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Student Leaders

Nina SannesNina Sannes: Vegetable Production Co-Manager

Year: Class of 2019
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Major: Undecided

Dilmun Story: Out of nowhere, Dilmun has become one of my favorite parts of my Cornell experience. I think that projects like these are incredibly important for aiding people in gaining a sense of the processes and communities that go into growing the food that we eat, and connecting with people with similar interests. Caring for a farm is an incredible release from the academic lifestyle.

About Nina: My mother and I have kept a garden for my whole life, so there is a tender spot in my heart dedicated to growing. I was born in a small town near Seattle, Washington and currently live in a smaller town close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, both of which are communities that are very influenced by agriculture. Even after leaving home, I wanted to be part of something similar. I am extremely excited to be staying in Ithaca this summer and managing vegetable production!


Kirby PetersKirby Peters: Vegetable Production Co-Manager

Year: Class of 2017
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Agricultural Science

Dilmun Story: Before I transferred to Cornell, I worked at the student farm at Saint Michael's College. Since I first heard about Dilmun, it immediately caught my attention. A few of my classes offered opportunities to experience working at Dilmun, which made me see the great educational opportunity Dilmun provides. I am very excited to be one of the managers this year!

About Kirby: I have been fortunate to have many influential people that have aided me in cultivating my passion for agriculture. My passion started the day I decided to start a garden with plants that a very special person dropped off on my porch. This passion continued as I began working at the vegetable farm next door for the next four years. All of these experiences have shaped who I am and ultimately got me to Cornell to study Agricultural Sciences. Today, my specific interest in agriculture lies in vegetable production and how we can mitigate the ecological impacts.


Emily RamseyEmily Ramsey: Greenhouse and High Tunnel Manager

Year: Class of 2017 and 1/2
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Agricultural Science

Dilmun Story: I learned about Dilmun Hill after transferring to Cornell in the fall of 2015, and grew more and more interested in getting involved with the farm community over the course of the semester. When I decided that I wanted to spend the summer in Ithaca, I applied for the farm manager position and couldn't be happier to have been given the opportunity to unearth my passion for farming and community engagement with other folks who are passionate about farming.

About Emily: My roots are on my parents' compost farm in New Sharon, Maine, where I was born and raised. I became passionate about great food and home production through eating the food my family produces each year in our large sustenance garden. I now hope to share the empowering knowledge that is growing food with others – nothing is better than home-grown food!


Katie Donnelly MoranKatie Moran: Manager - CSA Coordinator

Year: Class of 2018
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: International Agriculture and Rural Development

Dilmun Story: I heard about Dilmun shortly after transferring to Cornell in the fall of 2015, and I went to the kimchi workshop that was held. During the semester, I took a tour of the farm with one of my classes and went to a work party. I knew I wanted to become more involved in the Dilmun community, so I applied to be one of the managers. I am so looking forward to what we grow and accomplish this summer!

About Katie: I grew up in suburb outside of Boston. During my high school years I gained an appreciation for the outdoors and food production by exploring the Maine coast. My dad has always gardened, but from my persistence, we now have a backyard flock of chickens and three beehives. I am very interested in learning to live simply and consuming locally produced food. After interning last summer on an organic 2-acre farm in Montana, I am excited to be growing food for the Cornell community.


Noelle LaDueNoelle LaDue: Wholesale Production Manager

Year: Class of 2019
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Development Sociology

Dilmun Story: I started looking for summer work somehow vaguely related to sustainable food systems and the relationships between urban and rural communities, on which I'd like to focus my studies, and was attracted to the unique opportunity for both personal growth and connections to students with similar interests that Dilmun Hill presented. I'm excited to try my hand at growing veggies after spending the last four summers working with ornamental gardening and landscaping!

About Noelle: I am from Woodbury, NY and had no idea of what I wanted to study until discovering DSoc on a Cornell visit. Then I got here and took an economic botany class first semester, and realized that I really liked the idea of the social side of food production as well as working directly with plants and having a more personal relationship to what I consume.


Julian GarciaJulian Garcia: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2017
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: International Agriculture and Rural Development

Dilmun Story: I have been attending work parties at Dilmun Hill since my freshman year, and I really enjoy the hands-on opportunities that the farm offers. I strongly feel that a student-run farm is an essential component of a university for both the students and the community. It provides me with an outlet from the stress of classes and work, while being able to learn about organic farming.

About Julian: I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and I have always had an appreciation for fresh food and the outdoors. Coming up to Ithaca, I could not be happier with all the outdoor opportunities and sustainable agriculture organizations like Dilmun.


Isabel GareauIsabel Gareau: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2019
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Plant Science

Dilmun Story: I was an avid gardener and employed at a botanical garden back home in Florida. When I arrived at Cornell for my first semester, I realized I really missed working with vegetable production and plants. When I found out about Dilmun I attended a work party and realized I also really missed working with other like-minded farmers! I am excited to have gotten involved so early in my college years and can't wait to see what the next four years will be like working with Dilmun.

About Isabel: I was born and raised in Naples, FL and have always been passionate about plants particular to the tropical and subtropical regions. I interned at the Naples Botanical Garden this past year and really enjoyed working in the Children's Garden and with outreach programs as part of the education department. I am currently doing a plant science concentration in ethnobotany, the study of the role plants play in ethnographic cultures. Agricultural is a large component of this science, and I am thrilled to be working with Dilmun to better understand agricultural systems for this reason.


Tiffany WuTiffany Wu: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2018
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Animal Science

Dilmun Story: I first got into organic farming at my previous school, where there was also a student-run farm, and realized the potential of sustainable agriculture, as well as how cool it was to literally see the fruits of our labor. I am so excited to be a part of the Steering Committee and work with some great people.

