Our work is driven by the skill and energy of our Food & Farm Project and Crew Leaders.
These highly motivated young adults are committed to growing fresh vegetables and poultry for our communities during these unprecedented times.
The health and safety of the VYCC community are our top priorities. The Food & Farm team is observing COVID safety protocols, while growing and delivering food.
Andy Bainton – Crew Leader
Andy was delighted to learn that work didn’t have to look like sitting at a computer for eight hours a day. He studied Economics at Vanderbilt University and towards the end of his education, he read a book called “The Fate of Food” by one of his professors, Amanda Little. This book taught him about environmental challenges perpetuated by food systems and inspired him to pursue a career in search of solutions. Since then he has been working on farms and recalled that some of his favorite days from childhood were spent gardening with his mom. Andy is excited to continue learning about soil ecology, permaculture, and community–building through farming. Outside of farming, he’s passionate about music, loves to sing and dance, and is excited about learning new languages. Catch him biking, swimming, hiking, and farming all summer long!
Anna Beach – Food and Nourishment Leader
Anna came to VYCC to pursue her curiosity around food, especially how food can be a way to learn about the ecology of a place. At Saint Michael’s College, where she studied Environmental Studies and Political Science, Anna was deeply involved with the campus farm and benefited greatly from place-based learning as well as leading volunteers on the farm. She is eager to both share and gain food utilization skills this year at VYCC because she believes that food is a fun and rewarding way to build community through working with each other and with the land. In her spare time, Anna enjoys practicing yoga, experimenting with new ingredients and recipes, and learning more about perennial crops and foraging.
Lauren Chapman – Community Engagement Leader
Lauren believes that community created around food and outdoor experiences has the potential to be life changing. She fell in love with the landscapes and the people in Vermont after moving here to study Education at the University of Vermont. Since graduating, she’s done her best to bring young people, families, and community members together.
Lauren brings the joy of farm-based education and growing vegetables to VYCC and wants to share those passions with as many people as possible. She believes a group task is good for the soul and is looking forward to days full of transplanting and packing the Health Care Share.
In her free time, you can find her planning backpacking trips, trying to identify plants, doing a crossword puzzle, rollerblading, or dancing.
Cam Farwell – Crew Leader
Cam comes to VYCC after spending the past few years working on various organic and regenerative agriculture projects throughout the Northeast region. At UMass Amherst, Cam studied sustainable food systems and permaculture while participating in a student–run farm and an on-campus permaculture initiative. He is passionate about the connections that farming creates between people, their communities, and the land. He is excited to share in the joys of growing food and experiential learning with the fellow members of VYCC. In his free time, Cam can be found exploring the incredible Vermont landscape via snowboard, bicycle, and hiking shoes.
Ash McGrann – Post Harvest Production Leader
Ash hails from eastern Kentucky, where she grew up on a small family farm. She spent most summers sitting on a bucket, with a bucket, harvesting green beans down the line, while listening to her grandma sing. She has worked in the conservation field almost exclusively, including trail–building in the Grand Canyon, and most recently on a sawyer crew in Colorado. Ash has visited almost all of the lower 48 states! She comes to VYCC as a chance to reconnect to the experiences that made her childhood. She loves to build connections with people and hear the stories of what makes people one of a kind. During her time at VYCC, Ash plans to visit more states to check off her list. She is also a cloud fanatic and is usually looking at the sky!
Sophia Shaffer – Crew Leader
Sophia believes having a close personal relationship with the natural world is essential for physical, emotional, and mental health. From a young age, her parents surrounded her in outdoor activities and she was found chasing after insects and small animals. This spurred her interest in wildlife and need to understand flora and fauna. In college, Sophia worked on her university farm, furthering her enjoyment of edible plants and working outside. After graduating, she wanted a job working in close relationship with nature and ended up in New Mexico as a volunteer teaching assistant on a field biology program for college students in ecology and wilderness skills. Here, she loved working with people teaching them not only about nature, but in nature. After this program ended, feeling that farming was her next journey, she found VYCC. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm for the natural world to VYCC this season!
Fiona Smallman – Health Care Share Leader
Fiona brings a desire to use food to foster connection to her work at VYCC. She believes ensuring everyone has access to nourishing food is a vital part of community organizing. Learning from and growing with Vermont’s food and agriculture sector has been a way for Fiona to immerse herself in her community. She is excited to have the opportunity to continue with VYCC’s Health Care Share program. Fiona comes to VYCC after working with Hunger Free Vermont to make school meals universal in public schools statewide. Serving at VYCC, to her, is an extension of the work to make food available to more people and become further enmeshed in her community.
In her free time Fiona loves reading, running, good conversation, and quiet moments with her loved ones. She is so excited to spend her summer with the VYCC team.
Keri Toye – Production Leader
After graduating college with an accounting degree and realizing it was not her calling, Keri’s love for gardening quickly developed into an interest in herbal medicine. As she began to learn more about plants, pretty soon she was taking classes and obtaining a certification in Permaculture design, with a passion for farming and food justice emerging. Keri is interested in how sustainable food systems can help empower communities to implement more holistic and systemic changes, rather than providing quick band-aid fixes. In her spare time, Keri enjoys creating, recording, and playing music, as well as crafting. She believes farming opens up space in life to understand how we connect with the land and all living things.
Nathan Treadway – Crew Leader
Nathan has always enjoyed working with animals and being out in nature. Growing up in Burlington and Westford, VT, where his family raises goats and chickens, he is passionate about the opportunity to get outside and do work that will benefit and give back to the community. Nathan spent many summers as a staff member with Very Merry Theater and brings his experience in working collaboratively with youth and young adults to his role at VYCC. It is important to him to work alongside his crew in a growing environment, sharing his and their passions and experiences, while engaging with the land and people in a new and rewarding way. He is passionate about history and storytelling and believes that there is much to be learned from the complex history of agriculture and farming as a whole through the microcosm of a farm in Vermont. On a rainy day, Nathan enjoys getting lost in a book or playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends.
Sage Wyrick – Crew Leader
Sage grew up in Oregon where they spent summers camping with their dad and younger sister and growing an appreciation for being outside. They’ve loved growing (and eating) veggies since they were a kid and have been involved with several community gardens and urban farms. They are excited to spend their first whole season on a larger scale farm! Sage studied Sociology with an emphasis on Environmental Justice and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and they love talking and learning about the workings of the world and coalition building. Since graduating in 2020, they’ve been working on various conservation crews, teaching kids outdoor survival skills, and trying to travel as much as possible. They love music (especially folk), reading, biking, and crafting. Find them sitting in a patch of sun with a journal or a sketchbook.