Catherine Cusack (she/her)
Executive Director

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Catherine joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in 2013. As Executive Director, Catherine is responsible for overseeing the organization, developing GMFTS 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.

Becca Perrin (she/her)
Food Hub Account Manager

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Becca joined the Green Mountain Farm-to-School team in August 2021. As the Food Hub Account Manager, Becca is responsible for cultivating and maintaining customer relationships for the Green Mountain Farm Direct food hub. Before coming to GMFTS, Becca served two years as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member in Chelsea, MA, connecting kids to healthy food in schools. Originally from Connecticut, Becca graduated from University of Oregon where she received a degree in Environmental Studies and Food Studies and also holds a Local Food Leader certificate from Iowa State University. When she’s not working, you can find Becca in the forest, biking, hiking, snowshoeing or at home doing yoga, baking or sewing. She is so excited to be a part of the Vermont food system.

Elyse Perambo (she/her)
Farm-to-School Program Manager

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Elyse Perambo joined GMFTS in December 2021. As the Farm-to-School Manager, Elyse supports the growth of the Farm-to-School program and AmeriCorps team. She graduated from Antioch University New England with a Master’s degree in Environmental Education and received her undergraduate degree from Unity College in Biology. Elyse has been in Vermont since 2013, running a small farm and teaching fiber arts and garden classes to youth. Before moving to Vermont she managed a farm in CA, was the Education Coordinator at Nearby Nature in Eugene, OR and the Youth Education Coordinator at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, CO. In her free time, you can find Elyse in the garden, working with her goats and sheep, or spending time with her family. Elyse is delighted to be connecting youth to their local food systems and the educational opportunities found at the school gardens.

Meggie Patton (she/her)
Food Hub Logistics Manager

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Meggie joined GMFTS in 2022 as the Food Access and Logistics Coordinator. In her initial role, Meggie helped facilitate the Lunchbox summer meal program and other initiatives aimed at improving food access throughout the Northeast Kingdom. In Spring 2023, Meggie stepped into the role of the Food Hub Logistics Manager. In this position, she supports the operations and communications for Green Mountain Farm Direct. Meggie is also actively involved in the NEK Food Access Network, VT Farm to Plate, and VT Everyone Eats. Meggie graduated from University of South Carolina in 2012 with her master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Following graduation, she served as the Sustainability Coordinator for Brown University until 2016 before pursuing a position as a Wellness Coordinator at Pacific Quest in Hawaii. Having fallen in love with the Northeast Kingdom from prior visits, Meggie finally convinced her fiancé to move to Vermont full-time with their two cats, Betty and Kiko. Meggie brings her background and enthusiasm for sustainability and education with her to the GMFTS team.

Rose Lovett (she/her)
Development Manager

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Rose joined the Green Mountain Farm-to-School team in November 2022. As Development Manager, Rose is responsible for fundraising and communications activities. Originally from New Hampshire, Rose attended Keene State College where she graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Environmental Studies. After college, Rose served as an Americorps VISTA in the City of Boston’s Office of Neighborhood Services. She then spent three years working on the development team of Boston-based nonprofit, Project Place. In December 2021, Rose moved to Shelburne, Vermont and worked as a Communications Manager at North Country Animal League before coming to GMFTS. Outside of work, Rose enjoys drawing, reading, writing, traveling, and spending time in nature. Rose is excited to apply her development experience to support the continued growth of GMFTS.

Rylin Brett (she/her)
AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator

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Rylin joined GMFTS in August 2022. As an Americorps Farm-to-School Coordinator, Rylin connects with K-8 students about the local food system through programming in school gardens, cafeterias, after-school programs, taste tests, and farm field trips. She is excited to promote conversations about food, wellness, gardening, and nature within the community. Rylin graduated from Montana State University in 2021 with a B.S. in Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems. From this, she gained a great love for local foods and experiential learning. Prior to her serve term, Rylin was living in Hawaii where she worked on a boat doing marine education programs and earned her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification. Outside of the garden, you can expect to find her outside trail running and downhill skiing or curled up with a cup of tea and her latest knitting project. As a first time visitor to Vermont, she is eager to experience all that the Green Mountain State has to offer!

Emma Trainor (she/her)
AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator

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Emma joined GMFTS in August 2021. As a Farm-to-School Coordinator, her responsibilities include maintaining school gardens, acting as a liaison between farms, schools, and GMFTS, and educating youth in the Northeast Kingdom about food systems and healthy eating through farm field trips, classroom workshops, and taste testing. Prior to starting her term of service at GMFTS, Emma graduated from the University of Vermont in 2018 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Philosophy, as well as a certification as a yoga teacher. Her understanding and awareness of global food systems deepened in her time spent studying in Indonesia as well as Ecuador, cultivating a deeper appreciation for local food back in her home country. After graduating she spent a season working on an organic vegetable farm in Charlotte, VT, before continuing her travels to Peru and eventually Hawai’i, where she joined an organic farm to table operation as a WWOOFer. When she isn’t serving with GMFTS, Emma can most likely be found in nature with her guitar, hiking, cooking, practicing yoga, or spending time with loved ones. Emma feels passionately about transforming the food system by cultivating a sense of stewardship and responsibility to land and community, and is excited for the opportunity to share this passion with young people during her term of service.

Ben Leskey (he/him)
AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator

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Ben joined GMFTS in August 2022. As a Farm-to-School Coordinator, his responsibilities include maintaining school gardens, acting as a liaison between farms, schools, and GMFTS, and educating youth in the Northeast Kingdom about food systems and healthy eating through farm field trips, classroom workshops, and taste testing. Ben graduated from SUNY Oswego this past spring with a B.S. in Zoology. Ben developed a passion for sustainable agriculture through his high school FFA program in which he was an avid
member and served as chapter president. Before joining GMFTS, Ben spent 5 seasons as a science/nature summer camp educator at The Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester, Connecticut. During his free time, you can find Ben birding, looking for reptiles and amphibians in the woods, watching New York sports, taking care of his house plants, or simply relaxing at home. Ben hopes to use his scientific background in conjunction with his passion for sustainability to teach students about how their actions have an impact on our Earth.

Ciara Konhaus (she/her)
AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator

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Ciara Konhaus joined GMFTS in August 2022. In this position, she delivers programming and in-class workshops for K-8 students on food and agricultural topics as well as organizes school wide taste tests and farm field trips. Ciara graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina with a B.S. in Sustainable Development concentrating in Agroecology. Since graduating, she’s worked on several organic vegetable farms and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for an agricultural non-profit in Southwest Virginia. In her spare time, Ciara enjoys playing piano, writing, and reading books about plants and nature. She’s excited to get to know the regional food system here in the Northeast Kingdom and explore the beautiful state of Vermont.