Mara Welton, Board Chair & Slow Food USA Governor
Mara Welton co-owns and operates 2.5 acre Half Pint Farm with her husband Spencer in Burlington’s Intervale. Mara farms because she loves good food – and started her specialty veggie farm in 2003 to provide Vermont with locally grown niche produce. Mara loves that farming keeps her grounded, inspired, and eating the best possible food everyday! Mara brings to Slow Food Vermont a passion for food and traditional foodways. Her enthusiasm for the process of seed to plate, exciting and educational event planning and general good organizational skills contributed to Mara’s leadership style during her 8 year tenure as Slow Food Vermont’s Board Chair. She is happy to return to the role of SFVT board chair and to maintain her role of Slow Food State Governor, liaising between Slow Food International, Slow Food USA, and Slow Food Vermont. When Mara is not farming, she is: running, experimenting in the kitchen, reading about food, snuggling with her dachshunds, traveling abroad, speaking at conferences, entertaining, and pining for the growing season.
Chris Howell, Vice Chair
Chris Howell runs two culinary tour outfits: Vermont Farm Tours and Cocktail Walk. Chris is an avid gardener and co-founder of Grow Team ONE, a series of gardens in Burlington’s Old North End. His passion for sharing Vermont’s agricultural story has it’s roots in a trip to Terra Madre in 2006: Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, addressed food producers from around the world, “Your story—the one we can taste, touch, smell, and see—is one of the most valuable assets to humankind.” Whew! When he’s not leading culinary tours around Vermont, Chris works in finance, plays outside, and makes art.
Beth Cullen, Secretary
Beth moved with her family from Brooklyn to Burlington in 2011, aspiring to apply her traditional business skills to farm and food enterprises. She is a member of the Consumer Education and Marketing Working Group for the Vermont Farm to Plate Network and is the Community Member on the Burlington Farmers Market Steering Committee. To balance her love of cooking and dining out, Beth enjoys obstacle racing, rock climbing and snowboarding. She now lives in Charlotte with her family and four pets.
Barrie Silver, Communications
Barrie has been a member of Slow Food Vermont for years and has enjoyed numerous guided tastings at farmer’s markets, “Summervale” celebrations, and other events. She also attended (and ate her way through!) Terra Madre/Salone Del Gusto in 2012. Thanks to Slow Food Vermont she discovered ‘Umami’ and is looking forward to many more seasons full of delicious and educational potlucks, classes, and tastings! She enjoys helping to promote good, clean, and fair food by spreading the word about Slow Food in Vermont — and beyond.
Grace Meyer, Events
Growing up on a 100 year-old apple orchard and sheep farm in Essex, Vermont, meant an early appreciation of Vermont-grown food for Grace. As the Communications and Membership Coordinator for the Vermont Fresh Network, Grace works with a network of Vermont’s most innovative culinary and agricultural professionals to advance the local food system and share the stories of Vermont-grown food. Outside of the office you can likely find Grace volunteering at the Food Shelf, checking out a film, taking in Vermont’s breathtaking beauty with her dog Millie, or freestyle cooking and gardening.
Emily Moyant, Membership
Emily grew up surrounded by the Green Mountains, in southern Vermont. She worked in healthcare for five years until she moved, with her husband, to Burlington in October of 2015. Since then, Emily has fallen in love with farming and the local food culture. Emily works seasonally at Half Pint Farm, as an assistant at the Burlington Farmers’ Market, and a local, Burlington restaurant. Emily is very passionate about all aspects of the local food system and hopes to one day own a small farm. Emily enjoys hiking, foraging and playing in her indoor herb garden in her free time.
Sara Jean Whelan, Slow Food Youth Network Liaison & Snail of Approval Coordinator
Sara Jean is the director of operations at Three Chimney Farm in Charlotte. She began her Slow Food journey as a freshman at UVM. Her passion for a healthy environment, great foods, and social justice led her to become a leader of the university’s chapter, serving as both treasurer and president, and allowed her to travel as a delegate representing the youth of Vermont to both Terra Madre and Slow Food Nations. Sara Jean hopes to improve the food system through both farming and advocacy, specifically addressing issues of food access, security, and sovereignty. When she’s not out in the fields, you can find SJ exploring new flavors of food and drink in Vermont, watching scary movies, baking everything vegan under the sun, and doing burpees.
Stephanie Gomory, Communications & Treasurer
Stephanie works at a public relations firm where she helps organizations tell their stories to the press and the public. She hopes to promote freshness and fairness in the food system, especially when it comes to providing children with accessible and healthy meals. Stephanie also volunteers with Justice For All VT. In her spare time, she can be found perfecting her pizza dough recipe, exploring Vermont and its food co-ops, and trying to fulfill her much-delayed childhood dream of learning to do a cartwheel. She lives in Montpelier.
Maria Reade, Regional Captan - Southern VT
Maria manages compost operations at Someday Farm in Dorset in addition to wearing many other hats on the farm. She served as Dean of Faculty and teacher of English at the Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, NY for 27 years. She now writes for Edible Green Mountains, Edible Capital District, Northeast Organic Farmers Association periodicals, and Vermont Magazine. Check out her writings at www.mariareade.com. Maria lives in Arlington with her husband, Ned, and their two labs.
Martha Franklin, Regional Captain - Central VT
Martha Franklin is a Chef Instructor at New England Culinary Institute. Her passions are cooking, learning and teaching others about local sustainable food…which is a perfect match for her at home or work! She is a huge follower of the “eat local” mantra and is excited to reflect the importance of this while teaching. Along with gardening, supporting local farmers, vendors and businesses, she is also an avid reader and is always searching for new exciting recipes to incorporate into her work or home life. Martha is the Regional Captain for Montpelier, VT.
Stephan Cantor, Regional Captain - NEK
Stephan Cantor owns and operates Deep Mountain Maple, a maple farm business, together with her husband Howard Cantor. Since 1985 the Cantors have sold their maple products in New York City at the Union Square Greenmarket and other Greenmarkets around New York, and they have been proud to be part of the tremendous growth of farmer’s markets nationwide. Stephan lives and works in West Glover, in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom and at the heart of some of the most exciting things happening today in pursuit of better food systems and of food that is good, clean, and fair. She is an anthropologist by inclination and training, whose scholarly interests are focused on food culture and the histories of foods and food ways, including maple sugar. Stephan has been affiliated with Slow Food USA since 2000, when she led a maple Tasting Event at the first convocation of Slow Food New York. Since then she has been a delegate to Terra Madre (2010), and is currently very excited to energize Slow Food in northeastern Vermont as Slow Food VT’s Northeast Kingdom Regional Captain.