Our Team

Want to join a hardworking and passionate team?

Executive Director Sabbatical Update: January - June 2024

Meet the staff members who make it all happen.

Eliza Baker-Wacks

OpenTEAM Farm Network Coordinator
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Kate Barrett

Interim Director of Development & Community Engagement
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Jessica Chiartas

Market Science Lead
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Susan Connolly

Director of Finance & Human Resources
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Dorn Cox

Chief Advisor for Technology and Research
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Jim DeGrandpre

Director of Stewardship
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Madeline Delaney

Marketplace Tech Coordinator
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Paddy Fallon

Facilities & Grounds Coordinator
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Laura Gilmer

OpenTEAM Managing Director
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Ellen Stern Griswold

Director of Programs
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Alex Gulachenski

Sr. Manager of Research Collaborations & Regional Farm Networks
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Hayes Heath

Sr. Manager of Facilities & Grounds
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Sunni Heikes-Knapton

Mountain West Markets Program Manager
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Dave Herring

On Sabbatical Until July 2024
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Dwight Hobbs

Fruit & Vegetable Manager
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Nat Irwin

OpenTEAM Tech Program Manager
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Aaron Kaczor

Accounting Assistant
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Melody Larson

Farm Education Coordinator
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Sabie Lindsay

Development and Communications Coordinator

Andrew Lombardi

Sr. Manager of Education Programs
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Breton Lorway

Operations & Administrative Assistant
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Anna Lynton

OpenTEAM Community Governance & Visualization Tech Coordinator
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Jeannie Mattson

Interim Executive Director
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Michael Messina

Programs and Volunteer Coordinator
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Maddy Nemec

Events & Rentals Manager
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Vanessa Nesvig

Special Projects Manager
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Cat Padgett

OpenTEAM Contracts Administrator
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Tyra Parker

Sr. Manager of Visitor Services
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Bonnie Peters

Grants & Finance Manager
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Thomas Prohl

Sr. Manager of Farm Operations & Systems
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Karna Ray

Northeast Markets Program Manager
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Kate Sabino

Assistant Dairy Manager
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Vic Spindler-Fox

OpenTEAM Support & Maintenance Tech Coordinator
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Elizabeth Tarantino

Dairy & Livestock Manager
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Molly Taylor

Western Markets Program Manager
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Hannah Tikalsky

Director of Network Development, Environmental Markets
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Katie Williams

Farm Camp Manager
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Sienna Zuco

OpenTEAM Communications & Engagement Manager
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Eliza Baker-Wacks

OpenTEAM Farm Network Coordinator

Growing up in Southern California, Eliza was fortunate to be surrounded by a robust year-round farm economy, spurring a love of agriculture and local food. After coming to Maine and attending Colby College, she fell in love with Maine’s farms, forests, and oceans. Before joining us as our OpenTEAM Hub & Network Tech Coordinator, Eliza first came to Wolfe’s Neck Center in 2019 as a Fruit and Vegetable Apprentice after farming in Hawaii, California, and Maine. She continued farming at WNC for three seasons, becoming the Fruit and Vegetable Production manager and running the farm operations.

Eliza is passionate about supporting farmers and ensuring that they have the resources they need to succeed. For the last year and a half, Eliza was working with farmers on land access issues in New England. She is excited to return to one of her favorite places in Maine and for a new adventure in this role. Outside of work she loves hanging out with her dog, Wylie, baking, hiking, and spending time outside!

Kate Barrett

Interim Director of Development & Community Engagement

Kate joined the Wolfe’s Neck Center team in 2023 with a background in nonprofit management and philanthropy. Most recently Kate served as Vice President of Investor Relations and Board Governance at Upstream USA, a national nonprofit working to increase access to contraceptive care. In that role, Kate worked closely with the CEO to build and lead a strategic development function to support Upstream’s continued growth and impact nationally. Prior to joining Upstream, Kate held senior leadership roles at Liminality Partners, a philanthropic advising firm and the GreenLight Fund, a national venture philanthropy funding nonprofit organizations with a particular focus on sustainability, evidence of impact and innovation.

Kate studied Political Science and History at both the London School of Economics and the National University of Ireland in Galway. She received a BA in History from Colorado College and an MBA in nonprofit management from Brandeis University.

In her free time, Kate enjoys exploring all of Maine’s natural attractions with her husband Henry and their two children.

Jessica Chiartas

Market Science Lead

Dr. Jessica Chiartas is a soil biogeochemist seeking to build bridges between science and industry, policy, and the populace. She received her PhD from the University of California, Davis, where she also served as a postdoctoral scholar and a fellow with the Innovation Institute for Food and Health. Her research has focused on the long-term impacts of management on soil carbon (with a unique focus on depth and field scale variability) and broadly, soil health and ecosystem services across a diversity of soils, climates, and production systems. Through participatory research and multi-stakeholder engagement, she seeks to develop communities of practice for the co-creation and sharing of knowledge/resources and create the marketplace infrastructure necessary to support and incentivize the transition to soil health/regenerative management.

Jessica has a strong passion and proclivity for outreach and extension, translating research to a diversity of stakeholders and building bridges between science and industry, policy, and the populace. She represents UC Davis in the California Farm Demonstration Network; served on the ASA-CSA-SSSA Science Policy Committee, as well as the Climate Task Force to inform the Biden administration on climate and agriculture; and sits on multiple Technical Advisory Boards. She is the lead of RegenScore; a multi-stakeholder collaboration between food purchasers, farmers/ranchers, academics, non-profits, and NGOs using multi-criteria decision analysis and on-farm data collection to develop rigorous, but accessible monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) protocols that can validate market- and policy-based incentives for soil health/regenerative management. She is also founder and creator of Soil Life – a website and series of animated videos that highlights the connection between soil and all that we depend upon in our daily lives, provides an accessible, graphics-based introduction to soil science, and inspires young people with positive solutions to some of our most pressing global challenges.

