Ali has a degree in Food Production and the Environment (B.Sc.) from McGill University and an M.Sc in Agroecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Ali spent a number of seasons working as an intern and volunteer on farms in Ontario, BC and abroad, after which she helped run a market garden CSA business. Prior to working with EFAO, Ali spent 6 years as FarmStart’s Training and Resources Program Manager, developing workshops, courses, farm tours and resources for new ecological farmers across Ontario. Ali loves supporting ecological farmers; the growers, innovators and community builders who are doing such valuable work!
Allison Muckle, Director of Development
Allison has a degree in Biology (B.Sc.) from Queen’s University in Kingston. She has spent the last six years running a small, mixed farm business (Rowantree Farms) in Sudbury. She also worked for FarmStart from 2013-2016 to coordinate a project to support new, ecological farmers in northeastern Ontario. Allison was one of five founding members of Eat Local Sudbury Co-operative, and has worked in various roles with the organization over the past 10 years; as staff, Board member and producer-member of the co-op. Although no longer running Rowantree Farms as a business, Allison continues to grow meats, fruit and vegetables to feed her family. She is passionate about supporting ecological farmers and is truly delighted to join the amazing EFAO staff team!
Fiona lives and writes on a small farm in Marmora, Ont., where she grows vegetables and raises sheep, pigs, goats, bees, an assortment of poultry and two kids. She’s written for a number of magazines and websites, including Small Farm Canada, and holds a B.A. in International Development from the University of Guelph, and a B.A.A. in Journalism from Ryerson. She’s currently working on her MFA (University of King’s College, 2015) and writing a book called Digging Deep about her move to the farm and living an authentic life close to the land.
Heather Coffey, Eastern Ontario Research Coordinator
Heather has studied Social-Ecological Systems at McGill (B.A.&Sc.) and completed an M.Sc. in Landscape Ecology at Carleton University. Since then she has been working on farms in Eastern Ontario and now runs an eight acre market garden in Prince Edward County, Fiddlehead Farm with her partner Steve. She spent two years coordinating farmer-to-farmer learning and networking in the Kingston Area before folding the group into the EFAO. She jumped on board the new farmer-led research program keen to integrate science and it’s teachings into practical, everyday ecological farming!
Katie Baikie, Training and Resources Program Manager
Katie has a BAH in Political Studies from Queen’s University and has spent five years working in ecological agriculture with the New Farm and Mapleton’s Organic Dairy, including her own market garden at Mapleton’s. She has also completed Everdale’s Farm Planner course and even dabbled in the culinary arts. Most recently, she worked with Sustain Ontario to help coordinate past Bring Food Home and Carving Our Niche events. Katie is excited to work with EFAO to support the coming together of ecological farmers for education, collaboration, and celebration.
Martina has been involved in southern Ontario’s ecological farm network since 2011 when she completed a full season internship at Ignatius Farm. She spent the following 4 years farming in Perth County and in BC, and has also been involved with the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training. She currently grows vegetables and fruit at Spiral Farm, a small urban farm in Fergus, Ontario. Martina’s farm journey has been fueled by the strong connections and mentorship offered by others, and she is pleased to be furthering these connections for fellow farmers through her work with the EFAO. Martina has a BScH in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph.
Before entering her studies in Psychology at the University of Guelph, Sarah spent 4 seasons working on organic farms across Ontario, and several years cooking in sustainably minded restaurant kitchens. She got a good start in Oma’s kitchen garden and has kept learning ever since. These days, Sarah is passionate about worker safety and community-driven learning, and is blossoming with gratitude to be joining the EFAO team as Training and Resource Assistant for the next couple of months! During her time at the EFAO, Sarah will be supporting a variety of projects. Among other tasks, she will be creating promotional materials, writing newsletter content, archiving old issues of the newsletter, and assisting with an upcoming farmer-led research project about soil health.
Sarah has degrees in ecology from the University of Toronto (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and a Ph.D. in soil microbial ecology from Iowa State University. Through her involvement with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Sarah saw firsthand the positive change that comes from farmer-led research. Since returning to Ontario she has worked to develop and coordinate EFAO’s farmer-led research program, which supports member-farmers to design, collect and share evidence-based information for their farms. When she is not working with EFAO, you can find Sarah growing pasture-raised livestock with her husband Drake at their farm, Three Ridges Ecological Farm.
Thorsten Arnold, Strategic Initiatives and Fundraising Coordinator
Thorsten lives in Grey County at Persephone Market Garden. Educated in environmental and climate change sciences, he came to ecological farming and local food systems as the most efficient strategy to foster people, planet and rural community. He later added a postgraduate degree in agricultural economics and watershed management. Since 2012, Thorsten worked as food system consultant with the Grey Bruce Centre for Agroecology that he co-founded. Thorsten is proud to work with EFAO because this organization educates on and fosters the most important strategy in reversing the degradation of soil, curbing the 6th planetary extinction of species, and maintaining thriving rural communities in a changing climate. All of that in the most joyful way possible: by celebrating fresh and healthy food that is tastier than anything you can (currently) buy in supermarkets.