Vermont Agricultural and Forest Products Development Board



 The Vermont Agricultural and Forest Products Development Board was the "Policy Board" for the Working Lands Initiative. The Board is charged with making recommendations to Vermont policy makers on the adoption and amendment of laws, regulations, and governmental policies that affect agricultural and forest products in Vermont. The Board began in 2010, and ended in 2015, as legislation passed to merge the Vermont Agricultural and Forest Products Development Board merged with the Working Lands Enterprise Board.



Board Members:


 Lynn Coale, Director of Patricia Hannaford Career Center, Middlebury, VT (Chair), a person with experience in providing youth with educational opportunities enhancing understanding of agriculture or forestry

Coale is the Superintendent of the Patricia A. Hannaford Regional Technical School District in Middlebury, Vermont. Lynn’s school district offers Career and Technical Education to 1500 high school students and 30,000 adults in Addison County, Coale served as an adjunct professor for Central Wyoming College, the University of Wyoming, and Regis University, and currently sits on numerous boards.


Jim Wood, North Country Environmental, Concord, VT, a forester

Wood is a private forestry consultant and manager at North Country Environmental and Forestry in Concord Vermont. Wood has worked with private non-industrial forest landowners in the region for over 20 years, including forestry and agricultural landowners. He is a member of The Forest Partnership (TFP), a collaboration of consulting foresters that are certified through the Forest Stewardship Council.


Ted Brady, USDA Rural Development VT and HH, an agricultural lender

 Brady was appointed by President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as USDA Rural Development State Director for Vermont and New Hampshire. USDA Rural Development makes grants, loans, and loan guarantees in the housing, community and business sectors in rural communities. In FY13, Rural Development invested nearly $150 million in Vermont – with an emphasis on combating poverty, investing in food systems, and bolstering the bioeconomy. The agency manages a portfolio of nearly $200 billion in assets nationwide.


Kevin Hastings, Amoskeag Woodworking, a person with expertise and professional experience in forest products manufacturing

Hastings is the owner of Amoskeag Woodworking, Inc., and its subsidiary, Morse Hardwoods and Millwork Company. Amoskeag Woodworking was founded in Colchester, Vermont in 1995 as an architectural millwork manufacturer. Hastings graduated from Saint Anslems College in Manchester, New Hampshire.



Warren Hill, Hill Trucking and Logging, Greensboro, VT, a logger

Hill works on the family owned business, Warren Hill Trucking and Logging, Inc. which has been in business for over 25 years. The business offers harvesting, excavation, and trucking, and is located in Greensboro Bend, VT. The Hill Family first came to Greensboro over 200 years ago. They farmed, sugared, logged and took care of the land.



Ken Gagnon, Gagnon Lumber, Pittsford, VT, a sawmill operator

Gagnon Lumber is a modern wholesale and retail forest products business owned and operated by Gagnon and his father. Gagnon also owns and manages woodlands in central Vermont, and is committed to responsible forestry practices under both the Vermont U.V.A. program and the FSC Forest Management program. Gagnon graduated from Castleton State College with a B.S. in Business in 1979.



Jackie Folsom, Crooked Brook Farms and VT Agricultural Fairs Association (Vice-Chair), a representative from a Vermont agricultural advocacy organization

Folsom and her husband, own and operate Crooked Brooks Farm, LLC, in Cabot since 1985. Folsom serves as a lobbyist for the Vermont Fairs Association and is a board member of the Champlain Valley Exposition and the Vermont Farm Show. She is on the Dairy Development Committee of the Farm to Plate project and has been an active member of the Ag Innovation Center, which was funded with the help of Senator Patrick Leahy.



Cynthia Belliveau, Director of Continuing Education, UVM, an employee of a Vermont postsecondary institution experienced in researching issues related to agriculture or forestry

As Dean of University of Vermont Division of Continuing Education, Dr. Belliveau directs programming for pre-college students, college students, and professional adults both on campus, internationally and online. Dr. Belliveau is a faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. Dr. Belliveau is the Director of the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) focused on offering the 50+ audience educational courses and activities at nine sites around the state.



Beth Kennett, Liberty Hill Farm, Rochester, VT, a person familiar with the agricultural or forest tourism industry

Kennett and her husband have operated Liberty Hill Farm since 1979. They milk 120 registered Holsteins with the help of their two sons and their five grandchildren. Kennett has operated a farm vacation business, providing lodging and meals for guests from around the world since 1984. Liberty Hill Farm has been featured in numerous national publications and filmed for several television programs. Beth is well known for her bountiful farm-style meals using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Kennett has served as the founding Chair of VT Farms! Association, the statewide agritourism association, since 1996, and represents the agritourism community on national, regional and statewide boards.


