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Student Leaders

Emma BadiniEmma Badini: Wholesale Production Manager

Year: Class of 2020
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies (Studying Environmental Justice)

Dilmun Story: I first learned about Dilmun as a freshman, as I was searching for organizations on campus that I might want to join. Dilmun had just started offering General Body meetings to anybody who was interested and I showed up to one in the fall, hoping to get involved. I had no farming knowledge and had no idea how to contribute to the planning of the 20th anniversary celebration that everybody was planning. I haven’t been to another G-Body meeting since that one but Dilmun definitely stayed on my radar. This past spring, I decided to apply to work as a manager at Dilmun. As an Environmental Justice major, I’ve been especially interested in connection to place and food security recently. I figured working as a manager at Dilmun would be a great way to develop a greater sense of connection to place in Ithaca and a great way to learn about farming in a way that I might be able to transfer back to urban farms at home in New York City. I’ve felt connected to Dilmun’s mission to make healthy food accessible to more students here at Cornell and I am excited to continue working toward that mission with my lovely co-managers and the rest of the Dilmun community, even the freshmen that show up to random meetings and feel intrigued, curious, and maybe a bit lost.

About Emma: I grew up in New York City and had never worked on a farm until Dilmun. My family did have an organic garden near my grandma’s house in upstate New York throughout my life and I was lucky enough to help out a bit. As a child, I didn’t fully understand the appeal of gardening, as so much of it seemed to include weeding and so many bees but I loved the cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas. As I’ve grown older and developed a passion for Environmental Justice, I’ve been searching for areas in which I can work within and for the movement. I have also learned the ways in which physical labor can be satisfying and rewarding, especially when it is done out of care for others. I believe cities are “natural environments” and that there is power in urban farming and I am excited to continue my work with Dilmun and beyond.

James YoonJames Yoon: Wholesale Production Manager

Year: Class of 2021
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Undecided

Dilmun Story: I first learned about Dilmun through a few housemates who happened to be previous managers. Although I didn't have any prior experience or a particular academic interest in agriculture, Dilmun's fully student-run model piqued my interest. Since working as a manager, I've learned so much about agriculture and gained a huge appreciation for the land. I'm blessed to be working alongside such inspiring women.

About James: Both my parents grew up as farmers. However, since they turned to academia later in life to pursue personal goals, I wasn't ever exposed to much farming. Still, I've had a fascination with agriculture. It always felt miraculous to me that a farmer could cultivate land to grow food that she can share with the wider community. I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to gain experiential knowledge about agriculture at Dilmun.

Emma HerrightyEmma Herrighty: CSA Manager

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

Dilmun Story: I was first introduced to Dilmun through Cornell’s course on sustainable agriculture, when we toured the farm during a field trip. I was immediately impressed by the students’ work, and had the inkling of an idea that this would be a fulfilling opportunity to pursue. Now, entering my last semester at Cornell, I did not think I could enter the world with a degree in International Agriculture, without farming first myself. I felt I owed it to myself to get my hands dirty. This experience so far has been incredibly rewarding, and I feel much more confident in myself as an agriculturist. I look forward to being able to work and interact better with farmers, now that I have had a chance to share in their experiences. I will be forever grateful to this organization and the lovely people that I have met, who continue to push me to be a better farmer every day. 

About Emma: I grew up on my parents’ hobby farm, blissfully surrounded by sheep and strawberries. From this exposure, I’ve always had an interest in farming and gardening, but I did not start considering agriculture as a career path for myself until I learned about the International Agriculture program here at Cornell. Looking back, I am incredibly grateful of the childhood that I had, and I wish I had been more involved in tending to our gardens (my favorite part was harvesting, aka eating). Working at Dilmun so far has been incredibly nostalgic for me, and I cannot wait to have a hobby farm of my own one day. 

Zoe FriedbergZoe Friedberg: Steering Committee Member

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. I am happy to move to a larger piece of land, and applying the horticulture and agriculture principles I have learned thus far to Dilmun, serving as a manager in 2017, and now as a steering member.

Erin KehoeErin Kehoe: Steering Committee Member

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 was very excited to work as a manager last summer, and to continue to be part of the Steering Committee this year!

