Dominic Gibbons Barrett is the Executive Director of Shalom Farms. He was drawn to the work by a passion for social justice and a belief in the transformative power of food. He came to Shalom Farms from Palmetto Project in Charleston, SC where he ran their statewide Youth, Families and Schools Programs. In addition to providing leadership on a number of local and regional food access initiatives, he served on the Governor’s Transition Council on Agriculture and Forestry and is on the board of the Virginia Food System Council where he works to develop statewide strategies to improve the food system in ways that benefit the most poor and marginalized communities. In 2010, Bread for the World recognized Dominic as one of the “the best and brightest young advocates” on issues of hunger. Other recognition include Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40, The Valentine’s Richmond History Maker award for social justice, and Style Weekly’s Power List. He is most proud to be the son of Chris and Anne, brother of Adella and Zach, Big Brother of Devonte, and spouse of Susan.
Steve Miles is the Director of Farm Operations for Shalom Farms. He has over fifteen years of horticultural experience with his primary focus being on sustainable methods of farming both in greenhouses and in the field. With a Masters of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School, he is especially passionate about the theological connections between food and faith, and he cannot imagine a job that more fully encompasses his interests. Steve and his wife Amanda have three boys, Eden, Asher, and Ezra. When he’s not on the farm, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, playing music that Amanda doesn’t really like, reading “good” books, and surfing the fickle waves of the Outer Banks.
Sara Higgins is the first Director of Development for Shalom Farms. She has five years of fundraising experience at Richmond based nonprofits. With a passion for social justice and the environment, Sara is honored to bring her time and talents to Shalom Farms. She graduated from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA with her BA in Art History and began her fundraising career at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Most recently, she was the Director of Development for Blue Sky Fund, a small nonprofit providing outdoor education for urban youth. Sara currently lives in Church Hill with her wife, Tracy and their two dogs. Outside of the office you can find Sara cycling on the Virginia Capital Trail or hiking in the James River Park System.
Analise is the Program Director at Shalom Farms. She is passionate about supporting communities in working towards social justice, and loves every opportunity to bring people together around food and good conversation. She comes to Shalom Farms after studying human development at Virginia Tech and earning her Masters of Social Work at VCU. In that time, she was actively involved in getting students thinking about and engaged in social change at the community level. Outside of Shalom Farms, she is usually eating tacos, drinking coffee, or baking for friends.
Katharine is the Farm Manager of Shalom Farm’s Westwood site. After graduating from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in International Affairs, Katharine spent two years working for nonprofits based in East Africa. She saw that farming was an impactful tool for community development, and took an internship on a farm in Charlottesville to learn more about agriculture. Four years later, she’s still farming and is inspired every day by the positive effect healthy food has on her local community and in love with the outdoor, active nature of farm work! Katharine’s excited to farm in Richmond’s Northside neighborhood, and is looking forward to connecting with community members about food and farming. Off the farm, Katharine is usually walking trails with her husband and dog, cooking to music, or planning her next visit to New England to see her wonderful family and eat as much seafood as possible.
Hannah Wittwer is the Volunteer and Education Manager at Shalom Farms. After finishing college, Hannah spent 5 years teaching preschool, milking cows and working on an organic vegetable farm. She earned her Master of Science in childhood education and NYS teaching certification in 2015, and is thrilled to join Shalom Farms in a role that allows her to facilitate exciting learning experiences on a working farm. She hopes to contribute to a more just food system by supporting the development of positive attitudes towards sustainable agriculture and healthy food. Off the farm, Hannah can be found knitting, baking, playing with clay, and hiking with her terribly cute and terribly behaved hound dog.
Seyra is excited to be a part of Shalom Farms as the Assistant Farm Manager. She comes to the farm from an outdoor industry background, and is ready to be engaged with the soil while enjoying being outside every day. When not digging in the dirt, Seyra is probably off scouting boulders, checking the weather, and creating elaborate meals with as few ingredients as possible. To a happy and healthy season!
