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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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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