2020 New England Campus Farmer Summit Program Details
About the Campus Farmer Summit
We are now at capacity, and we have closed registration.
Please note: schedule and topics are subject to change.
|8:00||Breakfast & Networking|
|9:00am - 9:15am||Welcome||Bridget Lawrence-Meigs, Stonehill College|
|9:15am - 10:00am||
Student Panel: Nourishing Wellness on Campus Farms
Moderator: Celia Dolan, Assistant Farm Manager, The Farm at Stonehill College
Panelists: Kali Spacek, Sterling College; Cheryl Sinkowski, Tompkins-Cortland Community College; Jacqui Rice, The Hotchkiss School; Daniel Mitola, UConn
|10:10am - 11:10am||Workshop Session 1|
|Nourishing Your Farm through Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement
During this session, audience members will engage with three members of the Advancement team at Stonehill College who work with both alumni and organization constituents to support the Farm at Stonehill. Presenters will share their experiences securing gifts and grants for the Farm, as well as utilizing social media, marketing materials, giving campaigns and one-on-one interactions and engagements with alumni/foundation benefactors. They will provide real examples of successful marketing materials, social media posts, stewardship reports, etc. Presenters will share both free and subscription-based resources available for enhancing materials, including the use of ThankView, Canva, social media platforms. Included in the grant discussion will be a demonstration of Foundation Directory Online and other useful research tools for identify grant funders.
|Marie Kelly, Kelsey Pickering, and Chanel Mazzone, Stonehill College|
|Round the Bend Farm: A Center for Restorative Community
RTB's presentation will give participants a chance to learn about the inner workings of our restorative community. We will discuss the tenants of our mission, valuing diversity, modeling nature, and redefining wealth and how we apply these concepts to our social and agricultural work. We will share ways in which we use our land as a living laboratory, educating people off all ages through experience. We will explore how we are creating sustainable events that focus on supporting local growers and producers, fueling the local economy, and bringing people closer to their food and their community. We hope you walk away feeling inspired and take away strategies that can be applied in your own life!
|Nate Sander, Desa VanLaarhoven and Shaun VanLaarhoven, Round the Bend Farm|
|Using the Student Farm as a Model for Enhancing Food Security
In this 60 minute participatory session, participants will learn about the UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative and how food access has evolved to be an integrated component of a campus farm. UMass Student Farmers will share their successes and challenges of running a food access initiative at a time when a large institution like UMass is making strides toward being a more food secure campus. In 2018, the UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative recovered and donated about 10,000 pounds of organic produce for local relief organizations and organized campus-wide events around food security. In a world cafe style, participants will have time to discuss and examine their own campus farming and food waste systems and explore how they might adapt their model to: 1. Build stronger community partnerships 2. Recover and redistribute (more) food waste through building stronger campus partnerships 3. Integrate social justice and equity into the mission of campus farms This session will use UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative as a case study for discussion in next steps campus farms can take to transition from food security to food sovereignty initiatives.
|Sarah Berquist, UMass Amherst Stockbridge; Al Driscoll, student farmer (collaborator, not present); Rhianna Zadravec, student farmer; Morgan Reppert, student farmer|
|Academic Programming on the Farm: Living Classroom + Food Systems Minor
In this session participants will learn about the benefits and challenges the UMass Student Farm program has encountered while expanding collaborative academic programing on the farm. Over the past twelve seasons the UMass Student Farm has grown from a 1 to a almost 30 acres of vegetable production and has diversified their products to include, apples, grapes, lamb and chicken. Farm expansion has not only created new sources of revenue but allowed the farm to collaborate with new departments on campus such as Vet and Animal Sciences, Accounting, Food Science, Journalism, Ecology and Urban Forestry. These collaborations increase farm program exposure on campus and validate the diverse skills required for maintaining a viable farming operation. Academic collaborations increase student engagement and create potential for additional funding.
|Amanda Brown, UMass Agricultural Learning Center; Nicole Burton, UMass Agricultural Learning Center; Julia Yakovich & Julia Cartabiano, University of Connecticut|
|11:20am - 12:20pm||Keynote: Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning and Practice
Julian Agyeman, Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and environmental sustainability. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity. He believes that what our cities can become (sustainable, smart, sharing and resilient) and who is allowed to belong in them (recognition of difference, diversity, and a right to the city) are fundamentally and inextricably interlinked. We must therefore act on both belonging and becoming, together, using just sustainabilities as the anchor, or face deepening spatial and social inequities and inequalities.
