Sustainable Food & Farming Program, developing strategies to reduce health, environmental, and climate harms from the production of our food and to promote a more environmentally sound agricultural system.
Jodi Lew-Smith, Ph.D, Director of Research and Development for High Mowing Seeds, joined the seed company in 2003 as the Seed Disease Specialist. She earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College in 1989, her M.S. in Botany from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1992, and her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 1998. In 1998 she moved to Vermont and from 1998-2002 was a curator of scientific databases. At High Mowing Seeds she first established a seed testing laboratory for evaluating germination rates, seed health, and diagnostic consultation on plant diseases. From there she established the breeding program at High Mowing, where she now oversees organic breeding projects primarily in pepper, summer and winter squash. The breeding program focuses on development of varieties that do well in organic production systems, have unique combinations of traits, and are selected primarily for flavor, quality, and adaptability.
Todd's passion for ethnobotany initiated his interest in organic greenhouse growing. With over 20 years in the greenhouse industry, he is the owner of Lighthouse Gardens, a certified organic greenhouse and farm business that grows over 500 varieties of herb, veggie, and ornamental plants.
Joseph subsistence farms using traditional methods and attitudes without importing cides or fertilizers. He encourages promiscuous pollination and ongoing segregation in every crop, which leads to the formation of modern landraces, who become locally-adapted genetically-diverse populations that thrive because they are closely tied to the land, the weather, the pests, his taste buds and way of doing things, and to his community's desires.
Cara joined the Organic Seed Alliance team as executive director in 2016 after leading the start-up of Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, a historic farm on Shelter Island, New York. An educator and writer, Cara studied and taught soils, environmental and earth science and ran a local newspaper before joining the farm world. She is happy to share OSA's educational resources and online tools during the seed conference.
Patty Love is a permaculture designer, teacher, consultant, and community activist based in the Genesee River Valley (Rochester, NY) who geeks out on stacking functions, regenerative design, and edible forest/forage gardening and inspiring others to do the same.
Patty Lovera is the food and water policy director for Food & Water Watch. Patty has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Michigan. Before joining Food & Water Watch, Patty was the deputy director of the energy and environment program at Public Citizen and a researcher at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.
As Blue Hill's Market Forager, Andrew is responsible for seeking out and coordinating the use of the ingredients that make up the restaurant's menu. In collaboration with the farm on property, the kitchen works to maintain the flavor and integrity of storage crops by determining ideal time of harvest, proper in-house storage, and long term preservation through pickling and fermentation.
Aaron has been growing seed since 2012 at Hawthorn Farm located in southwestern Ontario. He coordinates field production, harvest, and cleaning of vegetable, flower and herb seeds using the resourcefulness and creativity that small scale seed production requires.
Lisa Grace MacDougall
Lisa MacDougall runs Mighty Food Farm in Shaftsbury Vermont, establishes in 2006. Lisa grows 14 acres of certified organic vegetables with one full season and 6 seasonal employees, for the farms CSA, farmers markets, and local wholesale. The soil is a silty loam, cultivated by tractors and horses.
Melissa is a garden educator and community herbalist at Vale Urban Farm, a community supported farm in Schenectady, NY.
Ryan Maher has worked as an Extension Support Specialist in the Small Farms Program at Cornell University, based in Ithaca, NY, since 2013. He manages research and extension projects in vegetable cropping systems and supports farmers at any scale in adopting reduced tillage and cover cropping practices to build soil health on their farm.
KC is the owner of Fruit of the Fungi, a specialty mushroom company in Lebanon, NY. He has been in business since 2007. In 2013 he scaled up from seasonal log-grown shiitake to a year-round indoor production system.
After studying agriculture at Cornell and working in the seed industry for several years, Myra currently works to support the grower community and field research at Row 7.
Elizabeth Marks serves as a biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Eastern New York. She specializes in helping people understand what is happening on their land and how to improve it. She is a certified Holistic Management educator and teaches classes on that and soil health. She lives in a net-zero home in Chatham, NY.
