CT NOFA Founder & Organic Advocate:
Bill Duesing

bill duesing William Norton Duesing (1942~2018)
For 40 years, Bill had been an organic farmer, author, and environmental activist working to promote organic agriculture and greater local food sufficiency in Connecticut and the Northeast. He created the Connecticut chapter, set up the first organic certification program, shaped the NOFA Standards for Orgnanic Land Care, and so much more. In 2015, Bill was awarded the first Bill Duesing NOFA Lifetime Achievement Award at the NOFA Summer Conference in recognition of his service with CT NOFA and the NOFA Interstate Council from the very early days.

"My sole real regret is that I leave this Earth having only partially completed the transition to a solar-powered society grounded in organic agriculture.” Bill Duesing, May 10, 2018

After retiring, Bill continued working as the CT NOFA Organic Advocate. In that short time, he witnessed the State pass the first GMO labeling law, the Pollinator Bill that restricts neonicotinoid pesticides, and a full ban on Automatic Pesticide Mister Systems in 2018.

To learn more about Bill's amazing life and for links to his written & spoken works, please follow the "Friends of Bill Duesing" website or via the top left of the CT NOFA homepage: www.ctnofa.org.



jeremyJeremy Pelletier
Director of Operations and the Organic Land Care Program:
Jeremy is originally from Hawai'i but moved to Connecticut for graduate school. He has a BA in Physical Geography from the University of Hawai'i and went to graduate school at Central Connecticut State University where he researched climate change and human mobility. He has worked in the non-profit sector in both paid and volunteer capacities for over 12 years at environmental and educational organizations in both Connecticut and Hawai'i.

jeremyAshley Kenney, Winter Conference Coordinator
Ashley Kenney comes to CT NOFA with nearly a decade of experience in produce management, food justice education, and sustainability. As the Garden Manager and Sustainability Coordinator at Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut, she led the Living Sustainably and Growing Community programs and helped put together the Regional Convening for Sustainable Development in 2018. Prior to Grace Farms, she managed the Jane Goodall Permaculture Garden at Western Connecticut State University and led the four-part female farmer lecture series "Farm for Yourself."


CT NOFA Board of Directors

steve munnoSteve Munno, President - (Join Board in 2012) - Steve Munno is the Farm Manager at Massaro Community Farm in Woodbridge, a certified organic, non-profit, which operates a CSA, sells to local markets, offers on-farm educational programs and events, and donates a portion of its harvest to local hunger relief organizations. Prior to coming to Massaro, Steve farmed in both Massachusetts and California.  Steve was a co-founding member of the New CT Farmer Alliance and joined the CT NOFA board in 2012.

john pittariJohn Pittari, Jr., Co-Vice President - John Pittari, Jr. founder and owner of New Morning Store, got bit by the natural foods bug when he was in college. Today, many years later, John is still crazy about natural foods. Only now, he shares his passion with about sixty other people, working together from his store in Woodbury, Connecticut. New Morning Store is home to the largest organic produce selection in the area with an extensive supplement and homeopathic department that people travel to from miles around. New Morning's unique fresh prepared foods counter, the Provender, is a gourmet source for ready-to-eat natural and organic foods.


patrick horan Patrick Horan, Co-Vice President- Patrick has been at Waldingfield Farm full time since 2006. Prior to that (he was part-time at Waldingfield from 1996-2006) he worked in finance at R.G. Niederhoffer Capital Management, a New York City hedge fund, while also pursuing acting. He is a graduate of Union College (B.A. English) and The Stella Adler Conservatory (MFA program). Patrick is responsible for marketing, sales, farmers markets, and operations, as well as day to day farming duties. He and wife and son, Suzie and Griffin, divide their time between Brooklyn, NY, and the farm in Washington, CT.


Howard Shafer, Treasurer (Join Board in 2013) - Howard's interest in NOFA's mission was cultivated while he was the owner and  sole  proprietor of The Whole Hog, a charcuterie business focused on  using locally  raised heritage breed pigs. Currently he is the Chief Financial Officer of a large law firm while also working to resurrect The Whole Hog culinary business in the form of building a commercial kitchen on a farm in Somers CT. Howard has a BS in Statistics from the University of Michigan; an MBA with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Boston University; and a Grand Diplôme from the French Culinary Institute.