|Julian Agyeman, Tufts University|
|12:20pm - 1:25pm||Lunch, Poster Session, Visit Sponsors, Tour the Stonehill Shovel Museum, Decompress in the Reflection Room|
Variety Trials for School Year Production in High Tunnels Eric Vukicevich, Marshall Cooper, Anna Laprise, and Sophia McLaughlin, Connecticut College
|1:25pm - 2:25pm||Workshop Session 2|
|Mobile Markets: Growing Community Around Fresh Produce
The Mobile Market is one of the ways that The Farm at Stonehill strives to increase access to fresh, affordable, locally grown produce to Brockton residents. Partnering with the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center gives our market a home and helps us to distribute produce to some of the more underserved areas in the city. We work together to ensure financial support for the markets, clear communication via translation of printed materials and translations services at the 3-4 markets themselves. The markets are gathering spaces that nourish - by providing food, nurturing relationships between market staff (which includes students and community volunteers) and customers who become friends. We have also partnered with UMASS Nutrition Education Program and served as a hub for students doing research for a number courses at Stonehill - thus, nourishing both the bodies and minds.
|Bridget Lawrence-Meigs, Stonehill College; Keila Jesus, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center; Beth Cronin, Natt McDonough|
|Research, Teaching, and Outreach on Campus Farms: Paradise or Paradox?
Campus farms provide ideal spaces for student, faculty, and other stakeholder experiences. The framework created by a working farm model presents a real-world environment for teaching classes; providing internships; conducting research; and involving community stakeholders. In many cases, campus farms support these functions while also having a revenue-generating production function where food is grown and sold to community stakeholders. This multifunctional framework allows for integrated, stacked programming, but also potentially presents problems when separate user needs are in conflict. In this interactive workshop, we will use small discussion groups and report-backs to facilitate discussion of multifunctional uses of campus farms. We intend to identify areas of cooperation (and conflict) among farm users; strategies for increasing collaboration and minimizing issues between users; and methods for reporting farm impacts back to students, instructors, researchers, and administrators.
|Terence Bradshaw, Rachel Stievater, and Katie Horner, University of Vermont|
|Security to Sustainability
In 2016, Maine State Prison initiated a Master Gardening Volunteer Program at a maximum-security correctional facility that has certified 30 inmates as Master Gardeners. We have successfully expanded a limited greenhouse operation to over 2.5 acres of vegetable production which is consumed onsite and shared with food pantries. Additional sustainability programming includes five working bee hives, food waste composting and collaborative research projects on production methods with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The success of this programming has depended on strategic partnerships with the Cooperative Extension and State agencies to support experiential education opportunities, as well as local donations to augment production. In this workshop, we will first explore the challenges and successes of our work in an interactive presentation. We will then facilitate a round table discussion considering: how to support other state DOCs to replicate and integrate this successful model using best practices. For incarcerated populations and surrounding communities to be nourished from sustainability programming inside correctional facilities the largest hurdle to overcome is correctional staff’s perception of “security and risk.” Without this piece of the puzzle there will be no links to explore. This, we have found, is the cornerstone of successful programming.
|Rebekah Mende, Maine State Prison; Ryan Fries, Maine State Prison|
|Financing the Farm: Creative Models + Financial Infrastructure
Campus farms are unique in that their primary goal is not just productivity. They serve to nourish our educational and broader community in so many ways, yet one of the biggest challenges can be finding a good economic model for running the farm, especially when school is out of session. This round table discussion will hone in on successful and creative models that contribute to the overarching goals of the campus farm while ensuring financially sustainability.
|Eric Vukicevich, Connecticut College; Joy Kostansek, Ohio University; Dr. Theresa Moran, Ohio University; Dr. Art Trese, Ohio University|
|2:35pm - 3:35pm||Workshop Session 3|
|Feeding Monadnock: Gardening as Learning, Conservation, and Partnership
The Westmoreland Garden Project is a collaboration of Antioch University New England (AUNE), a nonprofit graduate institution in Keene, NH; the Cheshire County Conservation District, which lends conserved farmland at a former correctional facility to grow produce; and The Community Kitchen, which receives and distributes produce to community members in need of fresh, nourishing food. The Project, which includes a high tunnel greenhouse, vegetable and perennial beds, beehives, and an outdoor teaching area, engages graduate students, faculty, staff, and community volunteers in learning and service, addressing local needs for food security and resilience, especially among traditionally underserved and marginalized community members. This session will communicate how the collaboration builds local capacity to grow food and address climate change by increasing access to healthy food and healthy environments.
|Jess Gerrior and Rachel Brice, Antioch University NE|
|Edible Landscaping in the Heart of Campus: Why Centering the Garden Matters
Most campus farms are, by necessity, located off campus or on the margins of campus. But what happens when you put 1/2 acre of production gardens right into the center of a large research university? By creating a series of edible landscapes within the central nexus of campus, the UMass Permaculture Initiative has been able to offer a rich set of programming and engagement strategies that reach students who might not otherwise be interested or exposed to production farming. This workshop will dive into the opportunities and challenges that arise from gardening in full public view. We'll discuss strategies to make gardens and farms accessible, inviting, and symbiotic with other campus programs. Participants will also learn about tips and strategies for starting their own highly visible campus garden.
