Our work is driven by the skill and energy of our Team Leaders.
The success of VYCC is indebted to the highly motivated and committed young adults who take on the challenging job of leading crews.
VYCC carefully selects young leaders that ensure the safety of each Corps Member, effectively manage crew projects to meet the expectations and deadlines of project sponsors, build a positive crew community that reflects VYCC’s values, and support the learning and personal growth of each Corps Member.
Team Leaders complete a rigorous residential training program before Corps Members arrive. Classroom workshops and hands-on practice ensure competence in technical skills, risk management, first aid, safe driving, tool use and maintenance, group dynamics, discipline, meal planning, and Leave No Trace practices.
Crews are typically assigned one male and one female Team Leader. Once in the field, they are supported by VYCC staff through weekly call-ins, weekly visits including occasional overnight stays, and a 24/7 on-call system. Crews have access to a vehicle at all times and each location has a safety plan including how to access emergency medical care.
Have any questions? Contact our Farm Team Leader Supervisor, Andrew!
Dexter Kopas, Farm Peer Crew
Dexter grew up in Seattle in a family that loved to cook and be outside together. At college in Wisconsin, he volunteered at a community garden, interested by how food ties into so many aspects of our relationship to the landscape. Having worked with fishing in Alaska, water quality monitoring in Wisconsin and Dominica, studying flood effects in China, and trail maintenance in Arizona, Dexter is looking for ways to tie together interests in studying different landscapes while nourishing the people who live on them. He can’t wait to help build a strong community here at the farm and explore the soul of Vermont. If you can’t find him, Dexter is likely off waltzing in the woods and mountains, seeing live music, or in the kitchen crafting goodies for him and his friends.
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Kendall Shriver, Farm Peer Crew
Growing up, Kendall spent summers helping her grandparents with their vegetable garden and creating meals from what they grew, giving Kendall her love for growing and cooking food. Since then, she’s spent time working at various farms, and is excited to spend another summer working outside with her hands in the dirt! Kendall just graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland this May, where she studied Environmental Studies and Public Policy. She is interested in the impact a sustainable, equitable food system can have on people and the environment. Kendall is also interested in food justice and food security and believes everyone should have equal access to fresh, local produce. In high school, Kendall worked at an urban farm in Baltimore, which sparked this interest in food justice and security. When she is not working, Kendall enjoys hiking, photography, painting, riding her bike, and finding cute dogs to pet.
Hometown: Reisterstown, MD
Callie Flynn, Farm Nutrition Lead
Callie graduated this spring from the University of Vermont with a degree in dietetics. Callie believes that hands-on education is key to helping individuals take control of their health and that solid nutrition helps set people up for a more robust and fulfilling life. Callie’s love for the outdoors and the Green Mountains stems from a lifetime in Vermont sugaring, skiing (up and down), berry picking, hiking, biking, swimming in the lake and seeing as many sunsets as possible. She loves trying new foods and is pretty sure she can make a taco out of anything. This is Callie’s first VYCC experience and she is excited to share her love for food and nutrition with Corps Members.
Hometown: Burlington, VT
Caroline Bennett, Farm Crew Leader
Caroline is a recent graduate from Saint Michael’s College, with a degree in Environmental Studies and minors in Spanish and studio art. Growing up on the rocky coast of Maine, Caroline spent summers working as a sea kayaking guide for youth at a local outdoor education organization. During her college career, she was a mentor and co-leader for International Outreach, a mentoring program for children from refugee and new American backgrounds in the Winooski School District. She also spent a semester abroad in Panamá, conducting research on tropical agricultural pest management, and also spent a semester working on the farm at Saint Mike’s managing the crop plan. These experiences have cultivated her passion and excitement to engage with youth and the community through food and farming this season at VYCC!
Hometown: Portland, Maine
Aspen Anderson, Farm Production Lead
“I believe that the value we place on food, and our understanding of food systems, increases with the amount of time spent in the soil and that growing the food that sustains you is something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience.”