Lynne Wachter is the Business Manager, and joins the Shalom Farms team excited to combine her two totally different skill sets of growing things and business management. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Virginia and an Associate’s degree in Horticulture from J. Sarge. After spending 10 years working as a gardener at Agecroft Hall in Richmond, Lynne returned to the office environment and has worked as in the financial field for several non-profits in the Richmond area. When not working at Shalom Farms, Lynne enjoys the great outdoors by hiking and camping, caring for her large vegetable garden, and playing soccer. She lives in Goochland County with her husband, Monk, and her daughter, Erin.
Alistar is the Mobile Market Coordinator, a.k.a. the Produce Peddler for Shalom Farms. For the past seven years his work has focused on small-scale organic vegetable production, as the lead food grower at a six acre farm in Hanover County, Virginia. There he managed a large Community Supported Agriculture program and sold his produce at several of Richmond’s farmer’s markets. His interests in food production, agrarian reform, and food systems change is informed by an upbringing in a stone fruit and wine producing region, and his experience of witnessing the impacts of climate change on smallholder food producers in a drylands region of South Africa. Born and raised outside of Cape Town, Alistar has a background in horticulture, outdoor-based experiential education, and is a facilitator at heart. He is an avid mountaineer, yet enjoys the small pleasures of a game of petanque (French boules) with friends. He lives in Richmond’s Northside with his lovely wife and darling daughter.
KC is the Healthy Retail Manager at Shalom Farms. She is leading up the Healthy Corner Store Initiative which works with convenience stores to offer healthy options in communities with limited access to fresh, healthy food choices. She comes to Shalom after studying Kinesiology and Public Health at William & Mary (go Tribe!). After graduation, KC worked as a health educator in several different settings including senior living communities and gyms in Williamsburg, VA, and various communities here in Richmond with the Richmond City Health District – all with the mission and passion to work with communities to build health equity. When KC isn’t carting produce around the city (and/or eating veggies), you can find her practicing or teaching yoga, trotting around the James River trails, or planning her next camping adventure.
Shola Walker is a trained actor and dancer and always thought it would be the way in which she would change the world. Yet while in undergrad at University of Hartford as a music theatre major she collected funds each week from her classmates and hosted a communal Sunday dinner. Little did she know she would get a chance to work as an artist first and then have a second career in the food industry. After leaving the stage she began working in bakeries and professional kitchens in Richmond and finally planted her feet firmly at Mahogany Sweets a bakery she owns with her two sisters. The bakery’s focus is on dietary options and wellness. So you can catch her hanging out in Jackson Ward at the bakery where she turns cauliflower into chocolate torte or in a community cooking class with Shalom!
Amber is thrilled to be sowing seeds and hauling veggies as the Crew Leader at Shalom Farms. Amber first joined the Shalom Farms team in 2017 as a Farmer in Residence. Amber graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Agriculture & Resource Economics and a B.A. in Human Rights. Soon after she joined the Peace Corps Food Security program in Madagascar and spent two years learning and working with farmers, and singing much too much karaoke. After returning, Amber felt the call to vegetable farming and hasn’t looked back since. Off the farm, you’ll often find her cooking veggie-filled meals, making sunscreen for the farm staff, and relaxing with a nice cup of tea.
Katherine is excited to join the team for the 2018 season! Katherine comes to Shalom Farms from Denver, Colorado, where she was running an education program at a non-profit for youth experiencing homelessness. She has volunteered on farms in the Denver area and in her home state of Oklahoma, and is excited to spend a full season getting her hands in the dirt while fueling her passion for social justice and community engagement. While not on the farm, Katherine is most likely riding her bicycle (named Lady Bird), crocheting, or hiking with the intention to befriend every trail dog she encounters.
Elena is joining Shalom Farms for the 2018 Season from Ames, Iowa. She recently graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Horticulture: Fruit and Vegetable Production with minors in Sustainability and African American Studies. She previously worked for a community Farm in Iowa called Mustard Seed and for the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station. To her, farming means waking up with the sun, spending her day with soil under her nails, and eating fresh produce she helped grow. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge of growing veggies. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and finding treasures at thrift shops.
Bio coming soon!