|Dan Bensonoff, UMass|
Connecting with Communities: WSU teaching garden & Companion Planting
The Amherst Public Schools have a thriving school garden program with a focus on food access, food education, and equity, while the neighboring UMass Sustainable Food and Farming (SFF) program employs experiential learning as part of all students’ education. Together we have created a structured internship in which: (1) SFF students learn garden-based teaching strategies, program management through mentorship, and have the opportunity to engage meaningfully with their community while earning credits towards graduation, and (2) the school garden program gains programmatic assistance, improved student-teacher ratios, and an influx of new ideas and energy. The founders of the internship and current interns will share how they designed and piloted their unique program, celebrate the ways in which this partnership engages and nourishes students of all ages, and how and why it has evolved over time.
|Joanne Jaber Gauvin, Howard Lucas, and Adam Saltsman, Worcester State University; Leila Tunnell, Amherst Public School; Lee McLoughlin and Kyle Zegel, Amherst Public School interns; Sarah Berquist, UMass Amherst Stockbridge|
|Not a “Monocrop” Education: How the Culinary Institute of America and Allegheny College are helping students to find their roles in local food systems
Culinary Institute of America: This session will discuss the unique challenges of food production on the campus of a culinary college with limited space and a heavily managed horticultural aesthetic. The discussion will focus on efforts to actively engage culinary students in campus food production, the process of integrating campus-grown food into campus restaurant menus, and the organizational challenges of coordinating with staff and administration. A brief overview of projects including, teaching garden, apiary, rooftop garden, shiitake production, community garden, and an edible campus initiative will be presented.
Allegheny College: Our campus garden gives students an important experience in small-scale vegetable production and some students go on to work directly on farms. However, our other food and farming opportunities, from classes to internships to senior research, are equally valuable in giving students the breadth of experiences and information to enter a wide range of careers that support local food systems. We believe a diversity of experiences (as in diversified farming) makes our students adaptable and provides a strong foundation on which to build their careers. Students develop important critical thinking and communication skills, gain an understanding of the many different viewpoints that comprise complex food systems, and are encouraged through their required, self-designed senior theses to engage with the questions they are most passionate about. We will also discuss how embracing and promoting this liberal arts approach has led to greater institutional support of the campus garden.
|Kerstin Martin Ams, Allegheny College; Taylor Reid, Culinary Institute of America|
|3:45pm - 4:25pm||
Remarks: John Lebeaux, Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture
State agricultural departments play a vital role in sustaining, supporting, and developing farmers and farming opportunities. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ (MDAR) mission is to help keep the Massachusetts food supply safe and secure, and to work to keep Massachusetts agriculture economically and environmentally sound. MDAR supports, regulates and enhances the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture’s role in energy conservation and production. The Commissioner will share insights and opportunities on how we can all stay connected and well-resourced in our individual and collective efforts to improve our food system.
Closing: Philip Ackerman-Leist, Sterling College,This Point in Time: A Forward-Looking Retrospective on the Evolution of College & University Farms
The evolution of college and university farms represents a long history of experimentation with praxis, theory, and varied agendas. In order to place our work in context, it is important to look back at how influential thinkers in the Northeast such as Liberty Hyde Bailey, Justin Smith Morrill, and John Dewey shaped the early beginnings of these educational farms and their associated curricula. While land grant universities pursued their farming endeavors in myriad ways, work colleges took another more holistic approach to agricultural education. The burgeoning organic movement then took root in certain colleges and eventually grew alongside and sometimes in tandem with college farm and garden operations focused on food justice, food sovereignty, and food insecurity. Looking back reminds us of heritage and oversight--while also offering a sense of humility and solidarity in the work necessary to advance our causes.
John Lebeaux, Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture
Philip Ackerman-Leist, Sterling College
|4:30pm - 5:00pm||Networking Reception, Visit Sponsors, View Posters|
Philip Ackerman-Leist, Dean: The School of the New American Farmstead, Sterling College. Phillip has farmed on commercial and educational farms in Vermont, North Carolina, and the Italian Alps over the past three decades, always with a passion for linking experience and education for a variety of audiences. In addition to establishing a college farm, undergraduate curriculum in sustainable agriculture, a graduate program in sustainable food systems, and professional education certificates, he has visited educational farm projects in the US and abroad.
Dr. Julian Agyeman, Ph.D. FRSA FRGS, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning: Tufts University. Dr. Agyeman is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and environmental sustainability. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity. He is the author or editor of 11 books, including Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press, 2003), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press, 2011), and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (MIT Press, 2015), one of Nature’s Top 20 Books of 2015. In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his "outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning.
