MEET THE TEAM
Lauren's background includes a wide range of projects involving water resource engineering, agriculture, climate justice, and community building; she is excited to combine and continue to work on these topics as part of her new role as District Manager, which started in January 2021. In 2015, Lauren graduated from Smith College in her hometown of Northampton, MA and traveled for a few years until settling into Vermont in early 2018. Lauren spent the 2019 growing season in Franklin County, working on a small farm in Montgomery and serving the community at two local restaurants. She enjoys her work in Franklin County with folks who are dedicated to the land, water, and life around them.
Natural Resources Planner
Mel gained a love for nature after growing up in the Southern Adirondacks in upstate New York. She originally studied and taught English and has lived in Brazil, France, and South Korea. After returning to the US, Mel decided to devote her career to environmental conservation. Since then, she has completed a masters degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy with a focus in environmental justice from Johns Hopkins University. She has also served with ECO AmeriCorps at NorthWoods Stewardship Center and the VTDEC Monitoring and Assessment Program, where she gained experience in water quality, aquatic ecology, and riparian restoration. She is excited to use these skills to work with community members and the Franklin County NRCD team to protect Franklin County's natural resources. In her free time, you can find Mel hiking, reading, and learning new languages.
Charles grew up in Darlington, South Carolina, and moved to the Southern Appalachia mountains to attend the Warren-Wilson College where he obtained a B.S. in Environmental Studies. His degree focused on sustainable forestry, and while pursuing his degree started working on different livestock farms, becoming interested in agricultural impacts on soil health and plant interactions. Since graduating, he has worked on diversified vegetable farms in the Western North Carolina and Central Vermont areas. Through his studies and work, Charles became interested in soil and plant interactions, especially concerning livestock and cover crops, leading him to pursue a graduate assistantship in a soil health lab to achieve an M.S. in Plant and Environmental Sciences from Clemson University. Charles enjoys dirt biking, trail running, hunting, and fly fishing in his free time.
Kate is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and now lives in Richmond, Vermont. She graduated from UVM with a degree in Environmental Science and then spent two years as an ECO AmeriCorps member, first serving for a year with the VT DEC Lakes and Ponds program, and then with the Franklin County NRCD. She is excited to be staying on at the District as a project technician. In her free time you can find her hiking, gardening, baking, and exploring new places around Vermont!
Dorothy grew up in Southeastern Vermont and moved north to attend the University of Vermont where she obtained an B.S. in Environmental Studies. Her degree focused on ecological agriculture and food systems, and while pursuing her degree she began working on farms and quickly fell in love with growing food and tending to productive landscapes. Since graduating, she has worked on diversified vegetable farms in the Burlington area. Through her studies and work, Dorothy became interested in ecological landscape design and planning, especially in relation to agricultural landscapes, leading her to pursue an M.S. in Ecological Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design. Outside of her work, Dorothy enjoys doing pottery, hiking, gardening, cooking, and canning tomatoes on the hottest days of the summer.
ECO AmeriCorps Member
Kerry’s love of nature was founded in her family’s yearly tradition of visiting an old camping spot in the woods of Pennsylvania. After a busy day of searching for red efts, crayfish, and mossy rocks with her sister, mom, and dad, they would close out the night calling out to groups of deer and breathing in the refreshing, earthy air. Kerry became interested in food systems while growing up on Long Island wondering where her food came from and how far it traveled to get to her plate. Due to these experiences, Kerry decided to study Natural Resources at the University of Vermont specializing in Food Systems, Sustainability, and Justice. While in Vermont, Kerry’s passion about the intersection of agriculture and conservation blossomed. Kerry has studied food systems in Atlanta, Georgia and Quito, Ecuador and has worked at various farms within Chittenden County, Vermont. She gained ecological restoration experience while working with North Branch Nature Center and learned about environmental policy while working as a legislative intern with Vermont Natural Resources Council. In her free time, you will likely find Kerry birding along the Winooski River, biking to her favorite Lake Champlain swimming spots, or reading in her backyard! She is delighted to be serving at Franklin County NRCD with ECO AmeriCorps this year!
MEET THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Richard began serving on the Board in the 1980s. Born in Connecticut to French Canadian parents, soon moved to Vermont to join farming relatives. He started haying when he was 9 years old and has worked on farms all his life. From 1972 to 1999 he ran his own dairy on the headwaters of the Rock River in Highgate, and continued haying until 2017. He likes to help the NRCS and District bring information to farmers. Because he knows the area so well, he brings local knowledge to staff who come from out of state. He still has a 45 acre farm where he sugars and hays. Reach Richard at 802-868-4162.
Molly grew up in St. Albans. She attended BFA and then UVM, where she received a degree in Chemistry. She worked three years in an environmental testing laboratory in Williston. Since then, she has been teaching physics and environmental science at BFA. Her husband owns and operates a farm with his brothers in Fairfield, on which they raise their three children.
