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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 Advcate; first with Eileeen Hochberg for two years, and for three years with current executive director, Jeff Cordulack. In that short time, he witnessed the State pass teh first GMO labeling law, the Pollinator Bill that restricts neonic 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
.

 

CT NOFA Staff

jeremyJeff Cordulack, Executive Director:
Jeff Cordulack is a Connecticut native interested in wildlife conservation, watershed protection, organic farming, and sustainable living. As Executive Diretor of CT NOFA, Jeff oversee the Connecticut Chapter is on the NOFA Interstate Council and on the Working Lands Alliance, a statewide multipartner initiative to protect Connecticut farmlands. He has a BS Degree in Natural Resources Management and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University. Prior to joining CT NOFA in July 2015, Jeff worked with the National Audubon Society in Greenwich, CT for ten years; with SoundWaters, Inc. in Stamford for eight years; and has collaborated with many conservation organizations over the last two decades. In 2013, Jeff was presented the Paul Keough Award by the Northeast Water Environment Association in recognition of his communications leadership to increase public awareness, understanding, and personal actions to protect water quality and the environment.  (Joined staff in July 2015)

jeremyJeremy Pelletier,
Director of Operations & NOFA O.L.C. Accreditation Manager:
Jeremy is originally from Hawai'i but came east for school. He has a BA in Physical Geography from the University of Hawai'i and an MS in Global Sustainability from Central Connecticut State University. He has worked in the non-profit sector in both paid and volunteer capacities for over 10 years at environmental and educational organizations. Jeremy believes that local foods, drinks, and goods can save us all! (Joined staff in July 2014)

 

jeremyPatrick Corelli,
Membership & Outreach Manager

In a former life, Patrick was a chef for The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges and a pastry shop owner. He has a passion for fresh foods and for helping people succeed. Contact Partrick for all your membership matters, for guides and information to give to the public, to expand your farm or business brand awareness, or to volunteer with CT NOFA. (Joined staff in June 2017)

 

CT NOFA Board of Directors

The CT NOFA Board of Directors meets monthly to conduct business of the organization. CT NOFA members are always welcome to attend the meetings. If you are interested in joining the board, please contact the CT NOFA Executive Director for contact information for the Board's Governance Committee.

steve munnoSteve Munno, President - (Join Board in 2012) Farmer Steve Munno is originally from Long Island, and is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.  After graduation in 2001, Steve’s work in field science and wilderness skills education took him to California, where he lived for five years.  During this time, Steve began to hone his skills in agriculture.   Always a food lover, and a long time supporter of local farms, Steve found his work in the wilderness continually pointed to the importance of healthy food and its connection to healthy communities, and healthy land.  Inspired to be more involved with food and farming, he volunteered with a local farmer for two years, before enrolling in the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture.  Upon completion of this Apprenticeship, Steve stayed on for second year at UC Santa Cruz, serving as a teacher and assistant manager in a 2+ acre market garden growing a tremendous variety of vegetables, flowers, fruit and perennials.  He then returned to the east coast to work for The Food Project in Lincoln, MA.  Steve managed the greenhouse on this 30-acre farm, and helped provide for a 400-member CSA, supply food to farm stands in Boston, donate produce to hunger relief organizations and offer educational opportunities to youth and community of the greater Boston area.   At the end of 2009, Steve came to Massaro Farm to help revive the land and bring the fields in to production.

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 ShaferHoward 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 Operating Officer of Robinson & Cole LLP where he has responsibility for the business planning and operations of a 450 employee law firm with offices in six states. 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.

 

patrick horanDana 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 masaniFarah 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).

 

farah masaniMatt 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.


john carlsonJohn Carlson (Joined Board in 2015; Board President June 2017- June 2018) - John is a veteran of 25 years in marketing and consulting, spent—as he says—"making the world safe for mac & cheese."  Having seen the light, he unleashed his pent up entrepreneurial energies on the organic world by founding Homefront Farmers.  The company operates throughout southwestern CT and Westchester County, NY, and is dedicated to helping clients produce their own food organically, whether that be by building or maintaining vegetable gardens, planting berries, cultivating fruit trees, beekeeping or maple sugaring.  John earned a BA in English and History from Williams College, and an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.

