Susie Walsh Daloz, Program Director
Susie has been immersed in farming and education since she graduated from Oberlin College in 2000. She has managed a diverse set of farm education projects from a large vegetable CSA to a one-acre school garden. In her time at The Food Project in Boston, The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley and with various farm to school projects in Vermont, Susie worked to connect people to their food, the land and the complex, endlessly fascinating world of food systems. Now as the Director of UVM’s Farmer Training program, Susie thrives on supporting aspiring farmers in building knowledge and skills for a career in sustainable agriculture. She loves the sight of steam rising from the compost pile, the taste of over-wintered spinach in early spring and the humbling feeling that there is always more to learn about farming. Susie lives in Montpelier with her husband, two daughters and five lucky chickens.
Laura Williams, Catamount Farm Manager
Laura Williams has always had one foot in teaching and one in farming, and she feels happiest when those passions come together. Laura earned an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies, with a focus in Agroecology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1998. Laura got her start in farming as an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz, and has been farming seriously for the past ten years. She moved to Vermont and started Bread and Roses Farm, a 5-acre diversified vegetable CSA in Westford, Vermont. After owning and operating the farm for four years, she realized that she missed working with people, and wanted her next step to blend her education background with her farming skills. This desire led her to the University of Vermont where she helped start the Farmer Training Program. Currently as the Farm Manager of the Catamount Farm, she continues her work of educating aspiring farmers and undergraduates, working alongside them to manage 6 acres of vegetable production at the UVM Horticulture Research Facility. Laura’s work is informed by her love of working with people and the land, and she is grateful to have a career that encompasses both.
Abha Gupta, Program Coordinator
Abha Gupta is fascinated by the power behind food and agriculture, seeing that it has a web-like affect on the environment, communities, economy, individual health and more. After receiving a BS in Environmental Engineering Technology from Cornell University, this fascination inspired her to learn, hands-on about food production. For three seasons, she worked as a farm manager and field hand growing diverse vegetables in upstate New York. While farming, Abha also worked as a communications assistant for the Cornell Small Farms Program, managed a farmers’ market, and started an agricultural outreach education program for children called, Edible Awareness. After being a part of local agriculture projects for three years, Abha felt ready to go back to school and received a MS in Horticulture from Oregon State University in 2013. In graduate school, she served as a teaching assistant for the online Master Gardeners, Permaculture, and Organic Farming and Gardening courses. Since graduating, she has worked as an instructor at Linn Benton Community College, having taught the Greenhouse Management course. While in Oregon, Abha continued to work for diverse vegetable farms and experienced urban agriculture from raising chickens, growing vegetables, and having bees within city limits. Abha is very excited to be a part of the University of Vermont Farmer Training Program, teach experientially, and share her love for farming.
Andrew Bahrenburg, Farm Assistant
Before returning to his native Vermont to farm, Andrew Bahrenburg worked in federal policy and politics, first as a Congressional campaign operative, and then as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. His legislative work has focused on foreign policy, defense, and global food security, and he holds a BA in political science from Macalester College. In 2013, seeking to turn his lifelong passion for food and agriculture into a career, Andrew completed the UVM Farmer Training Program, where he will now serve as a Farm Assistant. In addition, he currently works for Rockville Market Farm in Starksboro, Vermont, and is a lead organizer for the Vermont Young Farmers Coalition. When he’s not farming, Andrew enjoys traveling, playing soccer, hunting, and the company of his dog, Lucille Bahrenburg. His dislikes include snakes, as well as things that, at first glance, might kind of resemble snakes.
Julia Cosgrove, Farm Assistant
Julia grew up eating CSA veggies and gardening in her family’s backyard in Albany, New York. She has spent time learning about forests, fields, rivers, and oceans through Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studies at the University of Rochester and work in Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Ecology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her desire to work for food justice, fascination with agriculture, and love of all things edible brought her to the Farmer Training Program in 2013 and a small livestock operation in Northwest Connecticut this winter. She feels lucky to have the opportunity to farm in such a vibrant agricultural community and looks forward to learning from its newest Farmer Training Program members.