Vicky is originally from a small mining town in southeastern California. After traveling for a few months after high school, she landed at the University of Georgia where she earned a BS in Agronomy with an emphasis in soil science. She joined the Soil Conservation Service (now the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) in 1983 as a student intern and continued to work for the agency for 38 years in Georgia, Rhode Island, and Vermont, along with temporary appointments in Virginia and Washington DC. She has worked with a variety of agricultural producers throughout her career on all types of natural resource issues. Most recently she served as the State Conservationist for VT NRCS, where she helped form the Vermont Ag Water Quality Partnership, and guided NRCS’ programs, policies, and staff to assist private landowners in addressing their water quality needs, as well as other high priority concerns. Vicky retired from NRCS in 2021. She and her husband Greg reside on a small farm in Georgia, Vermont, and both volunteer on several community based organizations. Vicky looks forward to using her knowledge of conservation, agriculture and state/federal policies to help guide the District in developing and implementing a strong conservation program in Franklin County.
Phil grew up helping his dad on the family farm in Enosburg, and as a high-schooler at Bellows Free Academy he was an active member of FFA and 4-H. On buying the farm from his dad in 1987, Phil quips, “That’s when he saddled me with debt forever.” Before joining the Conservation District in 2000, Phil was involved with a local group helping farmers with record keeping and nutrient management. Today he serves on the District’s board as a way to give a voice to farmers in the community and make a positive difference. Reach him at 802-933-2382.
Carissa resides on a forested hillside in Montgomery where she strives to learn from the land and all that inhabit it. Originally from a little farm in rural Virginia, she traveled place-to-place in the military while serving as a Weather Forecaster till 2009. After which she went to college in Bozeman, Montana for Rangeland Ecology. In 2014, she took residence in Vermont, happily found herself back in agrarian culture while working for farmers at Natural Resources Conservation Service till December 2021. Her hope is to serve the dynamic community with evolving balance and connection.
Dan Pipes is our newest board member. He lives with his wife, Mary, in Fairfield. They have two daughters who grew up here.
Their land is an interesting blend of hayfields, orchards, wetlands, ponds, streams, sugar woods, and mixed softwood/ hardwood forests. Dan served in the Army and the Army National Guard for 31 years, including multiple deployments across the world. Dan speaks German, some Polish, and can be rude to you in Dari.
Dan brings infectious enthusiasm for woodlot management to our board. He is interested in improving the health and composition of our natural resources, with an eye on long term sustainability.
Dan earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from Western Maryland college, and a Masters degree in National Security/ strategic planning from the US Army War College in Carlisle, PA.
Retired since 2019, Dan stays busy tending to his gardens, orchards, woodlots, bees, hunting fishing, and helping neighbors, especially during the spring.
Become an Associate Supervisor
Are you interested in serving as a Supervisor for the Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District? We are seeking candidates to learn how to be a Supervisor without a present commitment in hopes that as our existing Supervisors retire, we will have folks lined up to continue to great work of the District.
Please contact us at info@franklincountyNRCD.org to learn more!
Doug is a trained forester and worked for UVM Extension for over 17 years on natural resources issues. On the Board of the Conservation District, he hoped to continue to serve the people of Franklin County related to water quality and natural resources management. The District is important, he says, because it provides support and knowledge to individuals in the county wanting to be better land stewards. Doug lives in Fairfax and began serving for the Franklin District in 2017. Doug's term ended in 2020.
Eileen became a supervisor in 2015. She grew up on a farm in Fairfield and went on to own and operate a dairy and maple farm with her husband Garry, which they still operate. They have raised four children there and now have one grandchild. Eileen is also a retired dental hygienist after 35 years in the profession. As a Vermont farmer, caring for the environment is just a part of who she is. Eileen's term ended in 2021.
Daton (center) began serving on the District board in 1967 and has farmed all his life. He served because he wanted to see what all the farmers are doing, and help them in any way that he could. At one point, he had the best manure storage system around, because it had a roof on it. This picture is at the close of the Vermont Soil Survey, in 1965. Daton served the District for over 50 years, many of them as the Chair of the Board!
Adrian is a retired lifelong dairy farmer in Franklin, VT who joined the Board of Supervisors in February 2021. He loves working with livestock, working with the land, and making improvements. His land is a great home to wildlife and birds that he enjoys watching and creating habitat for. He is driven to keep supporting farmers to work with nature and is excited to bring his ideas to the Franklin County NRCD.
Read about our Work
The Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District empowers and partners with land stewards and communities on the ground by supporting connections that benefit natural resources, water quality, soil health, and the working landscape in Franklin County and across Northwest Vermont