Diana manages the marketing and communications of Rodale Institute, overseeing aspects such as our website, social media, email marketing, advertising, public relations, and publications including New Farm. Diana’s team is diverse and works with events, weddings, workshops, tours, the store, and programs such as veterans and Organic Farmers Association. Diana is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Darren is an organic inspector of crops, livestock, and handling scopes with eight years of experience. He has been an organically certified vegetable farmer with NOFA-NY since 2005.
Margaret (Meg) McGrath is an applied plant pathologist with Cornell University, located at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center since 1988. She conducts research and extension activities on optimizing management of diseases affecting vegetable crops and herbs. She has evaluated biopesticides for powdery and downy mildew in cucurbits, Phytophthora blight in cucurbits and pepper, foliar diseases in tomato, and downy mildew in basil.
Michael is the owner and partner on a 800 cow dairy in Central New York. His son is a 6th generation dairy farmer in Cortland County. They operate in three different watersheds over a sole source aquifer and own 2300 acres. Michael has been a speaker and active proponent of immigration reform and environmental stewardship for 20 years, and serves on ten different boards, four of which he chairs.
Anthony's work is centered around fostering direct and meaningful relationships between nature, agriculture, and community. Involved in biodynamic agriculture for the past 15 years, Anthony brings experiences as a student, WWOOFer, apprentice, farm-worker, farmer, and mentor to his work coordinating Farmer Training and the Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year and Development Year at the Biodynamic Association. He also milks and cares for the cow herd part time at Churchtown Dairy in Hudson, NY.
Alexis Mena is a Curandero who identifies as an Afro-Taino, two-spirited multidisciplinary artist, born and raised in East New York Brooklyn. For the past 8 years Alexis has focused on facilitating programming with a focus on culturally-centered urban farming, nutrition & the culinary arts, and public art with the Brooklyn Museum, the MoCADA, Groundswell and a dozen other institutions throughout NY, MA, CA, Japan, & Holland. Since 2010 Alexis has co-organized several placemaking projects that range from the creation of four community gardens, two school gardens, culinary arts workshops & skillshares, community murals, professional skills development trainings, and co-organized several Civil actions centered around food equity, social justice, and economic justice for People of Color and other marginalized populations. Alexis is an Active Community Chef in Brownsville, East New York, and the general NYC Area. Currently he is building ‘Universe City’ an Aquaponic farm and MakerSpace dedicated to the creatives, farmers, chefs, and community of East New York and Brownsville.
Taylor is a first generation farmer, spreadsheet geek, and loves color coding and labeling as many things as she can. In addition to running a 1.5 acre farm with her husband, Jake, she works with young and beginning farmers to help develop organizational systems and SOPs on their farms.
Kate Mendenhall is the Director of Organic Farmers Association, working to elevate the national voice of certified organic farmers. She runs an organic pastured pig & poultry farm in Okoboji, Iowa with her husband and two small children. She will always be a fan of NOFA-NY and its farmer-members!
Mike Merwin retired from the U.S. Navy after serving 21+ years in nuclear submarines and full time reserve management and attaining the rank of Commander. He currently works as a Certified Quality Engineer for Angiodynamics, a Medical Device Manufacturer in Glens Falls, NY. He founded Crazy Mike's Beef Jerky Company, LLC in 2015 to fulfill his entrepreneurial passion of handcrafting premium beef jerky, a skill he has been developing since 1994.
Tamara Merwin is the VP of Operations at Crazy Mike’s Beef Jerky Company, LLC. She brings her passions for cooking and baking, helping people, being a loving mother and wife, and her entrepreneurial experience to oversee operations and help grow the company.
Kate has been the Program Manager for VINES Farm Share for the past four growing seasons, helping local families in the Broome County area have affordable access to produce from local farms. No stranger to farm life, she grew up on a dairy farm in Windsor, NY, where her family has been farming for four generations.
Max has spent the last 15 years growing organic vegetables in both Massachusetts and New York. Max is the owner operator of MX Morningstar Farm, located in New York's Hudson Valley. MX Morningstar is a 50 acre vegetable farm specializing in the production of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and root crop for sale to wholesale customers and one local farmers market.
