Regular contributors to our blog include:
Mark Cannella, farm business management specialist, has been working in agriculture in Vermont for over 10 years. He currently provides business planning and farm financial advice to farmers through a variety of UVM Extension programs. If there is one thing Mark likes best, it is working with farms to achieve profitability. Mark worked for several years in vegetable production, sugaring and dairy, before obtaining a graduate degree in applied economics. When his family is not keeping up with their small vegetable farm, they are making plans to get in the canoe to explore Vermont.
Beth Holtzman, outreach education coordinator for the Women’s Agricultural Network and the New Farmer Project. An instructor for WAgN beginning farmer classes and workshops, Beth has been working with farmers on business planning and marketing since 2004, and has been involved in sustainable agriculture outreach, education and advocacy since 1992. Beth can often be found outdoors with her family — skis or snowshoes in the winter, or riding, hiking or in the garden in the summer.
Dennis Kauppila worked on Vermont farms in the 1970s before earning BS and MS degrees in agriculture at UVM. He started working with UVM Extension in 1983 as a county agent. Now he works with farmers on financial management and business planning. Dennis has taught business management courses to farmers since 1994. Dennis likes to garden, paddle, fish, knit, and cross-country ski. He also serves as a Green Up Day town coordinator, assistant treasurer at a church, and treasurer of a local cemetery.
Suzy Hodgson helps to coordinate the New Farmer Project and is part of the Farming and Climate Change program at UVM Extension. With MSc. environmental management from Yale, Suzy’s experience includes economics, environmental and energy/carbon assessments, education, sustainable business and community development. Whether working with small farms, facilitating local energy/carbon discussions or linking small farms with localvores, she enjoys helping people work together to achieve common sustainable agriculture goals.
Mary Peabody, director of the Women’s Agricultural Network, as well as the UVM Extension Specialist in Community Resources and Economic Development. She is a regular instructor for beginning farmer classes and a variety of workshop topics on business planning, marketing and labor management. She also offers several online classes each year. Mary’s passions include growing things—both plants and animals, learning new skills, traveling, and teaching.
Ben Waterman, is developing the Land Access Program at the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture. He became particularly interested in sustainable agriculture issues after working as a coffee farmer in Costa Rica and a dairy farmer in Russia. He and his wife recently returned from Malawi, where they served as agricultural extension agents in the Peace Corps. They are starting a diversified farm of their own in Johnson, Vermont.
Our guest bloggers include:
Chris Callahan, UVM Extension Assistant Professor: Agricultural Engineer. His work focuses on enhancing Vermont’s Food Systems by supporting the analysis, design, evaluation and adoption of infrastructure and equipment that meets the needs of relatively small-scale food producers and processors. Chris enjoys working closely with farmers and others on multi-disciplinary projects that deliver practical, cost effective, safe and sustainable results.
Mike Ghia, Vermont Field Agent, Land for Good
Joe Emenheiser is a livestock specialist. Raised on a small family farm in Pennsylvania, Joe’s livestock experience includes managing sheep farms in New York, butchering, genetic evaluation, teaching and judging. Joe helps Vermont’s diversified livestock farms improve their efficiency, product quality and marketing.
Nancy LaRowe, Vital Communities Valley Food & Farm Coordinator
Jen Miller, RAFFL New Farmer Program Coordinator
Omar Oyarzabal, UVM Extension Food Safety Specialist Omar is a Certified HACCP Auditor (American Society for Quality) and has taught food safety, bioinformatics, biostatistics, microbial risk assessment and management, and introductory HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) classes for almost 15 years.