Susan Connolly

Director of Finance & Human Resources

After 20 years in the land conservation realm and being an integral part of a growing organization supporting operations to do this amazing work along the coast of Maine, I had the opportunity to step away and explore new personal challenges.  I found the new position as the Finance & Administration Manager at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in 2016 an ideal opportunity for me to bring my experience and passion for effective organizational development to the growth and transformation currently happening here.  It is a joy to come to work every day to a beautiful location and work with a great group of people who are honoring the past and looking innovatively to the future in all diverse areas of operations here at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment.

I have oversight of the financial management of organizational operations and seek opportunities to support all staff in creating systems to work most effectively in support of a growing and dynamic organization.

When I am not working, I spend as much time as I can outdoors enjoying Maine with my family and friends.

Dorn Cox

Chief Advisor for Technology and Research

In addition to his work at Wolfe’s Neck Center, Dorn is a farmer working his 250-acre certified organic family farm in New Hampshire. As a founder of the FarmOS software platform and the Farm Hack community, he is passionate about sharing open-source agricultural tools, software, and data to accelerate innovation and quantify environmental services from regenerative agriculture. He has a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire in Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science.

Jim DeGrandpre

Director of Stewardship
Jim arrived at Wolfe’s Neck Center over five decades ago. In October 1968, Mr. and Mrs. L.M.C. Smith invited Jim’s father, Charlie DeGrandpre to come to Maine to join them in developing their visionary organic beef farm, with a focus toward educating and demonstrating organic principles, and providing quality organic beef to a national audience Jim’s family even lived in the Little River Farmhouse, which now houses our admin offices and serves as the hub for educational programs!
These days, Jim serves as our charismatic Director of Visitor Services and helps to welcome thousands of guests to the farm every year. Jim’s expertise, historical knowledge, and passion for Wolfe’s Neck Center are an integral part of our daily operations.

Madeline Delaney

Marketplace Tech Coordinator

Madeline’s love of farming, working landscapes, and the agricultural community has guided her career in supporting a resilient and equitable food system. With a background in farming, she is deeply invested in farm viability, sustainable land stewardship, and building common ground through food.

In her role as Marketplace Tech Coordinator, Madeline facilitates cross-organizational collaboration and ag tech development to expand farmer-marketplace connections and help food system stakeholders translate climate-beneficial practices into market opportunities.

In her free time, Madeline can be found knitting, growing food, and enjoying the outdoors with her partner at their home in Northern Maine.

Paddy Fallon

Facilities & Grounds Coordinator
Paddy Fallon is a longtime New Englander with ancestral ties to the Freeport-Brunswick area. Born in Pittsburgh, Paddy has lived in Massachusetts for 40 years and started spending time in Maine in the last few years. Paddy spent a large portion of his career at the intersection of printing, publishing, and technology before following his passion for organic foods and healthy living at Trader Joes in customer service and management. He and his wife Kate enjoy camping and the adventures they can go on with their RV, which is how they found Wolfe’s Neck Center. Paddy supports the Center in many ways; weekend campground staff support, maintenance team member, off-season campground reservations and administration manager, and pizza night oven-tender, as well as special project lead. Paddy and his co-pilot Jenny are often and about on campus – make sure to say hello when you see them!

Laura Gilmer

OpenTEAM Managing Director

I grew up on a farm in Nebraska and have always had a passion for sustainable agriculture with my first enterprise being pastured chickens and sweet corn sales. My interest in scaling soil health practices nationally and internationally through systemic changes has brought me to WNC.

I coordinate the global community for the Open Technology Ecosystem for Agriculture Management (OpenTEAM) initiative, bringing together stakeholders across the agricultural value chain to facilitate a community and technological platform to support farmers in improving soil health.  This open, collaborative community will help facilitate points of connection for farmers to better access agricultural data insights, ecosystem markets, and other conservation incentives, regardless of geography, production system or farm scale.

In my free time, I enjoy being active outside and bringing people together through a home cooked meal.

Ellen Stern Griswold

Director of Programs

Ellen Stern Griswold joined Wolfe’s Neck Center in December 2023 as the Director of Programs. In that role, Ellen focuses on the management and development of all of Wolfe’s Neck Center’s place-based programs, including agriculture, education, research collaborations, and visitor services. Prior to coming to Wolfe’s Neck Center, Ellen spent seven years at Maine Farmland Trust (MFT), most recently as the Deputy Director, and prior to that as the Policy and Research Director. Ellen practiced federal energy regulatory law in Washington, DC for 8 years before her passion for agriculture and food systems change – and its implications for farmers, the environment, and public health – led her to pursue a new career focused on food and farming in Maine.

Ellen obtained her LL.M. in Food and Agriculture Law from Vermont Law School, her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and her BA in Public Policy from Brown University.

In her free time, Ellen loves exploring Maine’s beaches, forests, and farms with her husband Oliver and their two daughters.

Alex Gulachenski

Sr. Manager of Research Collaborations & Regional Farm Networks

Alex joined Wolfe’s Neck Center as the Farms Networks Coordinator with a background in agricultural research, farm community outreach, and education. She will manage the farmer networks that WNC supports (Maine Soil Health Network & New England Grazing Network), lead our on-site ecosystem monitoring and our integration with OpenTEAM as a hub farm, and serve as a mentor to research interns and openTEAM fellows. An ecologist by training, Alex views agriculture from a systems and community-centered perspective and loves building connections between food production principles, farmer wellbeing and livelihood, and food system resilience.