Dana Jackson, Secretary (Joined Board in January 2017) - Dana Jackson is editor and publisher of Edible Nutmeg, a regional magazine focusing exclusively on western Connecticut’s food community, including farmers, chefs, and locally produced food of all kinds. He is a graduate of UCLA (B.A. English) and San Diego State University (M.A. English). A former Connecticut farmer, himself, Dana believes that community begins at the food level, and that local food production is the key to building stronger communities in our state. Although he enthusiastically supports all of our state’s food growers and producers, he admits to having a particular affection for our breweries.


Farah Masani - Farah is a homesteader, farmer and food forager in Wilton, CT. Originally from India, she moved to Texas and earned degrees in economics, social work and therapy, and integrated the concept of "farming therapy" into her jobs at schools in Vermont and New Hampshire, rolling out farm-based curriculums and small workable gardens. Eventually, Farah moved to Connecticut with the goal of becoming a full-time farmer. She runs Farah's Farm, a three-acre homestead in Wilton, teeming with heirloom ducks, chickens and bees, and also oversees a few local satellite farms. For her day job, Farah holds down an enviable post as the chief food purchaser for Barteca (owner of Bar Taco and Barcelona restaurants).


Matt Oricchio (Joined Board in January 2017): Matt Oricchio currently runs Speckled Rooster Farm in Westport, CT. He raises chickens, ducks and rabbits, along with a variety of produce, with a focus on leafy greens. Primarily concentrated on a two acre area, he uses deep organic methods to maintain a sustainable system. Matt graduated from the University of Connecticut, Storrs in 2010 with a B.S. in Horticulture, and additional focuses in Animal Science and Ecology. He ran the student garden there for three years, and in his senior year began UConn's Spring Valley Farm, a sustainable living community for students, which is still growing today. In the Spring of 2011 Matt began Speckled Rooster Farm at his current location in Westport. He currently produces mixed vegetables and eggs.


Shannon Raider-Ginsburg (Joined Board in January 2017) - Hailing from Los Angeles, her 16 years working in agriculture began on the West Coast bringing her to Connecticut first in 2004. Shannon has extensive experience aligning urban agriculture, food justice and environmental education . After graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in Geography and Natural Resource Management, she found her way from working in outdoor education to farming and agricultural education. As a farmer, she has worked all manner of farms from 20-acre certified organic CSA, to 450 acre Christmas tree farms, to community gardens and urban agriculture. Shannon has developed farmers markets in Hartford, mobile markets in New Haven and hustled her own farm products everywhere she could. She is a certified Master Composter and a founding member of the New Connecticut Farmers Alliance. In 2011 she left her own farm business, Four Fields Farm, to be the Farm Director at Common Ground High School. She recently left that position after 6 seasons and is exploring a new relationship to agriculture not as a producer, but as an advocate and strategist.

A resident of Ridgefield, Connecticut who is a committed environmentalist and entrepreneur, John Carlson is the owner and manager of Homefront Farmers. After a successful 25-year career in marketing and consulting, he unleashed his passion for organic farming on the world of local organic gardening. John is an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP), certified by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) and holds a BA in English and History from Williams College as well as an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. For John, his new mission is part artist, part farmer. Homefront Farmers’ “Design – Build – Maintain” commitment has produced a crop of satisfied customers who are benefiting from John’s yard-to-table concept.


Diane Litwin (Joined Board in November 2018) - Diane Litwin grew up in New Haven county and has enjoyed spending her adult life back on the land that raised her. After several years living in the bucolic Hudson Valley while gaining a degree in elementary education from SUNY New Paltz, she has spent the past seven years working at the intersection of agriculture and education with her at work at Land's Sake Farm, Teva Learning Center, Jewish Farm School, Massaro Community Farm and the New Haven Ecology Project. She most recently completed a certificate program in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Vermont and is looking forward to applying what she's learned as the farm manager at Common Ground as well as reconnecting with the Connecticut agricultural community.

