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Vermont Harvest of the Month and Early Childhood Education: Stories of Success at Newport Head Start

Thursday, June 17, 2021

NEWPORT, VTContact: Maire Folan, Farm to School Program Manager, Green Mountain Farm-to-Schoolmfolan@gmfts.orgJune 17, 2021 Vermont Harvest of the Month (VTHOM) is a statewide marketing campaign and resource guide widely utilized in K-12 schools across the state, but educators in Early Care and Education (ECE) facilities are also using the program to introduce children ages birth Read the full article…



A leader in the growing farm-to-school movement in Vermont, Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) mission is to restore and strengthen local food systems in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont by promoting positive economic and educational relationships among schools, farms, and communities. We create healthy communities by working across the food system with capacity building, resource development, and technical assistance through GMFTS’ school gardens, Farm-to-School Program, food hub, food truck, and statewide marketing campaign.


The statistics about the health of our children are striking. 1 in 3 children is on track to develop type 2 diabetes. Researchers estimate for the 1st time in American history children will live shorter lives than their parents. Unless we do something to put this runaway food system back on track, we’re headed for the biggest and most expensive health care crisis we can imagine. 60,000 children in Vermont eat school food 5 days a week, getting more than half their calories from school lunch, school breakfast, and school snack. What we feed our kids in schools and what we teach them about food there affects how they grow, how they learn, what they will feed their own families, and how long they will live. School is where it all begins.


View the map key over here.


Catherine Cusack

Executive Director

Contact Catherine at ccusack@gmfts.org.

Catherine joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in 2013. As Executive Director Catherine is responsible for overseeing the organization, developing GMFTS’s long-range strategic plans, raising funds, publicizing its activities, and managing its staff and Board of Directors. Catherine works in partnership with GMFTS program staff in delivering high-quality programming, with an emphasis on improving food access, educating children and community members on the value of Vermont’s rich agricultural landscape, supporting farms, and building relationships to grow the reach of the organization. Since moving to Vermont in 2006, Catherine has advocated for equal access to healthy food and increased opportunities for all Vermonters. While caring for her two young children, she was a freelance health promotion consultant, completing projects focused on obesity prevention. She has a Master of Science degree in health promotion from the University of Montana. Catherine and her family live in Craftsbury, where they love to swim, cross-country ski, and play in the snow.

Maire Folan

Farm-to-School Program Manager

Contact Maire at mfolan@gmfts.org.

Maire joined the team in 2014 to help lead the charge with Farm-to-School efforts, working closely with our fantastic coordinators. She received her bachelor’s from the University of New Hampshire in environmental biology and nutrition. She went on to complete her Registered Dietitian Certification and received a master’s degree from Green Mountain College in sustainable food systems. She is thrilled to bring her love for food and farming to GMFTS. Prior to GMFTS, Maire has worked as a naturalist for the New Hampshire Audubon Society, in research and development for Stonyfield Farm and as a ski instructor at Crystal Mountain in WA. Maire hails from the Granite state, where she spent lots of time in the lakes, forests and mountains. You might find her digging into Vermont soils, swimming in beautiful NEK lakes, hiking among the rolling hills or enjoying area ski trails.

Cheryl Galipeau

Food Hub Logistics Manager

Contact Cheryl at cgalipeau@gmfts.org

Cheryl Galipeau joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in 2019 as Food Hub Logistics Manager. Cheryl is responsible for the operations and systems of Green Mountain Farm Direct. She is originally from Rhode Island and moved to Vermont in 1985 where she attended the University of Vermont to study agriculture. Prior to joining Green Mountain Farm-to-School she was the Brownington Town Clerk and Treasurer for 18 years. She also owned and operated a dairy farm with her family on 150 acres in Brownington where they also had horses, chickens, pigs, and goats. They also had a large maple sugaring operation and ran a Bed and Breakfast business educating guests about farming and food practices. Cheryl is the proud mother of two children and she currently lives in Newport. She loves the outdoors and in the summer months, she enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, and gardening. During the winter months, she loves to bake, snowshoe and put together puzzles. Cheryl is excited to be a part of the Green Mountain Farm-to-School team.

Alida Farrell

Consumer Education and Food Access Coordinator

Contact Alida at afarrell@gmfts.org

Alida is the Consumer Eduation and Food Access Coordinator at GMFTS, where she is involved in increasing access to healthy food, and fighting hunger in the Northeast Kingdom. Alida stepped into this role in September 2020, after serving two years as an AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator with GMFTS where she taught kids about Vermont’s agricultural systems through school gardens, and cooking and eating through many classroom lessons, after school programs, and cafeteria taste tests. Alida grew up in Freeport, Maine, and attended St. Lawrence University where she earned degrees in Environmental Studies and Philosophy in 2017. When Alida is not managing charitable food projects, you might find her skiing, gardening, cooking, or crafting.

