Green Mountain Farm-to-School 194 Main Street, Suite 301 Newport, VT 05855
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.
Katherine Sims is the founder and executive director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS). She started the organization in 2008 to improve childhood nutrition and support Vermont farms by connecting schools and farms through food and education – the organization has since grown exponentially. Katherine, who graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s in history, brings 10 years of experience building school gardens, connecting institutional buyers with local farms, teaching students about healthy food choices, and training school food service staff to prepare and serve local foods. She currently serves on several boards including UVM Extension, the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the Vermont Land Trust. She lives in Lowell, Vt. with her husband, Jeff, where they raise chickens, grow vegetables, and enjoy life with their sidekick cat, Oslo.
Catherine joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in 2013. As program director, she 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 Walden, where they love to garden, swim. and play in the snow.
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.
Becca joined GMFTS in 2013. As consumer education coordinator, she is responsible for managing Vermont Harvest of the Month, a statewide campaign to promote local foods, and the Lunchbox, a summer food service program and mobile learning kitchen. Becca graduated from Moravian College of Bethlehem, Penn. in December of 2012 with a bachelor’s in environmental science. Before joining GMFTS, she spent time as a farm-based educator on Martha’s Vineyard, worked as support staff at an early education center in Burlington, and researched stream ecology in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. She is excited to continuing exploring the mountains, lakes, farms, and hidden gems of the Northeast Kingdom.
Shane Rogers joined GMFTS in 2015. As a communication and development coordinator Shane will be working to grow the public profile of the organization and showcase the work it’s doing across the state. He holds a bachelor’s in political science and communications with a concentration in journalism from the University of Dayton in Ohio. Coming to the Northeast Kingdom from Washington, D.C. he most recently worked as a legislative researcher and writer for CQ Roll Call. Shane has also worked as a reporter for The Press newspaper in Avon Lake, Ohio and as an assistant director for Grassroots Campaigns Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is excited to explore the many wonder of the Northeast Kingdom, hopefully find Narnia, and be part of a team working so diligently to reform the food system in Vermont.
Amrita Parry joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in 2016. As Farm Direct coordinator, Amrita is responsible for managing Green Mountain Farm Direct, a regional food hub with a focus on bringing local food into schools, institutions, and other sales outlets. Amrita is from the Northeast Kingdom and earned a bachelor’s in integrated environmental science from Johnson State College. Before coming to Green Mountain Farm-to-School she was a fixture at Newport Natural Foods in Newport where she developed strong working relationships within the local food community. She is passionate about food, farms, and Vermont. Amrita and her son live in Coventry.
Meghan joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in August of 2015. As a farm-to-school coordinator she works to redefine the roles of children, famers, and schools in the food system through education and hands-on learning. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in community, environment, and development. She has a worked for a variety of organic farms through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) initiative and has spent five summers working for an outdoor education camp in Pennsylvania. In her free time, she is usually found hiking or biking and loves any activity that allows her to enjoy being outside and in nature. Meghan is serving through the Lyndon Economic opportunity and AmeriCorps Program.
Herb joined GMFTS in August of 2015. As a farm-to-school coordinator he works with schools in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, coordinating and implementing educational programs to engage students with local foods, healthy nutrition, and food systems. While attending Kenyon College in Ohio, Herb managed a community garden program and donated all produce grown to area food banks. After graduation he stayed in Ohio and helped run his university’s local food program. For the past three summers Herb apprenticed on organic grass and produce farms in Ohio and his home state of Minnesota. He loves getting his hands in the dirt and watching plants grow throughout the season. Herb is excited to be living in Vermont where there is easy access to the outdoors and fantastic cheese. Herb is serving through the Lyndon Economic opportunity and AmeriCorps Program.
Caroline Aubry joined GMFTS in 2015. As a farm-to-school coordinator, she works closely with teachers, parents, and farmers in the Northeast Kingdom to connect children to the local food system and promote healthy eating habits by facilitating taste tests, planning farm field trips, and leading in-class workshops. Caroline graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s in international studies and human rights. Before joining the GMFTS team, Caroline served as a part-time AmeriCorps member in Dayton, Ohio helping homeless youth lead self-sufficient lives by empowering them to overcome issues of food access. After graduation, Caroline traveled to Sangilo, Malawi to conduct an independent research study on food security. In her free time, Caroline enjoys long bike rides and kayak trips, good books, and baking with friends. She is thrilled to be living in such a beautiful area of Vermont with so much to offer, and looks forward to meeting and working with local community members. Caroline is serving through the Lyndon Economic opportunity and AmeriCorps Program.
Jeyna Diallo joined GMFTS in 2015 as a farm-to-school coordinator. Her primary responsibilities are to deliver GMFTS educational programs to schools in the Northeast Kingdom such as taste tests, farm field trips, and in-class workshops, maintain school gardens, and to encourage partnerships between schools and local food providers. Jeyna graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in May with a bachelor’s in environmental studies. She wrote her senior thesis about farm-to-fork restaurants in Southern Maine, specifically on their partnerships with local farmers. Prior to joining the GMFTS team, Jeyna worked in her hometown, Alexandria, Va., as a farm camp counselor at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. She loves to cook and explore new places. Jeyna is thrilled to be back in New England and to take in all the natural beauty the Northeast Kingdom has to offer. Jeyna is serving through the Lyndon Economic opportunity and AmeriCorps Program.
Carolyn joined GMFTS in August of 2016. As a farm-to-school coordinator, her primary responsibilities include encouraging local food consumption and promoting nutrition education by creating long lasting partnerships between schools, farmers, and the community. She received a bachelor’s in environmental studies with a concentration in food, land, and community from the University of Vermont in May 2016. Over the past few years she has had the opportunity to teach in a school for disabled children in Mumbai, India, farmed abroad through WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), and interned with the Intervale Food Hub in Burlington, Vermont to encourage students at UVM to purchase local food and educate them about affordable local food options. Carolyn enjoys being pushed out of her comfort zone and trying new things from food to traveling to making new friends. As a Vermont native, she is excited to explore a new part of the state and contribute positively to the improvement of our unique and robust food system. Carolyn is serving through the Lyndon Economic opportunity and AmeriCorps Program.
Aude joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in September of 2016. As a farm-to-school coordinator she helps encourage local food consumption through hands-on educational programs and strengthen connections between the schools and local food systems. Aude received a bachelor’s in psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2014. After graduating, served with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corp where she worked closely with various nonprofits on the west coast. During her service term, she volunteered with a farm-to-school network and several community gardens where she learned to better understand the structures of local food systems and community involvement. Aude is eager to explore the many wonders of Vermont including hiking, camping, wildlife sightings, and great food! Aude is serving through the Lyndon Economic opportunity and AmeriCorps Program.
North Troy, VT
Newport City, VT
St. Johnsbury, VT
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.
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.
Farm Direct is a regional food hub distributing local food to schools, institutions, and other sales outlets in northern Vermont.
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.
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 Shane Rogers at email@example.com or call 802-334-2044.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.