Daniel Bensonoff, Sustainability Coordinator of Campus Gardens: UMass Amherst Dining. As the coordinator of the UMass Permaculure Initiative, Dan works to ensure that the gardens provide an exemplary space for eco-conscious gardening and sustainable living. Aside from working in the gardens, Dan teaches a practicum on permaculture gardening, coordinates the UMass Student Farmers' Market, and provides learning experiences for various visiting groups. Before coming to UMass, Dan worked on several suburban and urban organic farms. He helped start a food forest initiative in Boston that served as a new model for creating common spaces. He's also taught various sustainability-related courses including mushroom cultivation, fermentation, and garden design. When not gardening, Dan can be found playing with his son or foraging the fields and forests of the valley.
Sarah Berquist, Program Director, Lecturer & Advisor: UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Sarah is the Faculty Sponsor for the UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative and a Lecturer & Program Coordinator of the Sustainable Food & Farming Program at UMass Amherst. She teaches courses in Agricultural Leadership & Farm-based Education, Food Justice, and Personal Wellness for Farmers. She strives to equip students with practical life skills: the ability to grow their own food, confidence leading others, critical thinking, and pausing to take a breath. She was the 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Community Engaged Teaching Award from UMass Amherst. The UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative produces and recovers vegetables, herbs, and flowers for local relief organizations such as Amherst Survival Center, Not Bread Alone, and the Food Bank of Western MA.
Dr. Terence Bradshaw, Director / Assistant Professor: University of Vermont Catamount Educational Farm. Dr. Bradshaw is a Research Assistant Professor of specialty crops production and the Director of the UVM Fruit Team and the Horticulture Research and Education Center. He has conducted research on organic apple production systems specifically since 2006, and on components of sustainable agroecosystems including cultivar / rootstock evaluation and alternatives to synthetic pesticides for use in organic production since 1995. In 2014, he founded the Catamount Education Farm at UVM, which includes ten acres of vegetable and fruit plots for use in teaching and research programs.
Rachel Brice, Antioch University NE. Rachel is originally from the Midwest, and spent ten years living in Austin, TX. She relocated to New England to attend Antioch University in 2017 as an Environmental Studies master’s student, and is now pursuing her doctoral degree. She has a wide variety of experience in education, from informal nature-science education, to high school classroom English, to full-time teaching at a nature-based, democratic elementary school. She also has a background in small-scale organic ag & gardening, and her current research interests include food sovereignty and justice.
Amanda Brown, M.Ed., Director: UMass Agricultural Learning Center. Amanda is a Senior Lecturer within the Stockbridge School of Agriculture faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Early in her professional career, she focused on sustainable farming practices for vegetable and specialty crops as a researcher and educator with UMass Extension's Agriculture & Landscape Program. During that time, she co-founded the UMass Student Farming Enterprise. For over a decade, Amanda has focused solely on the Student Farming Enterprise and has developed a year-long educational experience for students which touches on all aspects of managing a small farm. The success of this program was recently recognized with a fifth-in-the-US ranking among most sustainable college-run farms. Amanda received her academic degrees from the University of Massachusetts including an AS in Horticulture, BS in Plant Soil and Insect Science, and a Master’s degree in Education. In addition to teaching and farming Amanda also serves as Director of the UMass Agricultural Learning Center. She has published several scientific articles related to sustainable agriculture technologies and presented her work to many growers, industry professionals, and colleagues.
Nicole Burton, UMass Agricultural Learning Center. Nicole has over 20 years of farming experience with a focus on organic livestock and vegetable production. Since completing her masters degree in Sustainability Science, Nicole has focused solely on the development of innovative, science-based, sustainable animal husbandry curriculum at UMass. Currently her experiential learning programming includes poultry and sheep rotations, organic vegetable production, carbon farming systems and on farm slaughter. Nicole serves on several faculty committees and is an active member of the Sustainability Curriculum Initiative at the University. Along with educating and advising the next generation of small farmers she continues to run a small family farm at her home in Wendell, MA.
Julia Cartabiano, University of Connecticut. Since summer 2011 Julia Cartabiano has enjoyed working with University of Connecticut Department of Dining Services, and myriad students, as the Farm Manager at Spring Valley Student Farm (SVSF). She also serves as Adjunct Faculty in UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. Julia holds a Master of Plant Science from UConn class of 2013 after being awarded a BS from UConn in Environmental Horticulture in 1982. She is fortunate to also practice regenerative food provisioning and sunlight harvesting with her family on their 62 acre diversified family farm in CT. Julia has dedicated her life to sharing the joy of connecting with the land.
Beth Cronin, Student Farmer and Mobile Market Intern, The Farm at Stonehill College. Beth has been involved with Stonehill’s Campus Farm for the past 3 years. The mobile market provides local, fresh and organic produce grown on Stonehill’s farm to a food insecurity city adjacent to Stonehill’s campus. The Farm and Mobile Market combine her love of farming and passion for social justice. She has been the president of Students for Environmental Action for the past two years, as well as involved with the College’s Food Truth club. Both clubs aim to educate peers on campus, as well as advocate for a more sustainable campus. Beth is graduating in May 2020 and looking to continue her passions in the field of Environmental Education.