Rachel Gilroy (Joined Board in November 2018) - Rachel Gilroy’s range of work includes construction management, sustainable and urban design, land planning, park and recreation planning, art and design, landscape architecture and teaching positions from Pre-K through University level. The complexity of the work environment that she has experienced strengthens her capacity to work within a team as well as cross-team. The common theme throughout her experiences has been engaging systemic transformation through the approach of creating opportunities to engage individuals/communities through creative and vibrant sustainable community development, site design and programming.  As a lifelong learner, Gilroy’s passion lies in exploring through experiential learning, research and design the concept of sustainability through a social lens, using mixed-methods and transdisciplinarity research models. She values supporting all people in their own learning and skill development in sustainable practices just as she values bio-diversity, she recognizes and respect the diverse backgrounds, interests, aesthetic tastes, and situations that people represent, and will work diligently to shape services to their needs, rather than adopting a “one size fits all” approach.

Domingo Medina (Joined Board in November 2018) - From Caracas, Venezuela, Domingo A. Medina is an educator and a human geographer with a MSc and PhD in natural resource management and community development from Michigan State University. As a Research Associate for the Venezuelan Association for the Conservation of Natural Areas – (2002-2014), Domingo worked for 12 years in rainforest environments on issues of resource conservation planning, land rights, land use change and ecohealth needs of indigenous peoples and peasant in protected areas. In New Haven, Domingo has been involved in farming since 2005 working in a CSA and a community garden, producing organic food and learning about the links between healthy soils and plants, nutritious food and human health. He has been involved in many projects with the New Haven Bioregional Group that promotes a sense of place, environmental awareness and community resiliency.   Domingo is a certified UCONN Master Composter and a Certified Compost Operation Manager from the USCC, and a  local entrepreneur, founder and Director of Operations of Peels and Wheels Composting LLC, a neighborhood pedal powered food scrap pickup and composting service that promotes “community composting” in New Haven to amend urban soils for growing food and mitigate environmental pollution from waste incineration while generating local green jobs. Domingo currently helps people in his community to find waste management and soil amending solutions through training, education, waste audits, program design, grant writing, minimum waste event planning, soil sample analysis and composting.

Isabelle Menozzi (Joined Board in November 2018) - Isabelle was raised in Isabelle was raised in Montreal, has lived in Paris and Corsica, and settled in the USA in 1999. Her life long passion for food began young, growing up along side of her Corsican father, a Restaurateur and talented Chef. Following a diverse and rich hospitality and restaurant career, she became a mom in 2002.  Health and nutrition became a new passion.  After joining the local PTA group and trying to improve the school lunches and create t school gardens for the Fairfield school system, she went back to school and graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a Health Coach.  Since becoming aware about the issues surrounding food, nutrition and health, she is actively trying to shift and improve the current systems, through outreach, community education events and legislative work.  Some of her goals are to co create healthy and toxic-free communities by eliminating exposure to toxins.

Yasemin Ugurlu (Joined Board in November 2018) - Yasemin has been a fan of real food and agriculture since her childhood in Austria where she grew up across the street from a farm.  She has travelled and lived in many different countries, always paying attention to the eating and growing habits of the various cultures.
Since her return to the US in 2012, Yasemin has put her background in hospitality and event planning to good use by creating opportunities to support local small businesses and farmers through farmers markets, collaborations, and fundraisers. Yasemin is always seeking out new opportunities to share her administrative talents and organizational skills to support local, organic farms, which are a crucial part of healthy, natural lifestyles and protecting and preserving the earth.


Jiff Martin (Joined Board in January 2019) - In her role as Associate Extention Educator in Sustainable Food Systems for the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, Jiff Martin is an active program manager of several outreach initiatives. Jiff currently leads a team of professionals that assist new farmers in sustainable production and farmland management through the Solid Ground Program. She collaborates with CT Dept. of Education on expanding farm to school activities through the Put Local On Your Tray Program. She is credited with launching two AmeriCorps service learning programs (FoodCorps CT & Connecticut Food Justice VISTA Project). She is proud to represent CT on the Network Team of Food Solutions New England (FSNE). In 2015, Jiff received the White House Champions for Change Award in Sustainable Agriculture. Jiff is eager to connect emerging leaders in food and farming systems, and looks for efficient solutions to challenges faced by food growers and food entrepreneurs. Guided by FSNE's values of equity, empowerment, and sustainability, Jiff is also driven to find new ways to ensure local food is a convenient and affordable option fo all consumers. Prior to joining UConn Extension, she was the State Director for American Farmland Trust and the Food Policy Director at Hartford Food System.






The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA)
126 Derby Avenue, Derby, CT 06418

phone: (203) 308-2584