Brian A. Nault is a professor in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University’s Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York. For the past 20 years, his research and extension program has broadly covered applied insect ecology and vegetable entomology. During this time, Brian and members of his program have focused on understanding the ecology of pests that attack/or transmit viruses to vegetable crops and developing practical and economical IPM strategies, especially for onion.
Andi Novick has been a practicing litigator for over three decades and a partner in the firm of Finder Novick Kerrigan. As an expert in the field of tenants' rights she both organized and represented tenants, lectured extensively in New York City, worked closely with Metropolitan Council on Housing and conducted numerous training sessions for professional and public interest organizations. In 2004 she began organizing about the dangers of media consolidation and founded Northeast Citizens for Responsible Media. She held lecture series and film screenings in an effort to educate the public about the impact and insidiousness of corporate controlled disinformation posing as news. Her published articles appeared at Free Press, freepress.org and Op Ed News, http://www.opednews.com/author/author3918.html.
In 2006 she directed her energies to the issue of election fraud and computerized voting systems in the United States and began speaking at college campuses, community centers, and other public events, testifying before various government agencies and legislative bodies and authored dozens of articles addressing the unconstitutionality of hidden vote-counting on software-based voting systems (See Op Ed News, http://www.opednews.com/author/author3918.html, Voters Unite www.votersunite.org, and the Brad Blog, www.bradblog.com/). Understanding that computerized vote counting meant the demise of voting, she decided if we'd lost the right to be self-governing, at least she could be self-sufficient and turned her attention to farming. She studied biointensive farming practices and was particularly inspired by the miracle of biochar and its potential, along with carbon sequestering through regenerative farming practices, for reversing global warming. The farm grew and later became known as Gristmill Farm, after the restaurant of the same name (www.gristmillbk.com/about/). Her passion and appreciation for the wonders of the cannabis plant began in 2011 when her oldest friend was diagnosed with lymphoma. It was then she first learned of the Endocannabinoid System and its role in fighting cancer. Her research into the extraordinary healing power of cannabis has continued and she is now, once again, organizing, educating, providing testimony to persuade the State and New Yorkers of the opportunity that the legalization of cannabis presents to change the paradigm in the way we farm, the way we treat each other, as well as the inspiration for us to to save the planet. Small farmers are the solution.
Thor Oechsner runs a 1200 acre organic grain farm In Newfield, NY. The farm grows and processes wheat, rye, triticale, corn, soybeans, buckwheat, clover, and various cover crops. He is also part owner of Farmer Ground Flour and Wide Awake Bakery.
Growing up in her father’s garden, Petra believes each seed and each of us is in the world to change the world. Her passion, curiosity, love of food and love of people led her all over the world studying seed, song and culture worth celebrating. In 2012 she founded Fruition Seeds to share the seeds, knowledge and inspiration gardeners need to be more successful in the Northeast. If she’s not farming she is singing, skiing, snuggling her dogs, hunting mushrooms or sharing a feast with a friend.
Marissa Peck has been working at Capital Roots since 2014 and lives in downtown Troy, NY. She served for two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow at Capital Roots before joining the staff to spearhead the Food Assessment. She is currently the coordinator of the Greater Capital Region Food System Assessment, which was launched in 2016 to identify opportunities to build economic reliance and equity in the regional food shed. Marissa has worked for numerous food businesses and a few farms and is using her experience in the field to conduct community-based research and present findings in a thoughtful and effective manner.
Leah Penniman is the Co-Director & Program Manager of Soul Fire Farm and author of the book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land.
Leah is a Black Kreyol farmer who has been tending the soil for twenty years and organizing for an anti-racist food system for fifteen years. She began with the Food Project in Boston, Massachusetts, and went on to work at Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts, and Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, Massachusetts. She co-founded Youth Grow urban farm in Worcester, Massachusetts. She currently serves as founding co-executive director of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY, a people-of-color led project that works to dismantle racism in the food system through a low-cost fresh food delivery service for people living under food apartheid, training programs for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous aspiring farmer-activists, Uprooting Racism training for food justice leaders, and regional-national-international coalition building between farmers of color advocating for policy shifts and reparations. She has dedicated her life’s work to racial justice in the food system and has been recognized by the Soros Equality Fellowship, NYSHealth Emerging Innovator Awards, The Andrew Goodman Foundation Hidden Heroes Award, Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, New Tech Network National Teaching Award, Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching (New York finalist), among others. She has contributed to two published volumes, authored numerous online articles, and given dozens of public talks on the subject.