Aspen hails from the north woods of Minnesota, where she spent her days playing hockey, eating walleye, and exploring the many lakes of the region. After high school, she headed west to study Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. It was while living in Missoula, Montana that she developed an interest in sustainable agriculture and the human/land connection that is made through the practice. Now, having spent a few seasons working on various sized farms and gardens in Western Montana and the Hudson Valley of New York, Aspen is extremely excited to be joining the team at VYCC this season as the Production Project Lead. She is excited to learn more about how food security issues are being tackled in unique and innovative ways here in Vermont, as well as participate in a program that provides environmental education to youth in a hands-on way. In her free time, Aspen enjoys cross country skiing, rock climbing, writing, baking, cooking good food, playing guitar, and drinking milkshakes.
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MN
Bobbi Crocker, Farm Peer Crew
Bobbi comes to VYCC after studying Agroecology at Marlboro College, and practical farming experience from several years working on small farms in Windham County. He believes in simple, gentle farming practices that exist in harmony with the natural world. Creating and tending to an edible landscape that also provides habitat for native plants and animals is his goal. Bobbi wants to share his knowledge of agriculture and ecology with others, and he also hopes to share the unexpected value of the slow, simple life that farming can bring.
Hometown: Springfield, VT
Hannah Franchimont, Farm Post Harvest Lead
“I believe that everyone should have access to fresh, local food regardless of ability and socioeconomic status.”
Hannah is an Indiana native who grew up swimming, hiking, and playing in and around Lake Michigan. She graduated from Indiana University last May with a degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Her love for sustainable agriculture blossomed over the past year after accepting a position at an urban farm in Chicago where she learned about the benefits of hydroponic farming. Hannah was beyond excited to move out to the lovely state of Vermont and start her position at the VYCC as the Post-Harvest and Sales Project Lead. She is looking forward to learning all she can about sustainable farming in Vermont and making an impact in the community. Through the Health Care Share, Hannah hopes to make a difference in the lives of her new neighbors. In her free time, Hannah loves to ski, run, and do pretty much anything outside.
Hometown: Crown Point, IN
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Connor Havron, Richmond Crew
“I am inspired by the connection all living things have with one another, one cannot exist without the other. This connectedness pushes me to make the most of my life and cultivate meaningful relationships and experiences.”
Joining the VYCC with an open mind and an equally eager attitude; Connor, is a recent Graduate from Keene State College where he studied sustainability and Environmental Studies. He is passionate about building a strong sense of community, cultivating relationships and creating a deep connection with the land.
When he’s not leading young minds and getting his hands dirty on the farm, he enjoys being outside no matter the weather, eating good food, spending quality time with those he cares about and living life to its fullest.
Hometown: Merrimack, NH
Annie Hogan, Richmond Crew
Annie is recent Saint Michael’s College graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Education. During her time at Saint Michael’s, she discovered her passion for food systems education through working on the Farm at Saint Michael’s College and was able to develop her skills through a position as their Education and Outreach Coordinator. In her spare time, Annie enjoys going hiking, running, and occasionally playing rugby. She is excited to become a part of the crew at VYCC and looks forward to honing in on skills that will help her in her future career.
Hometown: Colchester, VT
Hayley Jones, Richmond Crew
Hayley is thrilled to join the VYCC team after completing a Spanish degree at Middlebury College. She has had the pleasure of volunteering with Migrant Justice and the Open Door Clinic, using language as a window to learn as much as she can about food justice. She hopes to build on these friendships, gain experience in food production, and explore her passion for public health while serving with VYCC this summer. When she’s not cooking, eating, or thinking about food, Hayley loves writing poetry, frolicking in bodies of water, and getting lost on long runs. As a newcomer to Burlington, she’s excited to put down roots, both physically and metaphorically.