About Tiffany: I grew up in Palos Verdes, California and have always harbored an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors—as a high-schooler, I volunteered with our local land conservancy to help propagate endangered plant species, and interned at an avian rehabilitation clinic to assist injured or oiled waterfowl. One of my favorite childhood activities was going to the Farmer’s Market every weekend with my family and taking home fresh produce. I am looking forward to cultivating delicious fruits and vegetables at Dilmun and bringing them to the Cornell community!


Jesse Puka-BealsJesse Puka-Beals: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2018
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Agricultural Science

Dilmun Story: I'm on steering because I want to work with like-minded students on growing food and solving problems, if for nothing else than mental health. I realized that learning how to build legitimacy and get funding for projects, while not what I came to college for, is perhaps even more important than the study of agronomy and soil science. I am very happy to now be working towards this.

About Jesse: I grew up outside of Boston next to a farm. No one in my family farms or even gardens all that much. The difference for me was coming to understand agriculture as an intersection for social and environmental justice in a world that is increasingly disconnected from the land and the communities where they live. After a summer managing a small organic farm and then a year traveling through the agricultural sectors of Latin and South America I realized that I didn't want to be a farmer. I wanted to devote myself to somehow work with nature and how humans grow their food and interact with the land. I'm here at Cornell studying agricultural sciences with the hope to be somewhat useful in facilitating the inevitable meeting between this finite planet and our infinite expectations of it.


Abigail Prisloe: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2018
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Agricultural Science

Dilmun Story: Before coming to Cornell, I knew that I wanted to work at Dilmun Hill. The first semester of my freshmen year, I joined steering committee, and then was a manager for one year. It’s been great and I am excited to see the farm grow over the next years!

About Abigail:  I have always had a deep love and appreciation for food. I am a committed “foodie,” and love food’s ability to bring people together. I also love how (when treated sustainably) food can contribute to healthy communities. I grew up in Trumansburg NY, and have been surrounded by farmers and close community all my life. The farmers in my hometown are using sustainable practices, and they have inspired me to follow in their steps. In high school, I worked at the Ithaca farmers market. Where our food comes from matters; it matters from the soil to the table.


Ashley Engels: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2016
College: College of Industrial and Labor Relations
Major: Industrial and Labor Relations

Dilmun Story: I’ve been interested in agriculture and organic farming for a few years now. So when I heard about Dilmun I was immediately intrigued.  I first worked with Dilmun Hill Farm last year as a manager, I am excited to stay involved as a steering committee member. I look forward to learning more about the agricultural planning process as well as contributing to the business aspect of the farm.

About Ashley: I grew up in rural New Jersey where outdoor activity has always been a part of my life.  After working at a nursery for about 3 seasons and cultivating a smaller personal garden I realized how interested I am in this area.  While my major is business focused, I am interested in exploring different avenues such as agricultural planning.  I am looking forward to this hands on experience where I will be able to help build a sense of community and gain skills whether they apply to my personal or professional life.


Fallon Lowe: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2017
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Agricultural Science

Dilmun Story: My involvement with Dilmun began in the summer of 2014 when I started attending weekly work days. I had a blast getting my hands dirty with the Dilmun community and I wanted more, so I became a manager the following spring. Now I am on the Steering Committee. I am extremely excited to spend another summer working at the beautiful Dilmun site!

About Fallon: My interest in agriculture began in my hometown of Denver, Colorado where I worked for a nonprofit aquaponic and hydroponic greenhouse called the Growhaus. Working with this organization to provide education and fresh produce to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Denver made me realize how food can truly bring people together. I hope to apply some of the knowledge I gained from the Growhaus by expanding Dilmun’s outreach to the broader Ithaca community.


Alena Hutchinson: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2018
College: College of Engineering
Major: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dilmun Story: I have always been interested in becoming involved with Dilmun, and applied for the 2014 Farm Manager position on somewhat of a whim. I’m so happy that I did! Dilmun introduced me to a fantastic community of students, faculty, and staff, and gave me space to explore agriculture, food preservation, business, and educational programming. Since 2014, I have changed majors and am now pursuing engineering and computer science degrees. Dilmun Hill has been a great place to apply my engineering coursework to hands-on projects. Currently, I am designing and building a movable high tunnel with an automated sidewall system, reconstructing our underground irrigation lines, and designing small scale fertigation equipment. I have found Dilmun Hill to be one of the most valuable resources on campus, as it offers students in any major a blank canvas to pursue projects in whatever field they are interested in, be it engineering, business, agriculture, or even the social sciences.

About Alena: I grew up in Rochester, NY, and developed a strong interest in the idea of localized food systems during my senior year of high school. I decided to pursue this interest at Monroe Community College instead of attending the four year engineering programs that I had been accepted to. I became involved with Grow Monroe, a program that promotes local agriculture in Monroe County, which gave me deeper insight into the complex relationships between farms, communities, and economies. After one year at community college, I transferred to Cornell’s Agricultural Sciences program, but ultimately ended up back in the engineering department, with new perspectives, interests, and energy. Dreaming up and implementing creative solutions to maximize the efficiency of small and medium-sized farming operations, and thus increasing the feasibility of localized food systems, is a fun and complex challenge that I continue to enjoy exploring through my work at Dilmun.


Betsy Leonard: Organic Farm Coordinator

About Betsy: I grew up on a fruit and vegetable farm in Central New York. In 1981, I graduated from the department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture at Cornell University. I have been at Cornell for 17 years as a research technician working with vegetable and transplant production research. My favorite project was working with Reduced Tillage in conventional and organic vegetable production. I have enjoyed working with our graduate students and student employees. My interest in mentoring students and growing food led me to this position in April 2011. I have two sons - Jesse (19) and Simon (25). In my spare time I garden at home and help on my family’s farm.