Andrew Leslie Phillips
Andrew is a certified permaculture instructor, journalist, writer, radio producer and community radio consultant. In 2004, Andrew established the Hancock Permaculture Center at the headwaters of the Delaware River. The Center actively promotes permaculture-based businesses and lifestyles through support of permaculture education, eco-friendly home design and construction, greenhouse gardening, and water conservation and home heating alternatives.
Chuck started milking cows in 1994 after 12 years in manufacturing. He now owns Breese Hollow Dairy, which was started as a grass-based 60 cow Jersey farm. The farm was certified organic in 2006 and has been 100% grass fed since 2013. He likes to keep the cows out on fresh pasture, only supplementing and winter feeding from his own baleage and hay.
Nancy Pierro is recently certified as a nutrition instructor and is a retired Family and Consumer Science Educator. She has taught nutrition and culinary arts to adults and middle and high school students. Experiencing the benefits of traditional food preparation with locally grown foods, she feels a deep emotional need to help others reach a level of health that they are missing by fueling their bodies with “dead foods.”
Marketing a farm business is more than just selling a product, it is creating a story that can bring community together. Daniel, a Community Foods and Outreach Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), will draw on his experience working with farmers and as a former storyteller with the National Park Service to create an interactive, discussion-led workshop around creating the farm brand.
Kathy Puffer, Co-Founder & Board Member (Secretary) of the U.S. based non-profit Solar CITIES, Inc., is the owner of Hudson Valley Vertical Farms. She has her International Permaculture Design Certification and promotes small scale biogas as food and energy solutions in her own neighborhood, and also around the world. She is currently working as a speech pathologist and enjoys raising chickens, bee keeping, growing food with her vertical aeroponic wintertime CSA, and adding to her expanding food forest with her family on their small homestead in Tillson, NY.
Judson works with farmers to develop long-term practices to maximize their profitability in vegetable farming with sustainable techniques, including soil and plant nutrient management, biological pest control, grafting, and disease control. Judson's current research examines cover crops and winter nitrogen dynamics in high tunnels.
Rebekah is an educator, an artist and the head farmer at Nine Mile Farm in Albany County. She raises bees, vegetables, flowers, medicinal herbs, Ameraucana chickens and Cascade Farmstead sheep.
Annie, along with two other growers operates Kitchen Table Seed House in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In addition to growing and supplying organic vegetable, herb and flower seeds, Annie focuses on running trials and adapting and breeding new varieties for organic systems in the northeastern climate.
Rosa Rivera is a Schenectady NY native and activist. Within the past few years she has made her way back to the land, healing, growing, and teaching others how to grow their own food. Rosa founded The Miracle on Craig Street in 2015. Their mission is to provide resources and services focused on physical activity, farming, and personal development in their hometown. Rosa is also a first year apprentice at The Vale Urban Farm, deepening her knowledge and experience in sustainable farming. She is "committed to creating a new way and building community with my people for I am them and they are me."
Margaret Roach, one of America's best-known garden writers, created AWayToGarden.com and the public-radio show by the same name (called a "top-5 garden podcast" by The Guardian newspaper, and winner of multiple Garden Writers of America medals). She is the author of three books, including A Way to Garden and The Backyard Parables, and her Columbia County garden has been open for more that 20 years for Garden Conservancy Open Days.
After falling in love with farming on an organic & biodynamic CSA farm in Kentucky in 2007, Stephanie and Bret have farmed in Tennessee and Pennsylvania before buying their own farm, Shared Roots Farm, in New York in 2014. They've been serving the Binghamton NY area since 2010, starting their summer CSA in 2011 and winter CSA in 2015.
Steve and julie Rockcastle
Steve and Julie Rockcastle have been doing animal production since 2008. Their emphasis is on organic and regenerative production, and incorporates the biological soil building practice along with specific grazing techniques to achieve a more productive farm. Steve likes to say he works with the herd below ground as well as the herd above ground.