Corie Pierce-Farmer Educator, Owner, Bread and Butter Farm
Corie Pierce is a farmer and educator. Along with Adam Wilson, her farming partner, she is co-owner and operator of Bread & Butter Farm in South Burlington / Shelburne, Vermont. Bread & Butter Farm is a diversified farm where they produce artisanal German breads baked in their wood-fired oven, delicious and creamy raw milk, grass-fed beef, pastured raised pork, and vegetables, specializing in growing greens all winter long in unheated, passive solar greenhouses. Additionally, the farm is a community hub, hosting winter concert series (Silo Sessions), led by her musician partner Chris Dorman, and other educational workshops, internships, and programs. Leading up to farming full time, Corie attended the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship and then worked at Michigan State University where she developed and launched the Organic Farming Certificate Program based at the Student Organic Farm. Most recently, she was the Garden Manager and Sustainable Agriculture faculty at Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, VT. Corie grew up in Exeter, NH and got her farming start at Barker’s Farm in Stratham, NH. She loves basketball, yoga, biking, music and spending time with her partner Chris Dorman and their son Henry.
Mara and Spencer Welton-Farmer Educators, Owners, Half Pint Farm
Half Pint Farm is as small as the name suggests, cultivating only 2 acres of sandy silt loam Intervale soil with over 200 varieties of specialty and baby vegetables. Half Pint Farm is dedicated to using bio-intensive methods designed to build a healthy soil, while providing high yield. They have experimented with these methods for over 15 years, utilizing them in a variety of climates, from the tropical South Pacific as U.S. Peace Corps volunteers to the high plains of Colorado, to graduate school in agro-ecology in Western Pennsylvania. Since 2005, they have used hoop-house structures to extend the growing season and increase the quality of their produce. Mara & Spencer and their two farm dachshunds, Mr. Smeems and Bullet, are proud to prove that a family can make a living on small acreage using creative niche marketing, their passion for food and cooking, not being afraid of hard work, and a healthy dose of good humor! Half Pint Farm produce can be found at farmers markets, local restaurants, caterers and natural grocers in the Burlington area as well as through their small gourmet CSA called the Half Pint Farm Food Club.
Andy Jones-Farmer Educator, Manager, Intervale Community Farm
Andy Jones has managed the Intervale Community Farm since 1993, and is one of the pioneers of the CSA movement in Vermont. Andy’s diverse skills, optimistic outlook, and incredible vision have helped the farm grow into the largest CSA in Vermont. Andy wears many hats at ICF – financial planner, mechanic, carpenter, community builder, teacher, and horticulturist. Along with the farm’s Board of Directors [link to board list], Andy has built the farm into the wonderful community resource that it exists as today. Besides his incredible dedication to the Intervale Community Farm, Andy has served on the NOFA-VT board, the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower’s Association board, and has been a sought after speaker in many classes and workshops relating to agriculture. Andy attributes much of his farming success to a high consumption of coffee. He also enjoys eating vegetables in all stages of growth and loves to share the farm with his wife Helen and sons Davis and Ian.
Becky Madden, Farmer Educator, Intervale Community Farm
Becky Maden has been a farmer at the Intervale Community Farm since 2005. Upon graduation from college with a degree in urban studies, Becky managed a small CSA farm for a community gardening organization in Denver, Colorado where much of her focus was on education. When she moved back to Vermont, Becky honed her field production and greenhouse management skills before arriving at ICF. She loves quiet March days when the greenhouse is warm and the ground is still covered in snow; she loves planting a fraction of a pound of carrot seed in April and harvesting thousands of pounds of carrots in July; she loves bustling harvest days surrounded by wonderful people; and she especially loves the thriving agricultural and food community of which ICF is a part. When not growing, cooking, eating, reading or writing about vegetables, Becky loves outdoor adventures in all seasons.