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Student Leaders

Zoe FriedbergZoe Friedberg: Vegetable Production Manager

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

Dilmun Story: I heard about Dilmun through a sustainable agriculture class I was fortunate to take freshman year. Throughout my time at Cornell, I have developed a growing interest in local and global food systems. Dilmun provides a unique opportunity to grow, experiment, and interact with food in an intimate environment. I am so excited to work with the CSA model and grow food with the Cornell and Ithaca Community

About Zoe: Way back in middle school, after returning back from summer camp, I decided that I should have a home garden. The following summer, against my parents’ wishes, I dug up the front lawn, and constructed my first garden. This summer, I am looking forward to moving to a larger piece of land, and applying the horticulture and agriculture principles I have learned thus far to Dilmun.

Erin KehoeErin Kehoe: CSA Coordinator

Year: Class of 2020
College: College of Human Ecology
Major: Nutritional Sciences

Dilmun Story: I’m interested in how food contributes to the health of communities, so I wanted to learn more about sustainable agriculture and the role it can play in community health. Dilmun combines my interest in food systems and my desire to become more involved in the Ithaca community. I am very excited to be working as a manager this summer!

About Erin: I grew up in Seattle, Washington, and my mom and I had a small plot at a community P-Patch where we grew vegetables. I always loved working there (and eating the veggies). My interest in food insecurity began in high school when I worked at a little urban community farm which grew produce for the food bank and other local feeding programs. I love being outside, and I can’t wait to learn more about agriculture while working at Dilmun.

Brian ByunBrian Byun: Vegetable Production Co-Manager

Year: Class of 2019
College: College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
Major: Urban and Regional Studies

Dilmun Story: I've always wanted to be a farmer so that I can engage with the land, and have a closer connection to my food and my natural surroundings. It worked out for me because all the Dilmun managers this past year literally lived on my street. Through my friends, I got involved in work-parties and greenhouse work that eventually led to me becoming a manager!

About Brian: I am a city-boy at heart, with minimal exposure to farms. I love beautiful buildings, public transit, big crowds. But after a life-changing experience in high school, I realized the importance of natural elements in cities. Fresh food, in addition to parks and natural scenery, make the built environment infinitely better for people. I dream of becoming an urban farmer one day, and offering fresh food and more to my community.

Samantha HackettSamantha Hackett: Wholesale Production Manager

Year: Class of 2018
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies

Dilmun Story: Transferring in as a Junior Pre-Vet major, in Fall 2016, led to a quick change after seeing what else Cornell has to offer. Viewing agricultural systems as a whole peaked my interest, and I changed my major to Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Agricultural Sciences, Animal Science, and Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. After hearing about Dilmun Hill Farm from a past manager, I was immediately intrigued especially because it was student run. I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a manager and work with such amazing people.

About Sam: As a child we always had animals in the house, and growing up immersed in nature allowed us to get ducks. It did not take long before I was very involved in my local 4H and began homesteading. After working in vet offices, I realized that conservation was another major passion of mine and that agriculture is how I can make an impact.

Nina SannesNina Sannes: Steering Committee Member

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 loved managing the vegetable production last year, and I will remain on the Steering Committee this year.

Emily RamseyEmily Ramsey: Steering Committee Member

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 of 2016 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. This year I am still a Steering Committee member.

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: Steering Committee Member

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 2016 managers. I am proud of what we grew and accomplish, and I will stay involved with Dilmun as a Steering Committee member. 

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: Steering Committee Member

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.

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.

Alena HutchinsAlena 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.

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.

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.