Prior to coming to WNC she completed her M.S. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, where she built expertise in on-farm and farmer-driven research, soil health principles, and climate resilience. While at UC Davis, she served as a mentor and educator and taught numerous classes on sustainable agriculture, agroecology, and food systems. Alex is also passionate about community organizing and food justice. In 2021 she helped start an urban farm and community garden with the non-profit NorCal Resist, which currently serves as a key source of fresh and accessible produce for NorCal Resist’s mutual aid network in Sacramento, CA.

Originally from Massachusetts, Alex is excited for the opportunity to reconnect with the New England farming community and to work and live in Maine! In her free time, she can be found exploring either on cross country skis, hiking trails, or camping, as well as cooking with friends, and working on pottery projects at the ceramic studio.

Hayes Heath

Sr. Manager of Facilities & Grounds

Hayes is a native of the New Gloucester area and comes to Wolfe’s Neck Center with a passion for agriculture. He grew up with an extensive garden and chickens, which taught him from an early age the importance of sustainably grown food. He has held a myriad of roles, from landscaping to construction to facilities management, and is excited to be making a difference in the area where he grew up.

When not mastering all things grounds and facilities at Wolfe’s Neck Center, you can find him at home or exploring with his family.

Sunni Heikes-Knapton

Mountain West Markets Program Manager

Born in Norway and raised on her family’s farm in South Dakota, Sunni brings a passion for sustaining meaningful connections to important landscapes. Educated in biology and habitat management, she strives to support agricultural producers in their efforts to feed our communities while contributing to ecosystem health.  

Sunni started as the Mountain West Markets Program Manager with Wolfe’s Neck Center in the Autumn of 2023. In this role, she will be supporting the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices on farms in her region through creative partnerships, market connections, and access to innovative technology. 

Now residing in Ennis, Montana, Sunni spends her free time on her own small-scale agricultural endeavors and baking her signature sourdough bread. She enjoys trail running, fishing, skiing, and exploring with her two kids and their very endearing dog.

Dave Herring

On Sabbatical Until July 2024

I was immediately captivated by the beauty of this place, and its potential to play a more meaningful role in creating a sustainable and regenerative future for farming, food, and the planet. The opportunity to lead the organization towards a renewed focus and vision was one that really excited me when I became Executive Director in 2012 and even more so today.

I strive to bring my best self to work every day so that I can provide the leadership and vision necessary to move the organization forward.

When I’m not at work, I like to spend as much time as possible outdoors with my wife and two daughters traveling and exploring.

Dwight Hobbs

Fruit & Vegetable Manager

Dwight moved to Maine in 2015 to start a Maine Organic Famers and Gardeners Association Apprenticeship at Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle and Damariscotta. After 5 seasons with Morning Dew, Dwight helped manage the vegetable production at Sheepscot General Store and Farm in Whitefield for two seasons before joining Wolfe’s Neck Center in April 2022. 

Before moving to Maine, Dwight grew up in Northern California’s Bay Area and studied Diplomacy and World Affairs, and Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College in Los Angeles. While serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Dwight realized that he needed experience getting his hands dirty if he wanted to help make our food systems more just, democratic and equitable. It took about a week of apprenticing on a small farm in the northern Sierra Nevada to realize growing food was what he wanted to do. Dwight is grateful for the mentorship and friendship of the farmers he’s worked for in California, Vermont and Maine, and he hopes to help create the same learning opportunities for young and future farmers at Wolfe’s Neck Center – while also growing some great food!

 In his free time he likes to stare at trees and fungi, watch soccer, talk about democracy, and slowly make his way through my ever-filling bookshelf.

Nat Irwin

OpenTEAM Tech Program Manager

Nat joins us as OpenTEAM’s Tech Support Lead. In this new role, Nat will serve as a liaison between tech developers and on-farm tech users to help further OpenTEAM’s vision of a farm-ready, open source and interoperable tech ecosystem.

Having grown up in New Hampshire, Nat is thrilled to return to northern New England. While he spent a lot of his childhood outdoors, Nat’s interests in both regenerative agriculture and open source technology developed in college, where Nat studied sustainable food and agriculture systems at Yale University. Throughout his undergraduate career, Nat worked with a number of OpenTEAM technology developers in project management and tech support roles. He also conducted interview-based thesis research with farmers in New Hampshire and Vermont. Nat is thrilled to join OpenTEAM to interface with developers and farmers in order to help facilitate a collaborative and equitable shift toward sustainable agricultural methods.

When he is not working, you can find Nat hiking with his dog, skiing, cooking with friends, or absorbed in a science fiction novel.

Aaron Kaczor

Accounting Assistant

Aaron spent most of his childhood in North Carolina but moved up north to New Hampshire for his high school years and finally to Maine just after high school. He is happy to be helping the finance team as the Accounting Assistant while still attending school at Southern New Hampshire University with a Data Analytics major and Economics minor.

When he is away from work, you can find Aaron playing soccer, and exploring more of what the beautiful state of Maine has to offer.

Melody Larson

Farm Education Coordinator

Melody first came to Wolfe’s Neck Center in 2019 as a Farm Camp Counselor and has found it hard to wander too far ever since. After graduating from Colby College in 2020 with a major in Environmental Policy, she was an educator for our inaugural Farm Discovery School that fall. In order to become a better agricultural educator, she took an opportunity to be a Farm Intern at North Country School/Camp Treetops in the Adirondacks of New York for a year and a half. During this time she helped care for sheep, horses, goats, pigs, and various poultry, as well as five acres of fruit and vegetable production, all in addition to co-teaching Edible Schoolyard classes! She returned to Wolfe’s Neck in 2022 as the Farm Camp Assistant Director and is excited to follow that position as the Farm Camp & School Programs Coordinator.