Eli Rogosa, Heritage Grain Conservancy, works with gene banks and peasant farmers in the Mideast, Europe and Georgia (near Russia) to collect, restore and bake with forgotten ancient grains. “Eat it to save it.” Eli and her husband, CR Lawn, manage a Seed Ark Farm in Colrain, MA and work with the Seed Ark Farm in Georgia, Caucasus Mountains, to save almost-extinct ancient food crops. When she’s not farming or baking, Eli sails in Maine on her 30’ cutter.
Haley is a second year masters student in horticulture, studying reduced tillage in organic vegetable systems. She is originally from Texas, and (aside from plants) love reading, running, cooking, playing soccer, riding horses, and hiking.
Carolina Saavedra an indigenous traditional chef, who preserves family history through Oaxacan cuisine.
Gordon Sacks is the owner of 9 Miles East Farm, a farm that makes it easy for busy people to enjoy healthy local food. 9 Miles East Farm delivers freshly harvested vegetables and prepared meals to workplaces and homes in Upstate New York and the Boston metro area.
Heather Sandford owns The Piggery, a small artisan whole animal USDA butcher shop that specializes in creating handcrafted meats from local, pasture raised meats (including The Piggery's own farm!). The Piggery makes everything from fresh cuts, to deli meats, to charcuterie and bone broths. They are dedicated to only working with animals that are pasture-raised and fed Project Non GMO verified grains.
Laura Sansone is a textile designer, activist, and consultant. She is the creator of Textile Lab, a design and consulting company that supports environmentally responsible textile methods, and regional systems of production. Laura is currently an Assistant Professor of Textiles at Parsons The New School For Design. She has developed initiatives that bring NY designers and farmers together with the goal of creating products that have social and environmental value. Textile Lab’s NYS Regional Textile Initiative is a collection of locally sourced and produced yarns and textiles that are intended to link apparel, product and interior designers to the regional network of farms and fiber processing mills; including spinning, weaving and knitting. This initiative is recognized internationally as a significant economic revitalization effort on the East Coast of the US. In addition, she has designed woven textiles for the following companies: Maharam, New York, NY, American Silk Mills, New York, NY and Burlington House Fabrics, New York, NY.
Steffen joined Hawthorne Valley Farm as the herd manager in 1989 and served as farm manager from 1992 to 2017. In 2014, he founded the Institute for Mindful Agriculture in 2014. Steffen also served on the Board of the Biodynamic Association from 2008 until 2018.
As an Extension Associate with the Cornell Waste Management Institute, Hannah works with partners throughout New York State to develop research and outreach programs in response to questions and concerns about contaminants in the soils of gardens, farms, schools, residential properties, and other community spaces. The importance of green and food-producing spaces emphasizes the need for resources to help gardeners and others effectively assess and address soil contamination.
Adrienne is the Northeast Organic Product Specialist for Vitalis Organic Seeds. She earned a masters degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics and a doctorate in Environment and Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Adrienne serves on the board of directors for the Organic Seed Alliance, and has been engaged with the organic farming movement as a farmer, organizer, seed saver, breeder, and researcher for over 15 years.
Akiva Silver owns and operates Twisted Tree Farm, a homestead, nut orchard, and nursery located in Spencer, New York, where he grows around 20,000 trees a year using practices that go beyond organic. He is the author of Trees of Power. His background is in foraging, wilderness survival and primitive skills.
Andrew Smith oversees research activities at Rodale Institute and was formerly the director of the Vegetable Systems Trial, a side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional vegetable crop production. He is faithfully committed to putting science behind the benefits of regenerative organic agriculture for planetary health. He lives on an organic farm in PA where he raises Shetland sheep with his wife and daughters.
Karahkwino-Tina Square is a Mohawk Seedkeeper from Akwesasne, NY, and a partner at the Hudson Valley Native American Seed Sanctuary.
Tom has been growing seeds organically in Vermont since 1995. His seed company High Mowing has been an exciting way to share them and connect with farmers and seed growers around the world.