Celia Dolan, Assistant Farm Manager, The Farm at Stonehill College. Celia graduated from Stonehill College in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies. While at Stonehill, she was a Real Food Calculator for Food Truth and worked at The Farm for three and a half years. Celia is currently the Assistant Farm Manager at The Farm where she continues to develop her passion for sustainable agriculture, food security, zero-waste lifestyles, and the intersection of food with people’s everyday activities. She enjoys connecting with others about the importance of knowing our foods’ origins, food’s role in promoting health and justice, and the adoption of habits that develop mindful, environmentally sound living.
Al Driscoll, Student Farmer: UMass Amherst Student Farm. Al is a student farmer involved with the UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative that produces and recovers vegetables, herbs, and flowers for local relief organizations such as Amherst Survival Center, Not Bread Alone, and the Food Bank of Western MA. As UMass student farmer, Al is committed to providing the campus community with nutritious, organically grown, local produce. The UMass program cultivates student empowerment through hands-on agricultural production and by educating our peers about the importance of creating a healthier food system.
Ryan Fries, Captain: Maine State Prison. Ryan, a Captain at the Maine State Prison, has 25 years of experience in the correctional setting and has witnessed firsthand the benefit of giving educational opportunities to prisoners to better prepare themselves for release. He was initially tasked with creating the garden program under the direction of then Warden, now Commissioner, Randall Liberty. With his understanding of facility security and rapport with inmates Fries was able to grow 13,000 pounds of food at the facility in 2018.
Joanne Jaber Gauvin, Assistant Director of the Urban Action Institute: Worcester State University. Joanne works as the Assistant Director in the Urban Action Institute (UAI) within the Urban Studies Department. Joanne manages the UAI practicums and initiatives including the WSU Teaching Garden, the SNAP Practicum, the English Language Learning Practicum, and Youth Leadership. The UAI has key programs focusing on food insecurity, inclusive communities and social justice. One project Joanne is working on is the establishment of Thea's Pantry at WSU. Joanne also serves as the Single Point of Contact for hungry and homeless students on our campus. She is committed to guiding students in learning to advocate for themselves and others.
Jess Gerrior, Doctoral Fellow: Antioch University New England. Jess is a Doctoral Candidate studying the relationship between community gardening and social identity, in the context of community food system efforts involving educational partnerships. She is an experienced educator in university, community college, corporate workplace, and school garden settings, and serves on regional organizations addressing issues of food security, food justice, and food sovereignty.
Taylor Hoose, Student Researcher: Allegheny College. Taylor is a senior at Allegheny College. She is a double major in Environmental Studies and Global Health. For two summers she worked on an organic farm in my hometown of Canandaigua, NY. Taylor spent a semester at school interning with a family farm as well as a semester abroad living on an organic fruit farm in Costa Rica and researching on coffee farms. She is thankful that Allegheny provided her with campus and community farm opportunities to broaden her experience and interest in the agricultural field as well as show her the important role it plays in nourishing oneself and the surrounding community.
Katie Horner, PhD student, University of Vermont. Katie is a PhD student in the Plant and Soil Science Department at UVM, focusing on agroecology. Her research explores the potential for achieving agricultural and food systems transformation via higher education, on-farm practices, and institutional processes. Katie has a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Middlebury College, and an M.S. in Food Systems from UVM. Prior to graduate studies, Katie completed the Farmer Training Program at UVM's Catamount educational farm, and spent three years farming in Vermont and California.
Maida Ives, Manager of Farm Education and Operations: Book and Plow Farm, Amherst College. Maida loves sunshine, teamwork, food, and physical labor. She has been living and studying the intersection of food and education for years. After years teaching middle school math, she volunteered on farms while traveling, and learned vegetable production in Northern Virginia. While living there, Maida searched for farms that work with students to grow food. She moved to Amherst, MA to work at Book & Plow Farm where she serves as the Manager of Farm Education and Operations .
Keila Jesus, Community Health Worker: Brockton Neighborhood Health Center. Kelia works for Brockton Neighborhood Health Center as a Community Health Worker in the Social Services Department. She was born in Cape Verde and has been living in the USA since 2007. She graduated from Bridgewater State University with a bachelors in math and has been working with The Stonehill Mobile Market for 2 summer and is looking forward to many more. She finds great pleasure and joy in being a mom and serving others. She also loves making people laugh.
Marie Kelly, Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Donors Relations: Stonehill College. Marie is the director of corporate, foundation and donor relations at Stonehill College, where she identifies potential corporate and foundation funders to support institutional priorities and assists college leadership in the cultivation of relationships with corporate and foundation donors. Her grantseeking efforts are informed by Stonehill’s strategic and long-range plans. She works closely with Stonehill faculty, staff and program directors to prepare grant applications, proposals and letters of inquiry. She also coordinates the stewardship reporting process for the College’s major donors – preparing timely and accurate reports to donors on the use and impact of their philanthropic gifts.
