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Operations Team

Working Lands Operations Team

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative operates out of the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. 

Image of Elizabeth SippleElizabeth Sipple, Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, 802-917-1134

Elizabeth Sipple is Program Lead for the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. She trained in agroecology at the University of Vermont and the University of California Santa Cruz and has over a decade of on-the-ground experience accompanying farmers and rural entrepreneurs. Elizabeth was the founding director of Mercy Corps’ Rural Resilience Program and a Program Officer with American Jewish World Service in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. More recently Elizabeth worked with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to strengthen critical mental health supports for farmers in Vermont. Elizabeth is passionate about social justice, environmentalism, and community-scale agriculture. She is a lover of adventures (big and small) and traditions that bring communities together.


Image of Clare Salerno

Clare Salerno, Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, 802-917-2637

Clare Salerno is an Agriculture Development Specialist providing program support for the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. She grew up in Johnson, Vermont and studied sociology and environmental studies at Wellesley College. She worked for several years in Washington, DC conducting research related to housing, food, and climate policy at The Urban Institute. She has experience with evaluating federal housing programs, partnering with communities across the US to advance food and housing security, and researching the social aspects of climate change and resilience. Clare cares about serving rural communities and also enjoys running the back roads of Lamoille County, browsing the stacks at her local library, and watching soccer.


Image of Diana Ferguson with gray backgroundDiana FergusonAgency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, 802-622-4094

Diana is a Grants Specialist, helping to administer grants and provide overall support for the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion with a minor in Consumer Foods from the University of Georgia. From ten years in the nonprofit sector, Diana brings expertise in resource development, organizational management, and program coordination covering topics such as food accessibility, youth engagement, and a range of community health issues. In her free time, you can find Diana hiking, swimming, hunting for wild mushrooms, catching a live music show, or visiting a Vermont farmers’ market.