Erin is the Director of the Food and Health Network (FaHN) at the Rural Health Network of South Central NY, an eight-county coalition working to link food access, health, and sustainable agriculture in support of a thriving regional food system and local communities. Erin attended college in Chicago and worked on an organic farm in Michigan prior to returning to Binghamton, NY where she serves a variety of roles, including as a member of the Management Committee for NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC.
Justin Sutherland and Sarita Radley run Somewhere in Time Farm, located in the western Catskills in the hamlet of Parksville, NY. Their focus is growing the purest and best tasting vegetables in the healthiest soil by using minimal tillage practices and applying beautiful compost on 2.5 acres without the use of synthetic chemicals or herbicides. They grow over 36 different types of "the best vegetables" for our family, friends, community, and restaurants in the Catskill Mountains.
Hannah is currently working on her PhD with Dr. Phillip Griffiths' vegetable breeding program, where she focuses on the expansion and diversification of leafy Brassicas. Her dissertation work seeks to understand the role of sensory evaluation within the context of plant breeding programs and aims to integrate the consumer’s voice into the plant breeding process. Hannah received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her M.S. from the University of Minnesota.
Owen Taylor recently launched Truelove Seeds, a seed company that offers rare, open-pollinated, and culturally important vegetable, herb, and flower seeds grown by urban and rural farmers committed to community food sovereignty, cultural preservation, and sustainable agriculture. He coordinates and mentors the Truelove farmers, and also grows open-pollinated seeds, herbs, and flowers at Mill Hollow Farm in Edgemont, Pennsylvania, west of his home in Southwest Philadelphia. Owen also spent a decade working with food justice organizations in San Francisco, New York City, and Philadelphia, and later managed William Woys Weaver’s historic Roughwood Seed Collection in Devon, Pennsylvania, for four years.
Jessica has been with the certification branch of NOFA-NY for 10 years. She enjoys helping farmers, processors, and consumers navigate the ins and outs of the USDA organic regulations and the certification process.
Nathaniel has been growing vegetables organically and biodynamically for over 20 years, with a focus on baby greens and stored roots. Remembrance Farm currently has about 30 acres in vegetable production, selling wholesale to restaurants, stores and distributors, and through a multi-farm CSA in the Ithaca area.
Gayle Thorpe and family have been growing blueberries since 1986, and are now up to 15 acres of varying ages. They love growing them, and done properly they are a legacy for the generations to come.
Phyllis Van Amburgh
Phyllis is a dairy farmer in Central NY, she farms with her husband, Paul, and their five children. Together with their cows they produce 100% grassfed Organic milk for Maple Hill Creamery. She is a consultant and educator in Holistic Management.
Jan van der Heide
Jan represents BEJO SEEDS in the Northeast and works out of their Research & Demonstration facility in Geneva, NY. Jan works with growers and industry reps to provide market feedback to BEJO SEEDS' breeding and research groups, and provides support to their dealers and growers through recommendations on variety selection and cultural methods.
Sarah van Leer
Sarah is a 60+ year gardener, growing vegetables and herbs in her large home garden. She volunteers weekly at Nine Mile Farm. Sarah is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and a shamanic practitioner in the Jaguar Path and Pachakuti Mesa traditions.
Genoveffa Vitale has been a music educator for thirteen years. She has conducted the Empire State Youth Orchestras Chamber Percussion Ensemble since 2010. She has a private percussion studio and teaches elementary band, high school percussion lessons, and percussion ensemble in the Bethlehem Central School District.
Sandra Martinetto Weiss
Sandra M. Weiss is the founder of Organic World US, an ACE Certified Health Coach, and a GrowNYC Certified Farmer. A professor at SUNY Sullivan, she holds a doctorate in Veterinary Science & Food Technology and is a NYS certified teacher. She has her own sustainable farm in the Catskills, and is living her dream providing a holistic health coaching, nutritionally healing cooking classes, prepared meals & microgreens for her community.
Message from Sandra "All my farm efforts are dedicated to my mother Rosa Maria, my father Mario, and grandmother Rosa, R.I.P. All I have, all I am, all I know is thanks to them. My sustainable farm is providing me the means to keep their knowledge, natural remedies and recipes alive, turning the sadness of their loss into something beautiful that blooms every day. Is for all these reasons that I named my farm "SPRING FARM where happiness blooms every day". I thank you NOFA for allowing me to share my family knowledge, my heritage and the fruits of my efforts with you.