Hometown: Burlington, VT
Alison LaMantia, Farm Peer Crew
An Illinois native, Alison found her way to Vermont to study at Green Mountain College, graduating with a degree in renewable energy in 2017. Upon graduation, she completed a farm internship at Farm & Wilderness Camps, leading her to realize her passion for farm work. Alison would rather be outside; spending time in nature has led her to learn more about our food systems, promote sustainable living, and conserve Earth’s resources through lifestyle changes. With her guitar and bike in tow, she is so looking forward to meeting the many lovely faces participating in VYCC this year.
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Ella Wegman Lawless, Leadership Development Crew
Ella is passionate about food and food systems and is currently studying Food Systems at the University of Vermont. She grew up farming small scale produce, and pasture-based livestock. After high school, Ella worked on a VYCC crew and is excited to be back with the organization working with high schoolers. She has experience establishing a farm to school chapter, creating and teaching hands-on food-related lessons. She also led a crew of high schoolers doing conservation work in Virginia. In her free time, she loves to build community, attempt to do sourdough baking and bike commute through all seasons!
Hometown: Burlington, VT
Sammy LeVine, Farm Nutrition Lead
“I believe that building relationships; with each other, with the land, with the flora & fauna, and to our own selves is the most important tool we have to see and create a more regenerative, social & ecologically just world.”
Sammy is so excited to be joining the VYCC Food and Farm team as a project lead this year! Her first job was on an apple orchard in upstate NY in High School and her relationship and commitment to growing food and cultivating a healthy food system have amplified since then. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 after studying Food Systems and Statistics. She has spent the last two years living in the natural beauty of Northern California living in intentional communities, tending the land, and cooking delicious food inspired by the seasons and natural abundance of the gardens.
If you don’t find her on the farm or in the kitchen, Sammy is probably out dancing to live music, hiking, finding some water to jump in, or laying in the sun and reading.
Hometown: New Paltz, NY
Marissa Pappalardo, Leadership Development Crew
Marissa is excited to join VYCC as a recent graduate of the University of Vermont. During her time at UVM, she focused on the interconnected nature of humans and the environment. Therefore, she believes that building a healthy community is rooted in the ways in which we treat both humans and the environment. Marissa is especially grateful for the beautiful and bountiful landscape of Vermont and is eager to support her fellow community members through her work at VYCC. Outside of work, Marissa is a yoga teacher and loves to hike.
Hometown: Burlington, VT
Ezra Pasackow, Newport Crew
I believe good food makes happy people!
Ezra is a proud Vermonter and happy to be back serving the communities he grew up in with the Health Share Initiative in the Food and Farm Program. Summers in between college in North West Pennsylvania, Ezra worked for a green roofing company in Boston and helped build energy efficient and net zero homes in Chittenden County. After graduating, he lived in both Mexico and Guatemala. In both places, he was working on organic farms, find solutions for food justice issues, and install permaculture projects all while also practicing his Spanish and eating endless tortillas! Because food plays such an important role in people’s lives, and the issues around access and production are much bigger than just the farmers Ezra is excited to be a part of the VYCC’s Food and Farm Program community. Ezra will be working in Newport at Bluffside Farm, a Vermont Land Trust property, to provide organically grown fruits and vegetables to the medical centers in the NEK. His goal is to promote good farming practices and a strong work ethic with the Youth he will be leading.
Ezra loves to cross country ski, and play pick up soccer and go swimming. Baking fresh bread with his sourdough starter is a new and exciting passion of his. He is wicked excited to be back living in Vermont and singing along to country music this summer!
Hometown: Hinesburg, VT
Emma Roger, Newport Crew
Emma joins VYCC as a recent graduate of Sterling College, with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture. She is a Farm Crew Leader and will be working in Newport to contribute to our esteemed Health Care Share. Emma is passionate about food sovereignty and security and deeply loves involvement with food from field, to plate, to stomach. She has had a bit of experience traveling and farming, both in Europe as a teenager, on the East and West coasts of North America as a college student, and in several Central American Countries as a young adult. She hopes to foster a fun and educational environment in the field this summer!
Hometown: Johnson, VT