Growing up as a 4-Her and with a large backyard garden, her career goal is to share her passion for agriculture and the environment with others. When she is not digging in the dirt or hanging with the animals in the barn, she loves to nordic ski, contra dance, play with her dog, Pip, and bake yummy treats.

Andrew Lombardi

Sr. Manager of Education Programs

Andrew joined Wolfe’s Neck Center in 2018 after moving back to New England from Seattle. During his time here, you will have seen him everywhere from Farm to Table events, moving picnic tables, hunting for salamanders with kids, or doing goat chores in the Education Barn. Andrew’s current focus is ensuring our visitors have incredible experiences, whether it’s at a program, farm camp, or convening in the new Smith Center. When he is not on-site, he enjoys spending time outside, running in the woods, or pretending to be a chef.

Breton Lorway

Operations & Administrative Assistant

Originally from Massachusetts and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Breton’s educational background is in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. From her experience as a Communications Manager at Living Observatory in Plymouth, MA, she found  purpose in serving environmental organizations from “behind the scenes.” She has done everything from art curation in museums to NRCS soil testing, and wants to use her wide range of skills to aid non-profits with important missions. Wolfe’s Neck Center is an almost unbelievably wonderful place to bring that purpose. Not to mention, she feels lucky to drive alongside the Atlantic to work every day.

In Breton’s free time you can find her printmaking and painting, spotting sea birds on the beach, or making dinner with her best friends in Portland.

Anna Lynton

OpenTEAM Community Governance & Visualization Tech Coordinator

Joining us as our OpenTEAM Program Coordinator (Technology & Equity), Anna brings an array of knowledge in technology, design, and equity to OpenTEAM and Wolfe’s Neck Center. Her interest in agriculture is driven by its unique potential to improve soil health, mitigate climate change, and address social equity issues. Her previous experience includes conducting a life cycle analysis for a sustainable greenhouse company, creating data visualizations communicating agricultural topics, and collaborating on OpenTEAM’s Equity in Regenerative Agriculture Collabathon, which included the development of an equity resource guide. Anna brings additional experience from her studies in Creative Technology & Design and Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is excited to continue working with OpenTEAM and Wolfe’s Neck Center, contributing to the success of their community-driven approach while moving towards more equitable outcomes.

Jeannie Mattson

Interim Executive Director

I grew up on an island in Maine digging in clam flats, climbing rocks, and exploring the coastal woods around my house so Wolfe’s Neck feels a lot like home to me. I was educated in Maine for the most part, leaving briefly for graduate school and happily returning to live and work in our beautiful state. Most of my professional life has centered around politics and public policy where I focused on issues of conservation, environmental health, and early childcare and education. Connecting people to agriculture and Maine’s coastal environment through festivals, farm-to-table dinners and celebrations at the farm is a wonderful way to highlight this amazing resource. My family and I are fortunate to be neighbors of the farm and live in this incredible area, and I am so happy to be part of the Wolfe’s Neck Center team.

Michael Messina

Programs and Volunteer Coordinator

I had a somewhat indoorsy childhood in the near-Chicago suburbs; my first camping trip was a weeklong backpacking trip as a part of my college orientation. I’ve been trying to get back outside ever since, whether it has been for class, work, or play. I graduated from Calvin College in Michigan, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Philosophy, and have been moving from place to place ever since. I have taught basic mountain ecology to the public as a naturalist in Colorado, patrolled campsites as a Recreation Ranger for the Bureau of Land management in eastern Oregon, introduced middle schoolers to the outdoors as a 4H instructor in Bryant Pond, and taught toddlers how to ski at Sunday River before coming to Wolfe’s Neck in Spring of 2019 as a Community and Visitor Programs educator. Now my itinerant days are behind me as I look forward to hunkering down and taking root as the Education Programs Assistant here at Wolfe’s Neck.

When I’m not at Wolfe’s Neck, you can find me birdwatching, climbing fake rocks at the climbing gym, hiking, skiing, or complaining about Chicago sports teams.

Maddy Nemec

Events & Rentals Manager

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., Maddy is more than just a chicken wing buff and devoted Bill’s fan. In 2018, she attended University of Plattsburgh in upstate New York where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on nutrition and farming. During those years, she spent time playing rugby and working on a farm producing goat milk. Her experiences and mentors throughout college solidified her career goal of promoting an environmentally and equitably sustainable food system.

Maddy joined Wolfe’s Neck Center as Community Engagement Assistant and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the team. She views the position as great way to learn even more about thoughtful agriculture and be a part of positive changes.

While not at work you can find her exploring Maine through flea markets, restaurants, camping, and hiking.  Maddy’s companion in all these endeavors is her partner, Shaunessy.

Vanessa Nesvig

Special Projects Manager

Vanessa joined the Wolfe’s Neck Center team in 2023 with a background in interpretation, wayfinding, and exhibit design. Most recently Vanessa was Interpretation and Exhibits Program Manager at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden (CMBG) where she developed the interpretation program for the Native Butterfly and Moth House, the Learning Apiary, and the Native Bee exhibit. Prior to CMBG, Vanessa worked at the Portland Museum of Art designing all the adult programs and developing the interpretation for the Winslow Homer Studio experience.

Vanessa studied art history at Boston University and she has been an exhibiting artist for over 25 years. Her current work focuses on the interrelationship between species and their ecosystems. In her free time, when not in the studio or garden, she likes to sail, ski, and take walks on our local trails.