Jessica Weston

Communications and Development Coordinator

Contact Jessica at jweston@gmfts.org

Jessica joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in September 2019. She is responsible for promoting GMFTS programs and services, executing communications and marketing strategies for the organization, and assisting with fundraising campaigns and special projects. Jessica grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and later attended Hamilton College in Clinton, NY to pursue a degree in environmental studies. During College, Jessica spent time engaging in conservation and trail restoration work with different organizations in Asheville, North Carolina and on San Juan Island, Washington. Upon graduation in May 2017, she moved to the Northeast Kingdom and served for two years as an AmeriCorps Member at NorthWoods Stewardship Center. At NorthWoods, Jessica led and helped promote the organization’s educational programming and assisted with the planning and development of outreach events. Jessica is excited to continue working in the NEK with the GMFTS team. In her free time, Jessica enjoys backcountry skiing, mountain biking, canoeing, and playing sand volleyball.

Nicole Davis

Finance Manager

Contact Nicole at ndavis@gmfts.org.

Nicole joined the GMFTS team in June of 2021. As the Finance Manager, she is responsible for executing the financial activities of the organization across all programs. She received her B.S. degree in accounting at Franklin Pierce University and prior to GMFTS worked for Jay Peak as an accountant and Circus Smirkus as their office manager. Nicole moved to Brownington with her two young boys five years ago to live closer to her family. She and her boys enjoy spending as much time on Lake Salem as possible in the summer and skiing at Jay Peak and Burke in the winter. She trains, breeds, shows, and hunts with Spinoni (Italian hunting dogs). Outside of work, you’re likely to find her digging in her garden, exploring the NEK with her boys, or baking something tasty.

Maisie Anrod

AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator

Contact Maisie at manrod@gmfts.org

Maisie joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in August as an AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator. A few of her responsibilities include educating students about their local food system, facilitating learning in school gardens, and expanding kids’ knowledge about how to
prepare fresh, healthy foods. She hopes to empower each student with a deeper understanding of how food is grown and knowledge about how to care for the land. Prior to becoming an AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator, Maisie graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Studio Art. After graduation, she worked as a Postgraduate Education Fellow and Children’s Farmyard Educator at Shelburne Farms, a commercial baker, and a farmhand at a diversified vegetable farm. On the weekends, Maisie loves hiking, reading, visiting friends, and nordic skiing.

Emily Champigny

AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator

Contact Emily at echampigny@gmfts.org

Emily Champigny joined GMFTS in August of 2020. As an Americorps Farm to School Coordinator, Emily will be serving in schools in the Northeast Kingdom educating children about food, gardening, and connecting to the land. Emily graduated from Elmira College in 2015 with a B.S in Biology and from there spent two years working in a k-12 school near Oneonta, NY. In the fall of 2017, Emily began studying at Antioch University New England and graduated with her M.S in Environmental Education and a certificate in Climate Change Education in 2019. After graduate school she spent the summer co-leading programs at Merrohawke Nature School and then completed a service year with FoodCorps in Springfield, MA. When Emily is not teaching, she is most likely hiking, gardening, swimming, or cooking. She is very excited to explore VT with her dog Rocky.

Esmé Forbes

AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator

Contact Esmé at eforbes@gmfts.org

Esmé joined GMFTS in August 2020. As an AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator, she is responsible for serving schools across the Northeast Kingdom, building relationships with local food producers and schools, and educating students on\ agricultural practices, culinary skills, and gardening techniques. Esmé recently graduated from Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales with an MSc in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources. Within her MSc, she focused on themes of food sovereignty and food justice across Turtle Island (North America). Her research focused on ways to relearn and restore reciprocal relationships with food within community and context-specific frameworks. Her professional experiences have been predominantly within the culinary industry – most recently she served as a vegan chef at a community and co-working space focused on increasing access to healthy, nutritious, and affordable foods in Berlin, Germany. Esmé is looking forward to being in a position that centers the culinary and nutritional needs of youth within Vermont’s public school system.

Danielle Lord

AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator

Contact Danielle at dlord@gmfts.org

Danielle Lord joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in August 2020. As an AmeriCorps Farm-to School coordinator, Danielle is responsible for educating Northeast Kingdom children with garden, agriculture, cooking and nutrition programs. She will also work to develop relationships with community members, farmers and GMFTS partners. Through hands-on experience growing food, field trips, and lessons Danielle hopes to cultivate an appreciation and understanding in schools for the importance of resilient local food systems, healthy eating and environmental health. Danielle graduated in June of 2020 from University of California Davis with a BS in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. She is from Berkeley California where childhood experience in public school garden and cooking programs sparked her interest in working in food systems. Danielle has interned at UC Davis’s market CSA garden, Frog Hollow Farm, and led garden field trips for local Davis children. Danielle has worked in various kitchens including a summer at Chez Panisse; a restaurant foundational to farm to table cooking. Danielle is excited to combine her passions in growing food, education, and cooking at GMFTS. Danielle looks forward to exploring the Northeast Kingdom and experiencing her first snowy winter. In her free time you can find her hiking, swimming in beautiful places, and baking!

