The Journey Farmer Program is a two-year program for beginning farmers who are in the first few years of running their own farming enterprise in Vermont. The program is largely shaped by the farming interests and goals of the Journey Farmers, and enables aspiring new farmers to advance their farming skills and experiences, along with being a part of a learning community of other aspiring farmers and farmer mentors. NOFA-VT Journey Farmers receive an educational stipend, farmer-to-farmer mentoring, free admission into NOFA-VT’s workshops and Winter Conference, business planning support and access to technical assistance by the NOFA-VT staff. New farmers are being welcomed to the fold each year…find out more about the application process here.
Ivy Pagliari is the owner of Grex Eggs, an organic egg farm in Morrisville, Vermont. She was an English teacher in China before she came to Vermont to farm. She loves chickens and cows. When not cultivating delicious dairy products, she likes playing the accordion and knitting, although not simultaneously.
Ryan Miller and Nicole Burke co-founded Golden Well Farm & Apiaries in New Haven, Vermont in 2012. Since they first began keeping bees and growing food, their vision has always been to create a model farm where they could share thier love of sustainable agricultural with others. They’ve been steadily working towards this vision and began growing on their neighbor’s land and selling vegetables as well as honey products at markets for the last few years. Last year they started a successful CSA and are working to expand their membership as well as enter into the wholesale market. In addition to farming, the pair also owns and runs 2 Wolves Center in Vergennes, a wellness center where they host yoga, martial arts, and community classes and events.
Taylor Hutchison and Jake Mendell run Footprint Farm in Starksboro where they produce organic vegetables, flowers, and eggs for their CSA, farmers markets, and local weddings. They also produce small-scale pastured pork that is sold as whole shares, and maple syrup just for fun. In 2015 they are looking forward to hosting mushroom forays, herb walks, and homesteading workshops for the public as well as farm tours. This will be Footprint Farm’s third season in production, and the farmers are looking forward to the next two years of growing with their fellow Journey Farmers.
Raised in the liberal backwoods of western Massachusetts by vegetarian social workers, Eli Hersh’s first word was “kale.” Since his inspiring introduction to agriculture as a seasonal intern on an organic veggie farm near Seattle, WA, he has worked with raw milk production, diverse pastured livestock and poultry, and endless fields of product. Running a successful one-season experimental farm business in 2011 gave him the confidence to seek out self-employment as a long term goal, and the focus to learn as much as possible from his elders and mentors in the community. Eli is currently working at River Berry Farm in Fairfax, while leasing land on the property for his small vegetable operation, Shadow Creek Farm. He is excited to work with NOFA-VT to reach his goal of diversified production on permanent property.
Willow Brook Farm is a family operated farm owned by Molly Willard and Nattie Emmons with their two daughters, Elizabeth and Elsie. Their mission is to produce high quality fresh food for the local and surrounding communities. They offer CSA memberships, a winter share, and sell wholesale to various businesses throughout the Northeast Kingdom. They use organic practices and are working toward certification.
Ryan Demarest came to Vermont for college and always seems to return to the state after time away. He began his farming career in Oregon while living and apprenticing at an organic CSA farm in Corvallis. After interning at an educational and production based farm in Eugene, Oregon, Ryan made the eastward trek back to Vermont to participate in the Farmer Training Program at the University of Vermont. The following season he began a small-scale vegetable operation in Waterbury. He is pleased to be expanding his operation in 2015 for his second year in agriculture.
Kalyn Campbell found her passion for farming as a student at the Dickinson College Farm. She started dairy farming and making cheese soon after college and fell in love with the process. Kalyn is grateful for the opportunity to continue the Family Cow Farmstand and provide people with healthy, nutritious food.