Cat Padgett

OpenTEAM Contracts Administrator

Cat brings an agriculture and food security background to this role with OpenTEAM. As a student at Colby College, in Waterville, ME, Cat fell in love with Maine and Maine’s agricultural heritage. After graduating, she worked as a Farm and Markets Coordinator with the Somali Bantu Community Association, farming with community members in the harvest seasons, and contributing to fundraising for and the establishment of permanent farmland for Maine’s Somali Bantu community, in the winters. In this role, she gained experience securing grant funding and navigating contracts for agricultural projects. She recently graduated with a masters in Food Security from the University of Edinburgh. While pursuing this degree Cat gained exposure to the complexities of international food systems, and worked with diverse stakeholders to support food security in vulnerable areas of the world. She is eager to be back in her favorite place, and reconnect with local and national food systems in this new role.

Tyra Parker

Sr. Manager of Visitor Services

Tyra joined our team in February 2022 as Visitor Services Manager, in which she primarily oversees Wolfe’s Neck Oceanfront Campground. She has extensive hands-on experience in directing and leading large-scale operations, including affordable senior housing programs, both federal and state correctional reentry programs, recovery residences, battery intervention programs, permanent and supportive housing for homeless veterans and homeless youth, as well as facility management. She has also directed the largest low-barrier emergency shelters and resource center in both Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Before entering the nonprofit sector, Tyra worked in the defense industry as a team leader and marketing manager supporting Navy defense programs. One of the highlights of her career was working directly under retired RADM Wayne E. Meyer.

Tyra graduated with honors from Marymount University with an International Business Degree. She has lived in Maine for over five years and loves the outdoors including hiking, biking, kayaking, and snowshoeing. She is enthusiastic about animals and lives with her small dog Peanut, who has a very large personality.

Bonnie Peters

Grants & Finance Manager

I was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania and grew up with a fond appreciation of the outdoors, particularly for all things related to the lake and the beach. I lived in Georgia during college and in 2007, moved to Southern California, where I resided until 2020. For 15 years, I worked in various roles within the hospitality/hotel management business, most of them in Finance and Accounting.

In 2020, my husband and I decided to leave Los Angeles. We wanted to adjust the pace of our life, and during COVID realized the need for more space. We chose New England, as it afforded us both of those things, and it would place us closer to family. I am grateful to be able to join Wolfe’s Neck and appreciate its focus on conservation, sustainability and research.

When I am not at the farm, I enjoy travel planning, fishing, cooking, and spending time with my husband and cat; both of whom also enjoy travel adventures with me.

Thomas Prohl

Sr. Manager of Farm Operations & Systems

My passion for farming began after spending summers working at Spring Ledge Farm in my hometown of New London, NH. After completing my B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture and Food systems from the University of New Hampshire, I spent time in Latin America immersing myself in food and culture while volunteering for nonprofits and working at research farms. I returned to the Northeast and found a home here at Wolfe’s Neck Center.

I train future organic farmers at Wolfe’s Neck Center, and am passionate about addressing food security, wellbeing, and education in our community.

When not working, I can be found feeding my rabbit Brenda bananas and hiking, camping, or paddling in Maine’s mountains and waterways.

tprohl@wolfesneck.org

Karna Ray

Northeast Markets Program Manager

Karna Ray joins us as the Northeast Markets Program Manager with a focus on ensuring a better future for marginalized communities through real climate initiatives. He is guided by the principle that positive change must primarily uplift the marginalized communities that bear the heaviest burdens of climate catastrophe.

Karna is joining Wolfe’s Neck Center after working in music, cooperative labor development, union organizing, and community development in Brooklyn. Before the pandemic, Karna was a touring musician waylaid by quarantine shutdowns. To secure music workers’ continued survival through economic and social uncertainty, Karna and other music workers founded the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers. Furthering a focus on labor, Karna joined the Brooklyn Packers, an agricultural labor cooperative based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. During his time at the Brooklyn Packers, he helped develop a community food hub to serve Brooklyn and Queens, and helped transition emergency food and mutual aid distribution networks into the local agricultural ecosystem.

When not at work, you can find Karna playing music, riding his bike around the city, or cooking for friends and family.

Kate Sabino

Assistant Dairy Manager

Since 2015, Kate has worked on nine dairy farms in five states throughout the Northeast. Fascinated with different dairy farming systems, she has sought experience on an array of production models: conventional, organic, certified grass-fed, dairies shipping to a commodity market, and dairies directly marketing their own raw milk products. She has also pursued work in food and agribusiness with her most recent roles being in supply chain and agricultural sciences at General Mills Inc. She tries to bring a ground-level and a survey-level perspective to everything she does.

Kate started working at Wolfe’s Neck as a dairy grazing apprentice in early 2021 while concurrently working remotely for General Mills. After moving to Minnesota for a year, she decided to return to Maine and completed the apprenticeship at Wolfe’s Neck in 2023. Kate feels so fortunate to have worked and learned from both our previous manager, Ben Gotschall, and our current manager, Elizabeth Tarantino.

As the Assistant Dairy Manager, Kate is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue stewarding the land, the herd, and the apprenticeship program at Wolfe’s Neck. Kate also boards her own grass-fed Jersey cows here, which she hopes will support the dairy’s transition to an increasingly pasture-based model. She truly enjoys working in a place that centers learning at the heart of its mission.

Vic Spindler-Fox

OpenTEAM Support & Maintenance Tech Coordinator

Vic is a tenth-generation land steward and plant lover from East Tennessee. They studied Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, where they worked on the campus organic farm and as a storytelling instructor. They spent the next few years working in habitat restoration, horticulture, botany and field trials, and developed a passion for environmental research support in a multitude of contexts and biomes.

More recently, Vic worked with the National Ecological Observatory Network and Our-Sci, two organizations focused on building open, accessible environmental data infrastructure that can operate at a range of functional scales. As the Support and Maintenance Tech Coordinator for OpenTEAM, Vic is excited to dig deeper into issues of community interoperability and integration, building shared tools & vocabularies to solve huge problems together.