John Mandeville, Lamoille Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director, a person with expertise in rural economic development issues

Mandeville has been Executive Director of the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation since March 2010.  Prior to this he was Director of the Incubator Without Walls (iWOW) program at Lyndon State College and was briefly President of Northern Community Management Corp., a property management firm specializing in affordable housing for low income families, senior citizens and the disabled. For two years, Mandeville served as the Area Business Advisor in VT’s Northeast Kingdom and in Lamoille County for the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC). He also served as an executive at the New England Culinary Institute for five years after he and his family moved to VT in 2000.  Prior to Vermont, he served as Managing Director/COO for the European subsidiary of an American company in England.  He has owned two businesses: a business consulting firm in Manhattan and in the central California region for international franchisor, Decorating Den, Inc.


Paul Harlow, Harlow Organic Vegetable Farm, Westminster, VT, a person who produces an agricultural commodity other than dairy products

Harlow has owned and operated Harlow Farm and Kestrel Farm in Westminster, Vt., since 1975. He is a partner in Westminster Organics, a family wholesale organic vegetable operation and farmstand in Westminster, Vt. Harlow graduated from Castleton College and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. He was named Sustainable Farmer of the Year for Vermont in 1998, and in 1981, he was named Conservation Farmer of the Year by the Windham County Soil and Conservation District.



Andy Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm and Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, VT, a person who creates a value-added product using ingredients substantially produced on Vermont farms

Kehler is the Herd Manager at Jasper Hill Farm, and a cheesemaker at Cellars at Jasper Hill, a 22,000 square foot cheese-aging facility with seven underground cellars. Cellars at Jasper Hill also markets and distributes the cheeses. Kehler graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in political science and philosophy.



Mark Curran, Black River Produce, North Springfield, VT, a person with expertise in sales and marketing

In 1978, Curran opened a natural food store with Steve Birge called Black River Market. In 1978 the store morphed into a wholesale distribution co., Black River Produce which currently has about 150 employees. Curran has served on numerous local and state boards including "Vermont Fresh Network."



Bob Rathbun, Seedway Facility Manager, Shoreham, VT, a person representing the feed, seed, fertilizer, or equipment enterprises

Rathburn is a retired dairy farmer and former location manager for Seedway LLC in Shoreham, VT. Seedway LLC is a full-line seed company, marketing farm and turf seed in the northeast U.S. and vegetable seed from the Rocky Mountains to the east coast and Ontario, Canada.



Jonathan Rooney, Monument Farms, Weybridge, VT, a representative of Vermont's dairy industry who is also a dairy farmer

Rooney, along with two of his cousins, manage the dairy portion and processing plant of Monument Farms, a family dairy farm. The farm processes milk into fluid dairy products and distributes those products throughout the Champlain Valley and, via two other distributers, other select areas of Vermont and New England.



Gil Livingston, President of Vermont Land Trust, a person with expertise in land planning and conservation efforts that support Vermont's working landscape

Livingston was Counsel and Vice President for Land Conservation at VLT from 1990 to 2006, becoming president in early 2007. He currently serves on the boards of Home Share Vermont and the Black Family Land Trust. Livingston graduated in 1975 from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in Political Science and received his law degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law (J.D. summa cum laude) in 1978.


Ex Officio Non-voting Members:

Chuck Ross, Secretary of VT Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (Chair)

Ross has 16 years of experience as U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy’s State Director. Born in Burlington, Vermont, he graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in Geography in 1978 and from the University of Washington with an M.A. in Geography in 1982.



Lawrence Miller, Secretary of VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Miller founded Otter Creek Brewery in 1990. Following the sale of Otter Creek, Lawrence became involved with Danforth Pewter and moved into the role of CEO. Lawrence earned his undergraduate degree in psychology in 1987 from Reed College. In 1999 he completed the Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurial Leadership program at MIT, in Boston.



Mike Snyder, Commissioner of VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation 

Snyder was appointed Commissioner of Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation by Gov. Peter Shumlin in January 2011. He served 14 years as Chittenden County Forester, providing land stewardship assistance to private landowners and municipalities. He received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in forestry from the University of Vermont.