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Massaro Community Farm, Inc.
Massaro Community Farm, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Board of Directors
Al Tyma, President
Suzanne Werth, Vice-President
Cathy Wick, Vice-President
Jandie McSweet, Treasurer
Anne Boucher, Secretary
The farm has two sets of committees – one to attend to the governance of the organization and a second to engage volunteers. Each committee has its own meeting schedule. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the farm office at (203) 736-8618 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Development Committee [Chair, Sandy Stein]
Seeks to cultivate key relationships with members, donors and businesses, and to devise fundraising to enable and enhance the mission of the farm. Facilities Committee [Chair, Bob Tucker]
Responsible for maintaining, upgrading and expanding the physical infrastructure of the farm. Governance Committee [Chair, Anne Boucher]
Oversees legal compliance of the organization and vets and nominates suitable candidates to serve on the board. CSA & Produce Marketing Committee [Chair, Steve Munno]
Evaluates the CSA offerings and supports the farm manager. Finance Committee [Chair, Jandie McSweet] The finance committee oversees financial reporting of the organization, and makes recommendations to the board for management of the organization’s funds.
Education Committee [Chair, Corey Thomas]
Advises on creating and providing program opportunities for people of all ages. Events [Chair, Lindsay Browning] Allows volunteers to assist with community events on the farm such as plays, concerts, etc. Art & Music [Dylan Vitale] Helps coordinate artists and performers to display or perform at the farm. Open Space/Nature [Open] Comes up with and coordinates ways to optimize use of open space on the farm, including the Nature Trail. Executive Director, Caty Poole Expand
Caty Poole came to the farm after a long career in the life sciences industry, where she gained experience in various aspects of management and communications. Caty spent her formative years growing up in Hawaii before returning to New Jersey to raise a family. All the while, she remained active in gardening and community outreach before getting involved in food justice issues. Prior to coming to Massaro, Caty led the creation of a new community garden in an urban food desert, where excess food was donated to a nearby soup kitchen.
Caty moved to New Haven in 2010 after getting her B.A in communications. Since then, Caty has volunteered with New Haven Farms, CitySeed, DESK and the New Haven Food Policy Council. She began her tenure at Massaro in the winter of 2012, first as a volunteer, then as a field hand and outreach & development coordinator. She was named executive director in 2013.
Farmer Steve is originally from Long Island and is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. After graduation in 2001, Steve’s work in field science and wilderness skills education took him to California, where he lived for five years. During this time, Steve began to hone his skills in agriculture. Always a food lover and long time supporter of local farms, Steve found his work in the wilderness continually pointed toward the importance of healthy food and its connection to healthy communities and healthy land. Inspired to be more involved with food and farming, he volunteered with a local farmer for two years before enrolling in the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. Upon completion of this Apprenticeship, Steve stayed on for second year at UC Santa Cruz serving as a teacher and assistant manager in a 2+ acre market garden growing a tremendous variety of vegetables, flowers, fruit and perennials. He then returned to the east coast to work for The Food Project in Lincoln, MA. Steve managed the greenhouse on this 30-acre farm and helped provide for a 400-member CSA, supply food to farm stands in Boston, donate produce to hunger relief organizations and offer educational opportunities to youth and community organizations in the greater Boston area. At the end of 2009, Steve came to Massaro Farm to revive the land and bring the fields at Massaro Farm back into production.
Corey joined Massaro Community Farm as Education Director in May of 2017. Corey received his Bachelors from UConn in Animal Science. After graduation, he worked as a writer for UConn Extension and as a farm hand to experience local agriculture. Before joining Massaro Community Farm, Corey completed his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with the University of Connecticut with a concentration in Agriculture Education. He has a passion for farm-based education, working previously for an educational livestock farm on Martha’s Vineyard as well as an educational vegetable farm in Storrs. Corey has taught in a variety of educational settings, from guest lectures on college campuses to rural classrooms in Ghana. Corey is thrilled to apply his passion for education and agriculture to benefit the community and help students experience the amazing opportunities farming and agriculture has to offer.