When not working, Vic loves foraging, mending, textile projects, making friends, hiking with family, and talking about climate grief.

Elizabeth Tarantino

Dairy & Livestock Manager

Elizabeth grew up just down the road from Wolfe’s Neck Center. She spent part of her summers during high school working at a small animal veterinary at her family’s homestead in Rome, Georgia. Spending time in Rome led her to apply to her grandfather’s alma mater – Berry College. At Berry, she attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and worked on the campus’ dairy enterprise, which was the same Jersey herd that her grandfather worked with seven decades prior. While attending Berry, Elizabeth got to work closely with the college’s various agriculture enterprises; gaining experience in large animal medicine and herd management. Elizabeth is grateful for the companion animal veterinarians that brought her to Berry and grateful for the campus that opened up her world to dairy.

Most recently, Elizabeth spent four years on Martha’s Vineyard at The Grey Barn and Farm, where she started out as an apprentice and eventually became the herd manager. At Grey Barn, Elizabeth learned about the benefits of value-added products in farming operations. In addition to bottling and selling raw milk, Grey Barn’s organic dairy also supplied milk to Grey Barn’s in-house creamery which used it to make a variety of raw and pasteurized cheeses. Elizabeth also managed several other livestock systems at Grey Barn, including a farrow-to-finish pork operation, free range layer chickens, and a meat sheep flock. Elizabeth is overjoyed to be coming home to Wolfe’s Neck Center and to create new roots here in the Freeport area.

Molly Taylor

Western Markets Program Manager

Molly Taylor joins us as our Western Markets Program Manager, empowering farmers across the Western United States with knowledge and market access for their climate-smart products. In this role, she will support our Action for Climate-Smart Agriculture program, where Wolfe’s Neck Center is leading an investment of $35 million to implement climate-smart agricultural practices. Through this, she works to bridge the gap between the agriculture industry and environmentalists to help local farmers turn their land into carbon sinks while turning a profit.

Before coming to Wolfe’s Neck Center, Molly studied Urban Planning at New York University, later moving back to California to manage her family’s ranching operation. Molly loves becoming an ecological monitor through her work, watching landscapes change as they respond to careful management. When she’s not working, Molly loves to help her partner work his cows.

Hannah Tikalsky

Director of Network Development, Environmental Markets

Building successful community health programs in DC, NY, and CA, Hannah spent over a decade mobilizing patients, partners, and funders to remove barriers to care. In 2021, she transitioned into regenerative agriculture because of its refreshing cross-sector approach that is poised to achieve human health improvements but also related interests of hers such as just economies and climate resilience.

Today, Hannah rightly finds herself at Wolfe’s Neck Center as the Director of Network Development for Environmental Markets. She and her team will support the business networks of farms, buyers, governments, NGOs, and others within existing and yet-to-be-developed regenerative markets through deployment of the Tech Ecosystem, strategic funding initiatives, and other tactics.

She currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, young daughter, rescue mutt, and about 25 happy houseplants. When Hannah is not on her laptop, she is an avid athlete, decarbonization wonk, and farmhand-fangirl at farms, orchards and ranches all over the country.

Katie Williams

Farm Camp Manager

Born and raised in coastal Maine, Katie attended Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. During her four years, she ran after-school and educational programming for refugee children and families and earned a degree in International Relations. After graduating, Katie lived in Haiti for a year and a half working with students, teachers, agronomists, and entrepreneurs. While there, she saw firsthand the importance of education, food, nutrition, and farming. Returning stateside with an interest in food justice and teaching, Katie has spent the last few years leading experiential, farm, and garden-based education on a handful of farms and summer camps. When not teaching or farming, she enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and painting.

Sienna Zuco

OpenTEAM Communications & Engagement Manager

Sienna Zuco joins us in the role of OpenTEAM’s Communications & Engagement Manager. In this role, Sienna helps share OpenTEAM’s work and vision to Wolfe’s Neck Center’s audiences and beyond.

Growing up in North Carolina, Sienna felt lucky to be surrounded by local foods, good southern cooking, and such a beautiful environment. She lived just a few hours from both the beach and the mountains; two of the things she has found in Maine thus far, and then some!

During her studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and upon graduation, she has worked in various communications and project management roles. From creating interconnected support systems with refugees to advocating for the local food system, she uses communications and project development as key ways to further sustainability, local food, and community-centered objectives. When she is not working, you can find Sienna quilting, watching a good movie, or in the kitchen finding new recipes and building community with friends and family.

Apprentices & Fellows

Wolfe’s Neck Center is proud to be training the next generation of farmers and food systems leaders. Below are some of the dedicated individuals who are here to learn about regenerative agriculture and advancing solutions to the climate crisis.

Cooper Giblin

Dairy Grazing Apprentice
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Annabelle Williams

Dairy Grazing Apprentice
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Cooper Giblin

Dairy Grazing Apprentice

Cooper recently made the move from South Boston to Freeport, Maine to peruse a career in sustainable farming operations.

He has always wanted to start a business that helps others live their best lives. With the Wolfe’s Neck Center’s Dairy Apprenticeship Program, he hopes to join the legacy of Organic Farmers in Maine!

In his free time, Cooper loves to fish, cook, and hike.

Annabelle Williams

Dairy Grazing Apprentice

Annabelle grew up right next door in Cumberland, Maine, and attended Wolfe’s Neck Center Farm Camp growing up. Her mom had owned an organic gelato company and lugging bags of milk around the Common Ground Fair marked Annabelle’s first exposure to the intricacies of the organic dairy industry. She started her last semester of college at a farm in India where she learned about adaptive agriculture and relationships with and between education, social spaces, and ecosystems.