Jori Wekin is a community organizer actively pushing the local food scene. She is a founder of the Hub on the Hill, a regional food hub designed to share resources and support small farms and entrepreneurs in the Adirondacks; commercial kitchen, storage, co-packing, distribution & delivery services. Jori is also a board member of the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, Cornell Cooperative Education, Adirondack Harvest & NYSSPA.
Alissa spent over a decade working on farms in California and New England before returning to school at the University of Vermont to pursue a graduate degree. She now studies agroecology and works closely with extension and applied research projects across the northeast. Alissa grew up on organic food in rural New Hampshire, and now lives in Huntington, VT with her family.
Rowen White is a Seed Keeper and farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the director and founder of the Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education, based in Nevada City, CA. Rowen is the current National Project Coordinator and advisor for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, which is an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. Rowen's passion is in teaching and mentoring, and has developed many curricula which focus on holistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture; from practical hands-on skills, cultural context and memory with guiding principles that are rooted in an indigenous ecology of relations. She teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities, as well as offering an online distance learning seasonal mentorship called Seed Seva. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs. Follow her seed journeys at www.sierraseeds.org.
Hugh Williams grew up in Australia's Blue Mountains on his family orchard. Taken by his mother to anthroposophic meetings as a toddler in the late 1940s, his fate was doubly sealed when he discovered Rudolf Steiner's Agriculture in 1972. He is a survivor of more that 50 years of farming. Retirement six years ago "made no noticeable difference," except that he now has to add his saw-milling hobby on to the regular farm day. Hugh and his wife Hanna have operated Threshold Farm in New York's Hudson Valley for 22 years. To "keep out of trouble" they have just planted a new orchard on the Keyline pattern. Hugh is a passionate advocate of the power of independent entrepreneurial farms to create a joyful and livable future.
George Wright and his family farms near Ottawa. He has farmed grains for 30 years, specializing in rolled oats and value adding everything they grow. Animals are a large part in keeping his grain farm sustainable. His children are a major part of the farm, not on farm, but at farmers' markets. Home delivery has taken his farm from treading to swimming in water.
Lindsay Wyatt, phd
Lindsay Wyatt is a plant breeder at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, where her goal is to breed winter squash, summer squash, and pumpkins that taste great, are adapted to organic conditions, and are easy to grow. Lindsay received her Ph.D. in vegetable breeding and genetics at Cornell University, focusing on winter squash fruit quality and Phytophthora capsici resistance in bell pepper. Lindsay is also a founding board member of the Society of Organic Seed Professionals.
Tusha Yakovleva is a forager, farmer, and - currently - graduate student of environmental science at SUNY-ESF. She is endlessly interested in ecological and cultural relationships between plants and people.
Since 2015, Abby Youngblood has served as the executive director at the National Organic Coalition (NOC), an alliance of farmers, ranchers, NGOs and companies dedicated to organic integrity. Youngblood has been a passionate participant in the organic farming and food justice movement for nearly two decades. She holds a masters degree in public policy and non-profit management from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, and lives with her husband and two children in Arlington, MA.
Jereme Zimmerman is a writer and traditional brewing and fermentation revivalist who lives in Berea, Kentucky. He writes and travels nationwide to present on topics such as fermentation, natural and holistic homebrewing, modern homesteading, and sustainable living. He is an avid fermenter and researches extensively into traditional fermentation practices in order to revive lost food arts and to educate people on how to preserve food and drink using traditional, natural and healing techniques and ingredients. He is the author of Make Mead Like a Viking (which has been translated into German as Met Brauen wie ein Wikinger) and Brew Beer Like a Yeti.
Jared has worked in the organic seed industry for over 15 years, managing seed production at two farms and conducting research and education projects with OSA. He currently manages OSA’s regional development in California, conducts participatory breeding projects and variety trials, and teaches farmers about seed production and plant breeding at workshops, conferences, and field days. Jared is also a PhD candidate in the University of Wisconsin - Madison's Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics program, where he is studying efficient methods of developing new organic sweet corn varieties.