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Speakers

SPEAKERS AT THE 41ST CT NOFA WINTER CONFERENCE

Annise Dobson

Dr. Annise Dobson is a postdoctoral associate in the Yale School of the Environment. She studies the impacts of invasive species and climate change on food webs and soil. She is originally from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada, and received her masters and PhD from Cornell University.

Dr. Ana Legrand

Dr. Ana Legrand is an entomologist in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Connecticut. Her research and extension interests include biological control and plant-insect interactions. Currently, she is working on alternative management options for brassica insect pests and potato leafhopper monitoring tools.

Steve Munno

Steve Munno is the Farm Manager at Massaro Community Farm in Woodbridge, Connecticut, a non-profit, certified organic farm, which operates a CSA, sells to local markets, offers on-farm educational programs and events, and donates at least 10% of its annual harvest to hunger relief organizations. Steve was a co-founding member of the New CT Farmer Alliance and currently serves as Co-President for the CT NOFA Board.

Dr. Kimberly Stoner

Dr. Kimberly Stoner is a retired scientist from the CT Agricultural Experiment Station and an activist in climate and environmental justice organizations. She was also on the Board of Directors of CT NOFA and a founder of the NOFA Organic Land Care Program.

Melody Wright

Melody is the founder of Pleasant Valley Botanicals, a “farmlet” focused on growing vibrant medicinal and culinary herbs for the local community. Melody is committed to growing and teaching about plants because of her belief in medicinal herbs as integral parts of affordable and holistic health care and agricultural systems.

Dani Baker

Dani Baker is a self-taught organic farmer who began planning and planting her “Enchanted Edible Forest” in 2013. With ten year’s experience growing perennial food plants, her book, The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape, was published by Chelsea Green in May, 2022.

Monique Bosch

Monique has built over 40 edible school/community gardens/farms around the Northeast, including a 2-acre urban farm in Bridgeport CT. Along with her work on Soil Health with CT NOFA, she is at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, setting up the ‘Center for Food & Resilience’, with faculty and students.

Dr. Yonghao Li

Dr. Yonghao Li, a plant pathologist, works in Plant Disease Information Office at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, CT. He has more than 30 years of experience in gardening, disease diagnosis, and pest management.

Sherlene Rodriguez

Sherlene Rodriguez is a Farm to School (FTS) advocate, and aspiring homesteader. She brings 15+ years of program and project management experience in for and non-profit sectors. She is the FTS Specialist at UConn Extension and the Farm Share Program and Events Coordinator at CT NOFA.

Irene Barber

Irene Brady Barber, horticulturist, landscape designer, and Registered Horticultural Therapist, manages the Adult Education Program for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. Irene has also been running an ecological design and consulting business, Greenscapes Design LLC, since 2007.  Irene loves learning from people and nature, and immersing herself in endless horticulture and ecological research.

Mike Nadeau

Mike Nadeau began practicing organic land care at age 12, and continues to now at 68. He is the co-owner of one of the first organic landscaping companies, started in 1982. He is also a founding member of the NOFA Organic Land Care Program, co-author of the Organic Land Care (OLC) standards, and has been an instructor of the OLC course since its inception.   

Jon Magee & Elizabeth Henderson

Elizabeth Henderson and Jon Magee are the technical assistance team at the Agricultural Justice Project. Elizabeth is a member of the NOFA Interstate Council and farmed at Peacework Farm (NY), one of the first farms in the country to offer a CSA progam. Jon is a farmer and community organizer in Massachusetts.

Cara Joseph

Cara Joseph is a Registered Nurse, Exercise Physiologist, Advanced Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner, and is certified in Whole Food Nutrition through the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health. She believes in the wisdom of Mother Nature and the innate power of our bodies to heal themselves.

Scott Thompson

Mr. Thompson is practicing professional civil engineer and a certified sustainability professional. He is a CT NOFA member and resides in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he previously served as the chair of the Town’s Sustainability Task Force.

Judy Apicella

Judy Apicella owns and operates Bella Alpacas Sanctuary and Home Harvested Herbals. She is a practicing Herbalist/Researcher and Certified Nutritionist. She was awarded a grant for her work on an herbal remedy she made for Lyme disease. She homesteads at Bella Alpacas Sanctuary.

Dave Scandurra

Dave Scandurra formed Edible Landscapes of Cape Cod over 10 years ago with the simple mission of helping people grow food. Dave has developed an obsession with edible perennial plants. He has grown and worked with over 300 hardy edible perennial plant species and loves sharing what he’s learned. 

Nancy Barrett

Nancy owns Scantic Valley Farm with her family out in Somers, Connecticut. Passed down from her family, they continue the using the land to specializes in all-natural grass-fed beef with heritage Belted Galloway cattle, heritage Tamworth hogs, and fresh local eggs.

Nancy works with the Solid Ground program in helping to organize some of the trainings that are run for farmers throughout the region and coordinating informational videos that inspire at home learning for the farming community.

Richard Meyers

Richard was born on an island where everyone is dependent on nature, so he was able to understand the importance of having one’s own crops, whether it is to feed the family, to donate, or sell. Seeking an education that would match his love for plants led him towards horticulture.

Walker Cammack

Walker Cammack is a coordinator for the Northeast Forest Farmers Coalition and the Director of the Living Lab at the Smokey House Center in Danby, Vermont. He is a recent graduate of the Yale School of the Environment, where he studied forestry, forest ecology, and agroforestry systems.

Migrant Justice

Migrant Justice is a grassroots community organization founded by and led by the immigrant farmworker community working on dairy farms in Vermont. Our mission is to build the voice, capacity, and power of the farmworker community and engage community partners to organize for economic justice and human rights.

Dr. Laney Siegner

Laney recently completed her Ph.D. at the U.C. Berkeley Energy and Resources Group. She researches sustainable, agroecological food systems and climate change education, and completed several summers of sustainable agriculture work while researching for her dissertation. She has published book chapters on teaching climate change in U.S. K-12 classrooms and on conducting participatory agroecology research.

Alex, Maria, and Tim

Alex (she/her) is a Junior Beekeeping Instructor with HBP and a photographer who loves to photograph honeybees.

Maria (she/her) is a Beekeeping Apprentice with HBP who enjoys how calming honeybees are.

Tim (he/him) is the Lead Beekeeping Instructor for HBP and loves when his bees recognize him.

Hector Gerardo

Hector Gerardo is co-founder of SEAmarron Farmstead and E&G Community Builders. He built these two businesses with one thing in mind: building people power in BIPOC communities. Hector has dedicated his life to organizing youth, teaching them about power, the power they have individually and as a collective – and the power and potential of their communities.

Jay Archer

Jay Archer is an advocate for ecological landscaping, native plants, and organic horticulture. He founded Green Jay Landscape Design, a boutique ecological landscape design, build, and restoration firm. Jay’s commitment to biodiversity and natural resource conservation inspires his work as a landscape ecologist and environmental educator.

Sean Breckin

Sean is a NOFA AOLCP currently working on organic turf care with PJC Organic. Sean earned his Plant Science degree from the University of Delaware with a Political Science Minor. A former landscape business owner and ASHS Certified Horticulturist, Sean hopes to educate professionals on the long-standing benefits of operating organically.

Christine Dzujna

Christine is a paralegal and certified compliance professional. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Food Studies from NYU, she now works at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and employs her legal skills and background in support of efforts to transform the food system and support the U.S. farming industry.