Annabelle graduated from Colby College in 2023 with a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a Philosophy minor. Two weeks afterward, she joined the dairy team! Deciding where to land after graduating was largely influenced by her fond memories of visiting local farms in her childhood, as well as the generative nature of outdoor and physical work. She feels lucky to be contributing to the Wolfe’s Neck Center community that she benefitted from and hopes to foster that interest in others while she’s here. When she’s not at the barn, she can likely be found backpacking, at a concert, or on a walk with her cat, Wybie.

Wolfe’s Neck Center is fortunate to have a talented
Board of Directors.

They are well-versed in education, agriculture, business, marketing, and personnel. They are some of WNC’s strongest allies and they help keep us working toward our mission.

David Bennell

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Peter Bouman

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Emily Carville

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Morgan Cuthbert

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Tim Griffin

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Megan Hellstedt

Chair
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Alex Intraversato

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Tom Kelly

Treasurer
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Triplett Kise

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Tucker Lannon

Vivi Stevenson Miller

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Clemson Smith Muniz

Brett Pierce

Vice Chair
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Sarah Zimman

Secretary
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David Bennell

David Bennell is the North American lead for Food and Nature at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development where he focuses on sustainable agriculture, natural climate solutions, and global food systems reform. Previously, he was Director of Food and Capital Markets for the investor network Ceres.

He’s worked for Microsoft, REI and LL Bean in leadership development, product development and sourcing positions. His career also includes working as a funder focused on sustainable forestry, the co-creation of the for-profit social enterprise company CottonConnect, co-creation of an impact investing fund focused on food and agriculture investments and leading the apparel industry NGO Textile Exchange focused on standards development for responsible sourcing of materials.

David created the world’s most-watched sustainability series Sustainability Strategies hosted on Linked In Learning and previously held a five-year adjunct faculty position at MIT where he taught sustainable design and development.

Peter Bouman

Physician

How did you first become connected with WNC?  I am a neighbor.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?  I will contribute to WNC’s mission in any way I can.

What is your favorite thing about WNC?  The trails.  They are full of lady slippers in the spring!

Emily Carville

How did you first become connected with WNC?

I first became a neighbor to Wolfe’s Neck Center in 2004, after moving to Maine, while renting down on Lower Flying Point. In 2011, my husband and I returned to the neighborhood and purchased a home together on the same peninsula, intent on raising our family down the road from the farm. Our daughter and son have grown up on the trails, in the barns and fields, and at the farm café and store, and have been to farm camp plus countless farm and member events over the years.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?

I am honored to give back to WNC, building upon our longtime family membership. As a marketing professional, I hope to support the already excellent marketing communications efforts of the Center, helping to ensure the local community and broader audience are aware of and invested in all happening here. I also hope to partner with the team to drive forward the strategic vision of WNC, building on my passion for the outdoors, land conservation, sustainable agriculture, and youth education to help shape the future of WNC.

What is your favorite thing about WNC?

My memories of time spent with my children and my husband at WNC—on the Farm Loop Trail, hiking and building fairy houses and forts, at the picnic tables at the farm café, indulging in ice cream or wood-fired pizza, on the dirt roads, biking the two miles from our home to visit our barnyard friends or friends and family camping on the bay, in the fields, picking pumpkins, raspberries, and blueberries. The sense of peacefulness and simple human delights the farm elicits bring us back, again and again.

Morgan Cuthbert

Name: Morgan C Cuthbert

Occupation/Title:  Educator, Yarmouth School System

How did you first become connected with WNC?

I grew up in Brunswick and remember my family coming to the farm as a child to see the animals. I now have my own family and have settled in Freeport with my two boys and wife, Christina. We very much enjoy all the farm offers since the transformation that has taken place over the last 30 years. The camps, the dinners, and all the workings of a saltwater farm allow for a connection to nature and a direct link to understanding where our food comes from.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?

I always had a love for science and the workings of the world around us. As a science educator of over 15 years I encourage students to use the inquiry process and become aware citizens. I cannot think of a better location then WNC to be a base for these methods. Place-based learning and authentic science bring community and education together where students end by understanding and not memorizing content. My hope is that I can help to develop more experiences like this at WNC. Further, I hope to share the amazing science that is going on at WNC with other educational professionals and institutions.  

What is your favorite thing about WNC?

My favorite thing about Wolfe’s Neck Center is the part it provides within our community. WNC is an establishment that links our busy lives with nature and allows a center for people to come together to experience growth and life. Whether it is driving out to see the baby lambs, dropping my kids off at a Summer Camp or taking a Sunday evening to see friends and celebrate the local food WNC provides at a Farm Dinner driving down the road to WNC I decompress and I think my blood pressure drops.  

Tim Griffin

Associate Professor and Program Director – Agriculture Food and Environment

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston MA

How did you first become connected with WNC? My first university faculty position, starting in 1992 (until 2000) was at the University of Maine.  My expertise includes grazing management, and I visited WNC during my first week of work.  I have been involved, off and on, since that time.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?  My recent and current work focuses on the food system, from production to nutrition and health.  I want to help WNC become a central and important research center that links all of these areas.

What is your favorite thing about WNC?  Two things: just being there.  And that our kids grew up coming to the farm and still talk about it (and visit).

Megan Hellstedt

Chair

How did you first become connected with WNC?

After knowing about the farm from living in the area in the early 2000’s, I was reacquainted with WNC’s work in 2019.  Dave Herring presented the Center’s programs and how sustainable agriculture could be a tool to fight climate change to a group from my work.  I was instantly sold on the mission, and then became gradually more involved as my kids experienced farm camp and my family began to explore more of the great programming that the Center offers.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?