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: Steering Committee Member

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 in 2017, and a Steering Committee member this year.

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.

Matt ChartrandMatt Chartrand: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2019
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 
Major: Agricultural Sciences

Dilmun Story: Prior to transferring to Cornell in the Fall of 2017, I had the opportunity to work with a Cornell Alum and past Dilmun manager.  He continually expressed his love for the farm and shared what a great resource it was for him throughout his education.  It quickly became evident to me that Dilmun would be able to provide the perfect work / life balance that I was striving for, allowing me to truly get my hands dirty and practice what I was learning in the classroom.  I hope to bring some of my knowledge in organic and sustainable agriculture to Dilmun, and look forward to learning from my peer’s areas of expertise as well.

About Matt: Although I grew up in the small town of Honeoye Falls, NY neither of my parents are farmers and of my two siblings, I was the only one willing to put my hands in the soil.  In high school, I became alarmingly aware of how our current food systems work and how people really don’t know where their food comes from.  Educating people and changing this current system became a passion of mine; one that I believe starts with good agriculture. I also have a love and appreciation of good food. I have learned throughout my travels that the best tasting food comes from the best quality ingredients, and think the love and effort that is put into producing each ingredient can be reflected in the meals created. I am proud to be a part of the steering committee this year. 

Niki Amini-NaieniNiki Amini-Naieni: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2021
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 
Major: Computer and Electrical Engineering

Dilmun Story: I am an avid foodie, and I love experimenting with healthy ingredients in my kitchen. Naturally, when I learned about Dilmun Hill at the Cornell farmers’ market, I wanted to join. The multitude of diverse projects and opportunities at Dilmun Hill is inspiring. Also, as a freshman, I have met many interesting people from an eclectic range of majors on Dilmun Hill’s steering committee. Ever since joining, I have learned more about the applications of sustainable agriculture, exciting engineering projects conducted on the farm, and engaging research opportunities pursued on the farm.

About Niki: I grew up in Seattle, Washington. I love mathematics and chemistry, and I am passionate about health and wellness. I started my own healthy dessert company, Rawcoco, as a side project, and I have blogged for Rawcoco and other health-related nonprofits, juice bars, and businesses. I enjoy practicing yoga, kickboxing, and writing spoken word poetry on my free time. I can hold a forearm plank for over two hours and forty minutes, have an identical twin, and love cooking with healthy ingredients. As a food aficionado, I hope to contribute to agricultural development throughout my career and time at Cornell.

Jonathan BerlingeriJonathan Berlingeri: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2019
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 
Major: Agricultural Sciences

Dilmun Story: My previous agricultural work experiences, although rewarding, have been short-term task oriented jobs. Something clicked when I first volunteered at Dilmun; my academic life needed balancing with practical experience. I saw Steering as an opportunity to develop a more comprehensive understanding of farm management.

About Jonathan: I grew up in a small town just north of New York city. I first fostered an interest in food production while working on my family’s plot in our community garden. I decided to pursue agriculture-related work as a young adult and have since worked on a variety of farms. During my first year of college I became actively involved in food justice and an amateur chef. I have since worked at many levels of food production and distribution. Food continues to fascinate me and is a growing part of my life and worldview. I look forward to learning more during my time here at Dilmun.

Allyson WentworthAllyson Wentworth: Steering Committee Member

Year: Class of 2020
College: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 
Major: Agricultural Sciences/Viticulture & Enology

Dilmun Story: I came across Dilmun the first week of my freshman year. I was looking to meet new people with similar interests and get hands on experience in a farming community. I attended their first work party and immediately knew I wanted to be more involved with the farm. Dilmun was the perfect opportunity for me to get involved on campus and start my ventures into farming.

About Allyson: I participated for ten years in Monroe County's 4-H K-9 Kids Club. My experiences in the club exposed me to the agricultural aspects of 4-H. Through this exposure, I realized that agriculture was the industry I wanted to be a part of. As someone who does not come from a farming background, I believe I offer a unique perspective that will allow me to be an innovator in the future of agriculture.

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.

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.