Joy Kostansek, Food Studies Graduate Student: Ohio University. Joy is an alumna and current graduate student at Ohio University pursuing an MA in Sociology and Food Studies. Her thesis is looking at creating reform in institutional food procurement policy and she serves as the Food Studies Graduate Assistant on a Sugar Bush Foundation project with community partners Rural Action and Community Food Initiatives. Joy is working towards a career in food and agriculture policy where she hopes to help build a healthier and stronger decentralized food system.
Bridget Lawrence-Meigs, Director: The Farm at Stonehill. Before coming to Stonehill College to start The Farm in 2011, Bridget worked for organizations in Kenya, Guatemala and California including McGill University’s Canadian Field Studies in Africa Program, Habitat for Humanity, and The FruitGuys. She gained farming experience at Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth, MA, The Farm Institute on Martha’s Vineyard and from her fellow farmers in Southeastern Massachusetts. Bridget is passionate about growing nutritious vegetables using sustainable methods, working with students and community to develop a strong sense of place and stewardship to the natural world, all the while working to address global issues of poverty and hunger relating to climate change, food production and food distribution.
John Lebeaux, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Grandson of a farmer and son of a nursery owner, John Lebeaux was sworn in as Commissioner of the Department by Governor Charlie Baker on February 6, 2015. After working at Shrewsbury Nurseries, his family’s nursery/garden center/landscaping business, while a student, John then worked for four years as an Urban Horticulturist in New York City. Upon rejoining the family business he served as its General Manager for twenty-six years. John served two terms as President of the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association and has been a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist since 1983. Prior to appointment as Commissioner, John served as Town Administrator of the town of Princeton from 2009 to 2015. He served nine years as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Food and Agriculture and nine years as a public member of the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission. He is also an eight term Selectman in the Town of Shrewsbury and a Charter Member of the Shrewsbury Farmers Market Steering Committee. Proud parents of three adult children and grandparents to two grandchildren, John and his wife Debbie live in Shrewsbury on a former portion of his grandfather’s Buttonwood Farm.
Howard Lucas, Garden Program Manager: Worcester State University Teaching Garden. Howard works as the Garden Program/Manager with in the Urban Action Institute (UAI). Howard is working toward a sustainable city that grows its own food year round. His work in the UAI allows him to educate youth, college students and community members about the importance of growing your own food and how to do it in a sustainable way. Howard runs the garden practicums, oversee all summer programming and summer staff. In addition, he manages, planting, growing and preservation of the garden.
Kerstin Martin Ams, Garden Manager: Allegheny College. Kerstin has managed the Allegheny College campus garden for seven years. Also in Meadville, PA, she led the development of a community garden and a mobile farmers' market, and volunteers on the board of a local foods market. Prior to working at Allegheny, she farmed in Maine and California.
Chanel Mazzone, Development Associate: Stonehill College. Chanel is a Development Associate at Stonehill College, where she works with the young alumni graduates to engage them in philanthropic contributions to the College. She works to inspire these young graduates to give back to Stonehill College through direct mail letters, email solicitations, videos, social media, and personal outreach as well as special events and fundraising challenges. Her efforts to gain philanthropic contributions are informed by a creative approach that tells the story of why graduates should support their alma mater.
Natt McDonough, Student Farmer, The Farm at Stonehill College. Natt is a student farmer at The Farm at Stonehill, where growing produce is focused around addressing the larger issue of food insecurity in the Brockton area. As a Stonehill farmer and an Environmental Science major, Natt is particularly interested in the opportunity to provide food that has been grown in a sustainable way and has contributed to the farm as an interconnected ecosystem. By offering students and community members a hands-on experience in a local food system while addressing a prominent social justice issue, Natt believes that the Farm at Stonehill acts as a source of peace and climate change mitigation.
Lee McLoughlin, Amherst Public School Garden Intern: Amherst Public School Garden Program at the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Lee is a soon-to-be graduate of the Sustainable Food & Farming program at UMass Amherst with a passion for food, dirt, social justice, and education. Lee is a co-manager in the UMass Student Farm Enterprise where she continues to learn how to grow food, manage a farm, and provide accessible, healthy food to her campus and surrounding community. As an intern of the Amherst Public Schools Garden Program, she has been able to combine her love of farming with her interest in working with kids and hopes to get her Master’s in Teaching to continue this work.
Rebekah Mende, Vocational Trades Instructor: Maine State Prison. Rebekah Mende and Ryan Fries collaboratively direct sustainability programming at the Maine State Prison. MSP is the state's only maximum-security prison and a flagship model for the state's DOC programming. Mende was hired in 2018 and entrusted to continue the success of the sustainability programming at MSP. Mende has a MS in Food Systems & Society, a background in prison food reform and 5 years of prior experience in the private sector working with non-profits and Lettuce Grow in Portland, OR.
