We learn to take care of each other and ourselves.

VYCC’s mission – to teach personal responsibility – manifests through programs that support and challenge participants to live and work as members of an interdependent team. Connections to people, community, and the environment are what make VYCC experiences meaningful, fun, and powerful.

The health and safety of VYCC participants is our number one priority.

The daily life of a Venture Semester crew member is a simple one marked by fresh air, endless inquiry, and countless opportunities to see something new.

Farm Staff

VYCC attracts professionals who are deeply passionate, charismatic, and demonstrate exceptionally sound judgment. Seasonal staff complete a rigorous residential training program to ensure they have the interpersonal and technical skills needed to lead crews.

Seasonal Crew Leaders and Field Assistants are supported by three full-time VYCC staff:

Andrew Whitehead, Farm Program Coordinator, started his VYCC career as a 2015 Crew Leader. He arrived at VYCC after a childhood in Ireland and Pennsylvania, and a degree in Sustainable Development from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Andrew has been a VYCC Crew Leader and AmeriCorps VISTA Member, and presently oversees recruitment for Venture Semester. He plays an integral role in the Venture experience.

Caelan Keenan, Farm Program Manager, has lived and worked on the Farm at VYCC since 2013. Cae’s hometown of Detroit – its music, people, and working class culture – is a driving force for her, even in faraway New England. She earned a degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan before moving to Vermont and serving two and half years as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Cae’s passion and experience is in the areas of sustainable agriculture, youth development, and nutrition education.

Paul Feenan, Food and Farm Program Director, brings 20 years of agriculture and education experience.  After studying sustainable agriculture and community development at The University of Vermont and Evergreen State College, Paul began a life-long career as a teacher and coach.  His methods challenge students to practice the art of continuous improvement no matter the content of the course.  He has taught in a variety of settings from middle and high school through college, and including community outreach and education as a Washington State University Master Gardener and Composter Program Coordinator.

Paul’s wife Kirsten Workman and their children John and Ruby are the foundation and driving force for all of Paul’s work. As a UVM Extension agronomist and agriculture water quality specialist, Kirsten provides guidance and support to the VYCC farm community. Paul and his family live on the VYCC campus, caretaking the farm and mentoring aspiring agriculture leaders.

Read about VYCC’s entire team.

Outside of Yurt

The crew lives in yurts at the VYCC campus in Richmond. Twin beds and bedding is provided, though an additional sleeping bag is strongly recommended. Yurts do not have electricity, but are a short walk from the Farmhouse and West Monitor Barn. Yurts are divided by gender.

During excursions, lodging ranges from camping in a state park, to dorm rooms at a Vermont college or university, to the barn or farmhouse of a partnering farm organization. Crews receive advance notice of these details to pack accordingly for each trip.

Richmond, VT

The VYCC campus is two miles from the town of Richmond. This small town offers a delicious bakery, restaurants, grocery store, library, weekly farmer’s market, and a park along the Winooski River. There are plenty of opportunities to hike, swim, and explore the outdoors.

Vans at West Monitor Barn

All VYCC crews are issued a 12-passenger van for excursions and errands. Personal transportation is not necessary. Participants may arrange to park their car on campus, but may not drive personal vehicles while the program is in session.

Ladies in greenhouse

Members across all VYCC programming often remark: “the more you put into your experience, the more you take away.” As such, we encourage participants to invest fully in Venture – and in their crew – while in Vermont. It is a unique, challenging, exciting experience, and the growth during this time away can be life changing.

We invite family and friends to Start Up and Closure events at the beginning and end of Venture. Visits during the program are accommodated, though we do not encourage plans that take a Crew Member away from their crew for more than a weekend. This is a fantastic time to rediscover post cards, snail mail, and phone calls!