 

meganShannon 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.

 

Previous Board Presidents & Other Board Members
A short list of folks since 2015

john turenneJohn Turenne, President & Board Member (Joined 2010. Board President for serveral years preceeding June 2017) Founder and President of Sustainable Food Systems, was one of the lead innovators in sustainable food practices during the creation of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Realizing the impact of food service decision-making on the world around us, John transformed a conservative university food service model, of which he has 25 years experience, to create a sustainable dining program through careful planning, teaching and development. John continues as a leading innovator and consultant for bridging the gap between conventional and sustainable dining programs working with the Culinary Institute of America, Harvard Medical School, The New Hampshire Department of Education, Kaiser Permanente as well as several public hospital and school systems.

 

meganMegan Robertson - (CT NOFA Board 2015-2017) Megan settled in Connecticut in May 2015, when she assumed the position of Sales & Marketing Manager for Simpaug Farms in Ridgefield. Her native home is South Dakota, where her family arrived as early homesteaders, and has continued the rural farming tradition through several generations. In 2015, Megan was awarded a Master of Food Culture and Communication: Human Ecology and Sustainability after completing a year of travel and studies with Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Sciences in Polenzo, Italy. From 2013-2014, she served as US Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. During this time she also completed a Permaculture Design Certification and Teacher Training, and spent some months working independently as a Beekeeping Consultant throughout Kenya and Tanzania. Megan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of South Dakota, and her previous career was as an Upper Great Plains Archaeologist and GIS Specialist.

 

lori cochranLori Cochran-Dougall (CT NOFA Board 2016-2017) - Executive Director, Westport Farmers Market (WFM). Lori is a marketing professional with over 15 years of sales and marketing experience. As the Executive Director with WFM, she has established some of the strictest market standards in Connecticut to maintaining local, organic and humane practices with her farmers and vendors - a standard that the market patrons have grown to rely on. Additionally, Lori has successfully run and advised on multiple markets in the area and she created the winter market at Gilbertie's Herb Gardens. This endeavor has created a more sustainable operating environment for her farmers and vendors - expanding the cyclicality and the growing season to include more root vegetables. To further the commerce between vendors and buyers Lori helped establish an online network to help link farm-to-table restaurants with local farmers. This restaurant supported agriculture (RSA) model helps link buyers and sellers in an easy-to-use online marketplace helping chefs plan menus and helping farmers sell more produce.

photoMaraiah Popeleski - (CT NOFA Board since 2015) A graduate of Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Nutrition program, Maraiah is a Chef and Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist. During her undergraduate program she studied abroad in Paris, France where she learned the techniques of classical and regional French cuisine. Maraiah has worked in the field of nutrition as a public health dietitian, specializing and childhood obesity and women’s health.  Throughout her career she taught classes and workshops on food and healthy eating to families and foodservice professionals.  Maraiah resides in Mansfield Center, CT with her daughter and husband.  Maraiah grew up in Coventry, CT with a deep appreciation for the environment and locally grown food.  Some of her fondest childhood memories involve eating produce fresh from the garden. In her spare time she enjoys reading cookbooks, tending to her herb garden, cooking with her daughter and sharing meals with loved ones.

Mary Jawlick, Secretary(CT NOFA Board since 2016) - A native of Ridgefield, CT, Mary has spent most of her life in the world of organic agriculture.  She holds bachelors degrees in Biology and Environmental Science from University of Binghamton, and a Masters degree in Ecology from San Diego State University.  Following her studies Mary worked promoting sustainable forestry and agricultural practices in Costa Rica for six years.  Upon her return to Ridgefield she spent five years working at The Hickories, an organic farm in Ridgefield, where she was Farm Manager.  Mary is a licensed arborist and currently works as Head of Operations at Homefront Farmers.


ujjval patelUjjval Patel (CT NOFA Board 2014-2016) - Ujjval is currently an MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management. Prior to graduate school, Ujjval worked at Marsh and State Farm. He was responsible for strategic planning and business analysis, focusing on improving overall performance for both firms. Ujjval has a BS in Management Science from the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. In his spare time, Ujjval loves to work with a variety of nonprofits on strategic issues and is an avid consumer of organic goods. 

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

phone: (203) 308-2584

ctnofa@ctnofa.org