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!
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.
Having grown up on a farm, Naomi has had the opportunity to be a part of the development of an organic family farm from the ground up. This has given her an appreciation for the challenges and rewards of growing a CSA farm. Since obtaining her B.A in International Development at the University of Guelph, Naomi has become the Field Manager of Manorun Organic Farm. Time spent as both an intern in Canada and abroad, as well as an intern mentor, has helped drive her dedication to farming education. She is excited to join the EFAO to continue to share her passion for agriculture and to encourage local, healthful eating in her communities.
Ayla is based in Kingston, and has spent several years working on organic farms in the area. Completing a B.Sc. in Biology at Queen’s University and studying Food Security at Ryerson University inspired her to pursue her first farming apprenticeship, and she hasn’t looked back since. Ayla has done organizing work for Young Agrarians in Ontario, and currently sits on the board of the National Farmers Union as the Youth Vice-President. Through the NFU she has participated in La Via Campesina international events, and is a founding member of the National New Farmer Coalition that is working to support new farmers across Canada.
Sarah has degrees in ecology from the University of Toronto (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and a Ph.D. in soil microbial ecology in agroecosystems from Iowa State University. During her time in Iowa, Sarah found her passion for communicating science and farmer-led on-farm research. Through her involvement with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Sarah saw firsthand the power of farmer-led research as a flexible tool that empowers farmers to innovate in economical and ecological ways. When she is not working with EFAO, you can find Sarah farming diversified perennial crops and pastured livestock with her family at Three Ridges Ecological Farm.
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!
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.