I’m very committed to finding solutions that address climate change and healthier eating at the same time.  With my background in sustainability of food retail, training in environmental science, and time spent working on land conservation, I’m excited to contribute to the long-term strategic planning for WNC. They are fast becoming established as a research center and testing ground for a healthier food future, and I can’t wait to see that extend in its scope and impact.

What is your favorite thing about WNC?

The diversity of the Center is so rich, from teaching young farmers and kids about raising and eating good food, to actually raising a diverse set of crops and experimenting with how to do it better, to driving creation of innovative tools so farmers can play a role in reversing climate change… That is my favorite thing: the energizing ecosystem WNC has built that connects people, good food, and a better future for the planet.

Alex Intraversato

Vice President of Merchandising, L.L.Bean

How did you first become connected with WNC?

I first experienced Wolfe’s Neck Center when my family and I moved to Freeport in 2008.  We’ve always felt incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful spot and amazing organization right here in our home town. Our kids attended Farm Camp in the summer and we have enjoyed many festivals, Harvest Dances, and other events at the center over the years.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?

I am a retail executive with experience in strategy-building and working across functions within an organization to implement key initiatives. I hope to use these skills to help Wolfe’s Neck Center communicate and implement their vision and mission and continue to scale their impact.

What is your favorite thing about WNC?

I love the role that Wolfe’s Neck Center plays in the local community – I’m excited to take part in more events like the Farm to Table series and get to know the talented staff. I am so impressed with the growing impact that Wolfe’s Neck Center is having regionally and even nationally to advance regenerative agriculture practices and help mitigate the effects of climate change.

I am excited and honored to join the Board of Directors!

Tom Kelly

Treasurer

Vice President, Finance and Real Estate – Hannaford Supermarkets

How did you first become connected with WNC?
After moving to the area in 2017, my family’s first experience with the Center was hiking the beautiful trails.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?
I hope my experience, skills and passion will be of assistance to the Center in furthering their mission of transforming our relationship with farming and food for a healthier planet.

What is your favorite thing about WNC?
I’m interested in learning more about sustainability and food and appreciate the Center’s educational focus on creating a healthier food system. I also love the trails, the camping/glamping, and the various events held by Center.

Triplett Kise

Woodworker

How did you first become connected with WNC? I’ve been connected my whole life beginning with the summers I spent here as a child when it was still my grandparent’s farm and summer residence.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board? I moved to Maine in 2010 largely because I wanted to be here in order to help the farm in as many ways as possible. I have always been an advocate for environmentally conscious agricultural practices and my youth, enthusiasm, knowledge of the property and its history, and connection to the neighborhood are all beneficial personal qualities for the organization.

What is your favorite thing about WNC? My favorite thing about Wolfe’s Neck Center is the beauty of its coastal farm landscape that has remained relatively unchanged for over two hundred years and continues to be actively farmed.

Vivi Stevenson Miller

Large Animal Rescue (welfare & emergency) & Grant Seeker/Proposal Writer for NGOs- Self employed. Also volunteer with Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue and The American Red Cross. 

How did you first become connected with WNC? I’ve been coming to the Farm since I was a baby.  I’ve spent every summer of my life on the Farm, going with my Grandfather, as a child, to check the cattle or the hay; learning about forage & soil quality, as a teen,  from Charlie DeGrandpre; exploring the woods and learning about native plants & medicinals from my Grandmother.   

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?  Education, conservation, history and alternative farming practices are all in my DNA, and are all areas I have been very involved in while living on our farm in Tennessee as well as during my summers on Wolfe’s Neck.  As my husband and I transition from our lives in Tennessee to Maine, I plan to be even more active in the continued success of my Grandparent’s experiment with organics and other alternative methods on their historic  saltwater farm.


What is your favorite thing about WNC?  That it not only continues to be relevant, but is now becoming a leader in education and research into alternative agricultural methods and how those methods better our environment- locally, regionally, nationally and globally.  AND… that it does all this while still honoring the legacy of Wolfe’s Neck Farm as it was and as it grew to become Wolfe’s Neck Center. 

Brett Pierce

Vice Chair

Executive Director, Meridian Stories

How did you first become connected with WNC? I moved into the neighborhood and my kids both went to camp there. My son eventually became a junior and then a full counselor, in addition to other positions that broadly shaped his interests, character and values.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board? My passion and expertise lie in progressive educational development. My background is in media program development around educational goals, as well as in classroom teaching. At WNC, there are many utterly unique opportunities for both formal and informal learning and I hope to be a part of the shaping of those opportunities, to make WNC an exciting and extraordinary educational environment.

What is your favorite thing about WNC? The beauty. The trails. The peace of the cows. The stray cat. The estuary. The vista. And again, the trails.

Sarah Zimman

Secretary

How did you first become connected with WNC? 

I first became acquainted with Wolfe’s Neck Center (WNC) in 2009. Wolfe’s Neck Center was a hidden gem just around the corner from our family home. Since then, WNC has been a place where I could shake off the rush of our busy lives, fall into line with nature’s rhythms, and have a space for my family to connect with the greater natural world. I have watched WNC evolve its programming over the years to increasingly provide accessibility to all ages, which gets at its core mission –  to provide experiential education about agriculture and sustainability.

How do you hope to best contribute to WNC’s development through your tenure on the Board?  

I hope to contribute to continued community outreach and education at WNC. I appreciate WNC’s willingness to pivot and change when needed to meet the demands of the community and at the same time consistently providing an inclusive space where all can engage in farm life, appreciate nature in various seasons, and feel connected to a common good.

What is your favorite thing about WNC?  

While I’m typically a warm weather person, I love the trails and freedom to explore the Farm in all seasons, and the peacefulness of the trails on a wintry day can be as magical as a gorgeous summer one.

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