Daniel Mitola, Student Farmer: UConn Spring Valley Student Farm. Daniel has worked for 2.5 years as a student farmer at Spring Valley Farm, which has been a positive influence on his mental health.
Dr. Theresa Moran, Director: Ohio University Food Studies Program. Dr. Moran is the Director of the Food Studies at Ohio University and the university’s Sustainable Living Hub Coordinator. As well as focusing on experiential learning and the interdisciplinary study of food, her research interests involve the personal and political implications of food choices. She has taught in Italy and Japan and hold a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Anneke Nyary Levine, Student Farmer: UConn Spring Valley Student Farm. Anneke works at UConn's Spring Valley Student Farm, a one-acre student farm located 4.5 miles off campus. The farm is home to eleven undergraduate student farmers who learn about sustainable agriculture, cooperative living, and community engagement in their time at SVSF.
Lauren Olson, Student: University of Southern Maine Food Studies Program. Lauren is a Food Studies Graduate Certificate Student at the University of Southern Maine. She currently promotes proper watershed practices as an Education and Outreach Coordinator. She has cultivated her love of farming, food systems and creative endeavors through various agriculture positions and adventures in Maine and New England. She is always looking for ways to integrate art and farming, and her presentation will showcase her internship at USM and creative ways and reasons to incorporate art with food systems work to get different student groups involved with school gardens and local foods.
Kelsey Pickering, Assistant Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations: Stonehill College. Kelsey is the assistant director of corporate and foundation relations at Stonehill College, where she identifies potential corporate and foundation funders to support priorities for the College. She is launching a Corporate Partnership Program in hopes of engaging local companies and streamlining corporate giving for college priorities. Her grantseeking efforts are informed by Stonehill’s strategic and long-range plans. She works closely with Stonehill faculty, staff and program directors to prepare grant applications, proposals and letters of inquiry.
Taylor Reid, Assistant Professor of Applied Food Studies: The Culinary Institute of America. Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Applied Food Studies at the Culinary Institute of America. He teaches courses in Food Systems Sustainability, Farm to Table, and Chef-Community Relations. His current research interests include the barriers to entry faced by beginning farmers, chef’s motivations for including foraged food on restaurant menus, and depictions of food insecurity and food procurement in zombie cinema. Before coming to the Culinary Institute of America in August of 2018 Dr. Reid served as Chair of the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Program at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, NY.
Morgan Reppert, Student Farmer: UMass Amherst. Morgan is a student farmer involved with the UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative that produces and recovers vegetables, herbs, and flowers for local relief organizations such as Amherst Survival Center, Not Bread Alone, and the Food Bank of Western MA. As UMass student farmer, Morgan is committed to providing the campus community with nutritious, organically grown, local produce. The UMass program cultivates student empowerment through hands-on agricultural production and by educating our peers about the importance of creating a healthier food system.
Jacqui Rice, Student Farmer: The Hotchkiss School's Fairfield Farm. Jacqui has been a Fairfield Ecosystem and Adventure Team Leader at The Hotchkiss School's Fairfield Farm for three years, and is most passionate about how farms nurture social wellness.
Ang Roell, (they/them) Consultant: Ang Roell, Consulting; They Keep Bees. Ang runs two parallel businesses; the first, They Keep Bees is a femme run apiary co-located in Western Massachusetts and South Florida that raises queen bees and produces honeycomb. In the second business, Ang Roell Consulting is committed to helping clients make the changes necessary to shift organizational culture & practice from a model of dominant power to a model of cooperative power, inspired by the ecological world. Ang holds a Masters of Science in Social Justice Education from Boston University, and teaches courses in both university and community settings. They are a seasoned public speaker, and educator. They are currently working on a book titled, “Radicalize the Hive”, and recently completed their first TedX lecture titled “What Honey Bees Can Teach Us About Building Successful Collaboration”.
Adam Saltsman, Director of the Urban Action Institute, Assisstant Professor Urban Studies Department: Worcester State University. Adam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies at Worcester State University and he is the Director of the Urban Action Institute there. He teaches on issues of urban exclusion and inclusion, food systems, hunger, poverty, as well as displacement and migration. As the Director of the UAI, Adam oversees both a community teaching garden and a field-based course on anti-hunger advocacy. In 2019 he worked with students and faculty to write the report Hunger and Homelessness at Worcester State University to alert the campus community to the realities of food and housing insecurity among students.
