Richard is the co-founder and Executive Director of Food Connects. He has been leading food system development work in the Windham County area for the past eight years. He is a member of the Vermont Farm to Plate Steering Committee as well as the Vermont Farm to School Steering Committee.
Richard holds a M.A. from SIT Graduate Institute in Sustainable Development with a focus on Food Security for Vermont, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Marlboro College Graduate School. Berkfield was named one of Vermont’s Rising Stars by Vermont Business Magazine in 2014. He and his family enjoy growing and preparing as much of their own food as possible, though as work demands increase, he better understands the saying that "The cobbler’s children have no shoes."
Farm to School Staff
Farm To School Program Manager
As Food Connects’ Farm to School Program Manager, Kate supports member schools in their efforts to bring Farm to School programming to their students. This includes working with Child Nutrition Professionals to source local product as well as school administration and educators around Farm to School curriculum and school gardens. Kate holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and has been trained as a community organizer and health educator. She has spent ample time working both on farms and in restaurants, so understands the realities of these demanding careers. Before joining the Food Connects team, Kate worked for a prevention coalition based at Leland & Gray and enjoys connecting with youth to promote healthy lifestyle choices. In her free time, Kate enjoys trail running and hiking with her dogs.
Former educator at Oak Grove Elementary School, Sheila has been involved in the Brattleboro Farm to School movement since its beginning in 2007. She served as the first Farm to School Program Coordinator for the Brattleboro Town Schools from 2007-2009, and she facilitated the Farm to School committee at Oak Grove School in Brattleboro for the past 11 years. Sheila is excited to work with WSESU schools to make Farm to School programming a vibrant part of each school community in the district.
Sheila has an M.Ed. from Smith College and she is passionate about inspiring children to think about where their food comes from and supporting local agriculture. In her spare time, she is also the volunteer executive director of the Haiti Orphanage Sponsorship Trust, which is a vehicle of compassion supporting 35 children in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. She lives in Brattleboro with her husband and 10 year old daughter, and she enjoys spending time in nature, riding her bike, cross-country skiing, and taking circus classes at NECCA.
Food Hub Staff
Food Hub Manager
Alex has spent the last 10 years engaged in food system change: in production, agricultural science and research, international ag development, non-profit ag support, and now local food distribution. Most recently, he managed production of specialty crops at Harlow Farm in Westminster, VT, where he also led commercial kitchen value-added production and coordinated the winter CSA. Alex has a Master’s degree in Agroecology from the University of Wisconsin--Madison, where he researched agricultural programs at urban charter schools as well as natural pesticide use in apple production. During his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, he assisted local farmers and production gardeners in their efforts to develop markets, improve cultivation techniques, and mechanize operations. Before entering the world of food, Alex worked as a software engineer at Intel Corporation. That experience prepared him to tackle logistical and data management problems in distribution using the power of modern technology.
Food Hub Coordinator
Luke is the coordinator of two food hubs, Food Connects Food Hub (serving Brattleboro area) and Monadnock Menus (serving the Keene area). Luke is a Dummerston Vermont native, coming to us by way of Washington D.C. While in DC, Luke worked in a variety of administrative roles for a small chain of all-local, environmentally focused grocery stores. Prior to that he was a member of the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Luke was in the first class of military veterans to study under the Veteran Farmer Program, a yearlong course dedicated to training former soldiers for careers in agriculture.
Food Hub Driver
On the road four days a week driving for Food Connects, Tracy plays an integral role in supporting the Food Connects food hubs. He aggregates products from our regional producers and distributes these goods to buyers throughout our service areas of New Hampshire and Vermont.
Betsy Gentile - President
Workforce Investment/Adult Ed Coordinator, Windham Regional Career Center
Taylor Burt - Vice President
Diane Parton - Treasurer
Liz Kenton - Secretary
Youth Agriculture Project, University of Vermont Extension Service's 4-H program
Kevin Brennan - Member
Vice President of Finance and Planning for Winterline Global Education.
Kevin Stine - Member
UVM Master Gardener and Master Composter