VT FEED Project Director, Shelburne Farms
Northeast Regional Lead, National Farm to School Network
After a brief stint working in aquaculture on the Red Sea, Betsy realized that policy and governance issues were more of a calling than cultivating shrimp. She spent a decade with the City of Burlington directing its sustainable city initiative, neighborhood programs, and waterfront development. Betsy helped launch the Burlington School Food Project and Burlington’s Sustainable Schools Project. With VT FEED, she helped draft and pass Vermont’s first farm to school bill. Betsy also served as Director of Projects for the Orton Family Foundation overseeing community planning projects, evaluation, and capacity building in towns throughout New England and the Rocky Mountain West.
As VT FEED’s Project Director, Betsy provides leadership, vision, and coordination to advance its mission. Her work includes fundraising, communications, partner relations, and general management in coordination with the VT FEED Program Director. Betsy provides backbone support to the Vermont Farm to School Network and to the Northeast Regional Steering Committee of the National Farm to School Network.
Betsy lives with her family in Burlington where she walks down to Lake Champlain for the sunset whenever she can.
VT FEED Program Director
Education Director, NOFA-VT
If you’ve grown, cooked, or tasted kale in a Vermont school cafeteria, chances are Abbie had something to do with it. Abbie has been a teacher for over 20 years and formerly worked on an organic vegetable and flower farm. She now works on improving school food by connecting kitchen managers with local farmers, helping farmers offer agricultural education on their farms, training school nutrition professionals, and teaching school staff how to introduce new foods to students.
Through VT FEED and NOFA-VT, Abbie serves as a statewide school food system consultant and trainer, helping statewide partners increase local purchasing and access to local and regional foods in schools and other institutions. She also offers professional development for school nutrition professionals. Abbie works extensively with the Farm to Plate Network and the Vermont Farm to School Network. She also serves on the Leadership Team of Farm to Institution New England (FINE) and is the co-coordinator of the VT School Nutrition Association’s professional development committee.
Abbie lives in Essex, VT with her husband and has three grown children. She loves cooking, a variety of physical activities, and listening to mysteries on CD on her many sojourns around the state.
Farm to Schoool Professional Learning Coordinator, Shelburne Farms
Ethan is passionate about food systems, sustainable agriculture, and Vermont's working landscape, and he shares that passion with students in classrooms, fields, and schools around the state. Ethan has explored agriculture all over the world, serving as a WWOOFer (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) in Europe and New Zealand. His love of the Vermont landscape grew while working for Bread and Butter Farm in South Burlington and on a woods crew for a 70,000-tap maple sugaring operation in Cambridge. In his spare time, he now operates a small sugar bush with his father and two partners on Elmore Mountain.
As the Farm to School Professional Learning Coordinator at Shelburne Farms, Ethan helps teachers and administrators use food education and sustainability to bring about school transformation. He teaches a range of courses and professional development workshops for students, educators, administrators, and food system enthusiasts around the state. He also coordinates the Farm to School Institute and frequently mentors school teams on developing farm to school programs.
Ethan lives in Vergennes with his family and loves dreaming up ideas for applied permaculture on his family's land in North Chittenden.
VT FEED Local Purchasing, Food Service Professional Development, and Jr Iron Chef VT Coordinator, NOFA-VT
Amy’s first foray into school food took place while traveling the country for the National Gardening Association. Tasked with visiting school gardens and providing professional development for garden-based educators, she always made time to visit the cafeteria. That’s where she first witnessed the growing distance between people and what they eat.
Amy felt compelled to help students develop a healthy relationship with their food, so she began consulting with school districts. She works with school nutrition professionals through VT FEED and NOFA-VT, helping them source local ingredients and hone their scratch-cooking skills, frequently offering cooking workshops and professional development opportunities. Amy also coordinates the annual Jr Iron Chef VT competition because there is nothing better than mixing together great kids, good ingredients, and a dash of healthy competition!
Amy lives in Richmond with her husband and two growing boys who eat just about anything she puts in front of them (by far the accomplishment of which she is most proud).
Education Communications Coordinator, Shelburne Farms
Three months on an organic, sustainably-managed farm in Tuscany would make anyone want to spread the gospel of good, fresh, clean food. After returning home and working around the country as a baker and cake decorator, Katya landed a job in marketing and PR at a private school outside of Boston. As the Education Communications Coordinator at Shelburne Farms, Katya is now able to apply her passion for food and agriculture and her communication skills to spread the gospel of farm to school.
Katya lives in Williston with her husband and two cats. She bikes to work regularly, loves trying out new recipes on her co-workers, and always has projects lying around in various states of completion.