Emma Richmond-Boudewyns

AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator

Contact Emma at erichmond-boudewyns@gmfts.org

Emma Richmond-Boudewyns joined the GMFTS team in August 2020 as an AmeriCorps member. As a Farm to-School Coordinator, Emma is responsible for collaborating with K-8 educators in the Northeast Kingdom to facilitate lessons on agriculture, nutrition, and rooting relationships in our environment! Emma is from Wilmington, Delaware and graduated from the University of Delaware in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering.  After graduating, she moved to Tambacounda, Senegal where she worked as an Agriculture Extension Agent with the Peace Corps. Emma’s passion for environmental and social justice is rooted in learning from nature – creating communities which thrive off of diversity and value reciprocity with ecosystems. She is excited to dig into these topics with students across the NEK, and work together to rebuild more intimate relationships with our food system!


Geoffrey Bok

Craftsbury, VT

John Castle

Acting Board Chair


Dr. Kristy Ellis


Jay, VT

Steve Wright

Newport, VT

Dr. Thomas Moseley

Newport, VT

Dr. Katherine Sims




The Northeast Kingdom Farm-to-School Program helps schools in the Northeast Kingdom build school gardens, source local food, and provide nutrition and agriculture education.

Read More

Vermont Harvest of the Month

Vermont Harvest of the Month is a statewide campaign that promotes a different Vermont-grown crop each month and provides ready-to-use materials for classrooms, cafeterias, and communities.

Read More

Green Mountain Farm Direct

Farm Direct is a regional food hub distributing local food to schools, institutions, and other sales outlets in northern Vermont.

Read More

The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox is a summer meal program and mobile learning kitchen that brings locally-grown food and food-based education to communities in the Northeast Kingdom.

Read More


Vermont Harvest of the Month and Early Childhood Education: Stories of Success at Newport Head Start

NEWPORT, VTContact: Maire Folan, Farm to School Program Manager, Green Mountain Farm-to-Schoolmfolan@gmfts.orgJune 17, 2021 Vermont Harvest of the Month (VTHOM) is a statewide marketing campaign and resource guide widely utilized in K-12 schools across the state, but educators in Early Care and Education (ECE) facilities are also using the program to introduce children ages birth Read the full article…


Join us in our effort to build healthy communities through food and education.


We have a wide variety of ways of volunteer opportunities; some are weekly commitments, while others are one-time-only contributions of time and energy. All efforts are greatly appreciated. Volunteer opportunities include: gardening, supporting educational programs, marketing and outreach, special events, office support, research projects, fundraising, and committee membership.

To learn more about volunteering with GMFTS, contact Jessica Weston at jweston@gmfts.org or call 802-334-2044.

Internship Opportunities

We are looking for individuals who are self-motivated, creative, detail-oriented, and who have an interest in building healthy communities through food and education.

Internships are available in the following areas:

Each summer Green Mountain Farm-to-School offers internship opportunities to individuals who are self-motivated, creative, detail-oriented, and who have an interest in building healthy communities through food and education.  Each internship is unique and tailored to best fit the needs of the individual and the organization. Internships can include working on food access, consumer education, or communication projects that support all of GMFTS programs. To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to Catherine Cusack at ccusack@gmfts.org.


Employment is available in the following areas:

Green Mountain Farm-to-School seeks a dynamic, mission-driven food systems professional with strong business and sales skills to support the growth of our food hub, Green Mountain Farm
Direct. The Food Hub Account Manager will develop, manage, and grow customer accounts for Green Mountain Farm Direct. The Food Hub Accounts Manager reports to the Executive Director.

Green Mountain Farm Direct (GMFD) is a regional food hub distributing local food to schools, institutions, and other sales outlets in Northern Vermont. GMFD works with over 40 local farms to provide a variety of local foods including fruit, meat, vegetables, grains, eggs, dairy and valued-added products to customers across Northern Vermont. Annual sales are approximately $450,000+ and growing.

See full job description and application instructions here.

This position is part of the Lyndon Economic opportunity AmeriCorps Program (LEAP). LEAP is a national service program that places AmeriCorps members with non-profit organizations throughout the NEK of Vermont to support those organizations in expanding their services that many communities rely on. LEAP supports their members in their path to educational and career attainment through direct service, on-going trainings, and professional development opportunities offered during the service year. The primary responsibilities of the AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator will be to develop, grow, present, and evaluate GMFTS’ Farm-to-School Programs. This is a full-time year-long AmeriCorps position. The Farm-to-School Coordinator reports to the Farm to School Program Manager. Applications are accepted until the position is filled.

Read the full job description and application instructions here.



We are thankful to the community of friends who have generously supported Green Mountain Farm-to-School and our work to promote the health of Vermont’s children, farms, and communities between July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.