Lindsay Browning joined the farm in August of 2019 and quickly settled into our farm family. Some of you may have met her at Dinner on the Farm or at one of our movie screenings. A lifelong resident of Naugatuck Valley, Lindsay brings to the farm her energy and enthusiasm from a background in fundraising, marketing, and public relations. When not at the farm, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, and coaching local sports. She is thrilled to help promote farm programming and caring for farm animals.
Alyssa DesRosier, originally from Hamden, always knew she wanted to work with plants, but struggled to figure out exactly what career she wanted to pursue. After receiving a degree in Horticulture from Temple University in 2010, she came back to Connecticut and started working in organic and non-organic garden centers and nurseries. Nothing quite clicked until she attended the CT NOFA 2013 Winter Conference and heard a presentation about CSAs and organic farming. Five months later, she was hired to the farm crew here at Massaro, and has been working out in the fields ever since.
When off the farm, Alyssa spends much of her time quilting and crafting, both for fun and for business. She creates items to sell in her online Etsy shop, AlyRose Designs, and teaches classes in sewing and embroidery. She now lives in Fairfield with her husband Jeff, a band teacher and musician in the traditional Irish band The Jolly Beggars.
Farm Staff-Kayla Cook Expand Kayla Cook is originally from Long Island but moved to Hamden in 2016 to be closer to her now husband. She started volunteering at Massaro in June 2017 and joined the staff that August to finish out the season.
Kayla graduated from SUNY Fredoia as a singer with a degree in music and got a job as manager at the restaurant Shake Shack. Realizing this was not where she wanted to be, she went back to school to get a degree in women’s studies. The first class she took was all about learning where your food comes from, food access, and the benefits of cooking for yourself which ultimately got her interested in wanting to learn more about organic food. Kayla knew Alyssa through the Irish band their spouses play in, and so she began her farming career.
Kayla has loved every second of being out in the fields (even when it is raining!) and is so happy to have found her passion. She also sings at the First Presbyterian Church of Fairfield as the Soprano section leader and feels very lucky to be able to do two things she loves. Kayla now lives in Hamden with her husband, David.
Jessica is a dancer, farmer and educator living in New Haven. After 4 years dancing professionally in NYC, an injury gave her the time and opportunity to pursue a second line of work; she began farming and hasn’t looked back. For the past 4 years she has been lucky to figure out a way to juggle all of her passions, splitting her time between dancing, teaching and growing.
Before joining the team at Massaro she held positions in youth education, CSA distribution, and as a farm crew member at two non-profits in NYC. She also worked as the sole employee at Old River Farm, a small-scale organic vegetable and flower farm in Middletown CT, and helped them get off the ground for their first season. We are thrilled to have her as a part of our full-time crew!
Farm Staff-Alanna Gilbert Expand Originally from Western Connecticut, Alanna has bopped between Burlington, where she attended the University of Vermont, France, where she studied History and taught English, and New Haven, where she used to sell gluten-free cookies and serve off a food truck; and where she currently consumes Original Tomato pizzas and picnics in Wooster Square Park. She moved back to Connecticut to pursue service with AmeriCorps, which allowed her to see her home state from an exciting new point of view. After helping implement a school garden grant through the nonprofit Health 360, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Connecticut Food Bank, coordinating produce donations from local farmers and helping volunteers glean extra produce from farm partners including Massaro. After years of floating somewhere around food access, gardening, education, and food service, Alanna is excited to learn more about farming, to explore its place in our food system and community, and to work alongside a curious and compelled team. She doesn’t quite know where she is going, but she is delighted to spend her seasons at Massaro.
Michaela Papa lives in New Haven, CT. During the school year, she teaches at a local high school and college. While she loves working with students in a creative classroom setting, Michaela is excited to spend another summer outside on the farm. Michaela’s favorite parts of Massaro Community Farm (besides the delicious vegetables) are learning more about seedlings, how vegetables grow, and harvesting. Really, she loves everything (except the itchy tomatoes) that happens at the farm and takes it at all as a learning experience.