Nate Sander, Education Manager: Round the Bend Farm. Nate joined Round The Bend Farm in the fall of 2014, after working in the Seattle Public School system for seven years where he taught in the classroom, implemented afterschool and summer programming, and worked in school-community partnerships at the district level. A graduate of Appalachian State University, Nate earned a BFA in painting and printmaking. He is a member of Leadership SouthCoast’s 2018 cohort. As the Education Manager, Nate fulfills a crucial element of RTB’s mission- to educate people of all ages. Nate uses his background in teaching and education policy to build equitable programming, and utilizes the farm as a living laboratory- where the potential for hands-on learning and experiential discovery is limitless.
Cheryl Sinkowski, Student Farmer: Tompkins-Cortland Community College TC3 Farm. Cheryl has worked on the Tompkins-Cortland Community College farm for one semester doing general labor, harvesting, transplanting, and cultivating. I'm older than the traditional students so I have to be mindful about not injuring myself, which is why I'm most interested in campus farms nurturing physical wellness.
Kali Spacek, Student Farmer: Sterling College Farm. Last spring, Kali was a member of Sterling College's Sterling Farm garden crew, and this summer did general farm work as part of the Integrated Farming Practicum semester. Most recently, this fall, Kali was one of the Livestock Chores Work Advisors (a daily supervisory role). I'm particularly interested in campus farms nurturing mental wellness.
Dr. Art Trese, Associate Professor of Plant Biology: Ohio University. Dr. Trese is an Associate Professor of Plant Pathology in the Department Of Environmental and Plant Biology at Ohio University. He works as both a professor and the OHIO Student Farm manager. His life long passion is growing food sustainably.
Leila Tunnell, Amherst Public School Garden Educator: Amherst Public School Garden Program. Leila is the Amherst Public School Garden Educator and Brookfield Farm Educator. She strives to cultivate healthy, sustainable, and joyful communities through farm-based education for people of all ages. Leila works with thirty three APS classrooms year-round, teaching garden lessons, leading field trips to Brookfield Farm and managing the school gardens at each of the three public elementary schools in Amherst. Leila also leads a food and farming after school program at Amherst Middle School and is the co-Director of the Hartsbrook Farm Camp in Hadley, MA. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching, three years full-time vegetable growing experience, and also coaches and leads training camps for ultimate frisbee players around the world.
Desa VanLaarhoven, Executive Director: Round the Bend Farm. Desa joined the RTB Team full-time on January 1, 2015. She most recently served as the executive director for the Marion Institute for 8 years. Desa attended Stonehill College and has her B.A. in Biology, with a minor in Environmental Science. After college and before her work at the Marion Institute, Desa spent time volunteering for both the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC*), and the California Conservation Corps. Desa firmly believes in the work she does, and her passion was recognized in 2009 when she was awarded Massachusetts “SouthCoast Woman of the Year”. She is a 2010 graduate of the Leadership SouthCoast program.
Shaun VanLaarhoven, Executive Chef & Assistant Farm Manager: Round the Bend Farm. After graduating from Apponequet High School, Shaun began studying Coaching and Athletic Training at Bridgewater State College, but found a calling in the field of social services. Shaun moved to Boston, where he worked for nearly twenty years in the non-profit human service field, focusing on people with various disabilities. Shaun specialized in working with homeless and formerly homeless individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Understanding the restorative powers of a facility like RTB, Shaun started volunteering in 2009. His renaissance skills quickly made him an invaluable member of the RTB team. A superb chef, constantly creating new and unique recipes to incorporate the farm surplus, Shaun crafts delicious and nutritious farm-based meals for the farm team. A natural leader, he is a 2017 graduate of the Leadership SouthCoast program, whose mission is to “engage, educate, and empower diverse individuals to become active community leaders”.
Eric Vukicevich, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture: Connecticut College. As a visiting assistant professor, Eric teaches courses in sustainable agriculture within the Botany department at Connecticut College in New London. He manage operations on the campus garden and is currently working on an expansion of the space and developing community partnerships and internship programs. Eric recently moved to New London from Oregon, where he taught various soils and horticulture courses at a community college and Oregon State. Eric completed his PhD in soil microbial ecology at the University of British Columbia.
Julia M. Yakovich, Director of Service Learning: University of Connecticut. Julia directs service learning and engagement initiatives for the University of Connecticut. In this role she is able to integrate her professional experiences and education to incorporate meaningful service learning coursework and projects for both the University and the community-at-large; non profit, government entities and business ventures alike. Yakovich ensures efficient and effective incorporation of service learning curricular strategies between university and partner stakeholders for mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships.
Rhianna Zadravec, Student Farmer: UMass Amherst. Rhianna is a student farmer with the UMass Student Farm Food Access Initiative that produces and recovers vegetables, herbs, and flowers for local relief organizations such as Amherst Survival Center, Not Bread Alone, and the Food Bank of Western MA. As UMass student farmer, Rhianna is committed to providing the campus community with nutritious, organically grown, local produce. The UMass program cultivates student empowerment through hands-on agricultural production and by educating our peers about the importance of creating a healthier food system.