The 2016 NCTFA Steering Committee:
Rachel Berg grew up in and around New Haven. Upon graduation from the University of Chicago, she entered the world of agriculture and never left. It started with WWOOFing in Washington State and then managing farmers’ markets in New Haven. She went on to work at Massaro Community Farm where she realized that farming was not a passing phase, but rather her chosen path. Rachel loves farming for its daily puzzles and enhanced connections to people, food, and the earth. In 2013, she headed up to Vermont to attend UVM’s Farmer Training Program before returning to Connecticut to join her current business partnership, which owns and operates Four Root Farm in East Haddam.
Robert Chang is a part time market gardener who recently moved to a new farm in Woodstock. He grows vegetables, cut flowers and herbs. Robert would like to foster cooperation among small farmers to make farming economically more viable.
Joey Listro has worked on a variety of non-profit community farms beginning in 2008 while attending the University of Southern Maine. Joey worked building organic farming apprenticeships and curriculum for high school students as an AmeriCorps volunteer. He’s a former Incubator Farmer at the Community Farm of Simsbury where he launched a small-scale potato chip and organic CSA business. He served as Head Teacher and Educational Programs Coordinator at Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain for their after-school garden enrichment programs from 2011-2014. He also spent two years managing a 100+ acre educational farm in New Milford, before returning to New Britain as the founder of ROOTS. In addition to serving on the steering committee of the New CT Farmer Alliance, Joey is an active member of the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth.
Will O’Meara is the Assistant Farm Manager at Waldingfield Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm in Washington, CT that provides scrumptious veggies to CSA members, farmers markets, and restaurants throughout the state. Will began his farming journey at Waldingfield as a farmhand at the age of 17. After a two-year stint in Los Angeles, where he worked in music venues, community gardens, and university sustainability, he returned to the east coast to further pursue farming. He received his B.S. in Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s Stockbridge School of Agriculture where he co-managed the UMass Student Farm. After graduating in 2016, he returned to Waldingfield Farm to fill the Assistant Farm Manager position. Through the work of NCTFA, Will hopes to help create an agricultural environment that is welcoming and supportive for new farmers as well as influence farm policy in the state. With any luck, he hopes to operate his own farm alongside his partner where he will explore the integration vegetables, livestock, and grains, as well as training the next generation of farmers.
Charlotte Ross is co-owner/operator of Sweet Acre Farm (est. 2011), producing mixed vegetables for market, CSA & wholesale accounts. She and her husband are CT natives and first-generation farmers, living on their very own 6 acres in Lebanon, CT along with a flock of laying hens, 2 milking goats, 2 farm cats, and the occasional pig. Charlotte grew up in West Hartford and relishes the opportunity to grow good food for the communities that helped raise her in the Greater Hartford area. Being a member of NCTFA has provided Charlotte with a better sense of what’s going on in Ag around the state.
Betsy Robson is NCTFA’s coordinator. She grew up in northwest Connecticut on a small retired apple orchard, repurposed as a permaculture style homestead by her parents. With her love for self-taught sustainability stemming from her childhood, she has spent the last few years working on local farms, and as a landscaper, focusing on native plant species and installing edible gardens. Betsy lives in Roxbury, Connecticut and works as one of the managers of Tamarack Farm, a small diversified veggie farm. Her love for sustainability is deeply rooted in education, inclusiveness, and social justice. Please contact her and the alliance at newctfarmers[at]gmail[dot]com.