Katie (she/her) co-founded YFP in the winter of 2009, and has been with the program ever since. Katie works as development coordinator and provides administrative and jack-of-all trades support for all programming. Katie comes from a small-farming background, and has worked in the local food system for 20+ years. Katie's passion for the powerful voices of young people, and her love for the land, drive her commitment to the Youth Farm Project.
Katie grew up in the Ithaca area, and is raising her own family here. For much of her life, Katie's work has centered around food, from working on farms, to managing a large CSA, to working as a chef. Katie's work with the Youth Farm Project ties all of these passions together.
Liz (she/her) moved to Ithaca in 2005, and began working on local vegetable farms. She spent the next decade+ learning from the local farm community about sustainable farming practices. Liz had a near-brush with YFP while managing the farm at Wood's Earth Living Classroom before the two projects joined forces! Most recently, Liz was the Incubator Farm Manager at Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, where she supported beginning farmers to adapt to the Ithaca climate and start or expand farm businesses and projects. Liz is inspired by equitable land access, finding joy in the hard work of growing food, and spending time with humans and other animals.
Lechandre (she/her) is an artist, a free spirit, a lover of authentic and purposeful human connection. With adventure always calling her and the perpetual eagerness to learn and grow, she is always ready to jump in to something new. And that pertains to cooking as well. Never afraid of trying something unfamiliar at least once, she strives for every meal to be exciting and bold (and delicious :) )
She learned how to cook on her own and is excited to spread the joy she found in it to others. She believes that like music, good food is a connector. It can be something that is able to gather people together, creating a space that allows for exciting and bold conversation.
Gil (he/him) is our honeybee educator and mentor. Gil inherited this tradition of beekeeping education from his grandfather and kept bees with his father in Israel, where he grew his first honey business. He has a masters degree in honeybee behavior from Hebrew University and a PhD in neuroscience from Cornell. He and Naama now manage Gil’s Honeybees, a small family owned apiary in Ithaca, NY. Him and his family love to work with honeybees! They make sure the bees are happy and healthy all year-long and in return get millions of dedicated workers producing high quality pesticide-free raw honey, pollen, and beeswax. The honey they get is all natural – from the beehive directly to the jar.
Many years ago Stephen (he/him) sidestepped a career as a junior high math teacher to become a modern dancer. Over the years he danced with a variety of companies and choreographers around the world, most notably with Rachel Lampert & Dancers during the 80's and early 90's, and Jane Comfort & Company from 1995 thru 2004. He arrived in Ithaca in 2004, serving as the the Managing Director of the Kitchen Theatre Company thru 2020. He is currently working part-time as the bookkeeper for Groundswell Center and the Youth Farm Project.
Astrid Castillo, Co-Director, Director of Education, 2019 - 2023
Leila Kiraz, Farm Assistant, 2022
Maryam Adib, Art Program Coordinator, 2022
Rose Fleurant, Farm & Program Assistant, 2021
Ezra Baptist, SJI Program Assistant, 2021
Ann Piombino, Co-founder, Farm Manager and Educator, 2009 - 2020
Natalia Rathbun, Assistant Farm Manager, 2019 - 2020
Christa Nunez, Manager of Fresh Snack Program, 2018 - 2020
Laura Arias, Farm and Social Justice Educator, 2017 - 2019
Rafael Aponte, Executive Director, 2016 - 2018
Vanessa Wood, Manager of Fresh Snack Program, 2010 - 2018
Zale Hutchington, Assistant Farm Manager, 2018
Rayna Joyce, Assistant Farm Manager, 2017
Joseph Amsili, Assistant Farm Manager, 2013 - 2014, 2016
Simon Warhaft, Assistant Farm Manager, 2014 - 2015