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 spouse of Susan, father of Helen, son of Chris and Anne, brother of Adella and Zach, and Big Brother of Devonte.
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 Director of Development for Shalom Farms. With a passion for social justice and the environment, she is honored to be leading the fundraising strategy for the organization. She now has 8 years of experience at Richmond based nonprofits. After graduating from Hollins University in Roanoke with her BA in Art History, Sara began her fundraising career at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She then served as the first Director of Development for Blue Sky Fund. Sara is a member of Impact 100 and serves on the Board of the Virginia Association of Fund Raising Executives (VAFRE). She lives in Church Hill with her wife, Tracy. Outside of the office you can find her cycling on the Virginia Capital Trail or visiting all 38 of Virginia’s State Parks.
Erin is excited to join Shalom Farms as the Director of Programs. She was formerly at Feed More as the Director of Agency Relations, and her prior work includes increasing direct market opportunities for farmers, providing technical support to food hubs, and teaching college courses on nutrition and agriculture. Her commitment to change leadership and culture shift informs her collaborative leadership approach and her work to increase community food access. Erin holds an MA in Social Ecology and Community Food Systems from Prescott College. Erin lives in Church Hill with her husband, teenage son, and the sweetest pit bull, and when she’s not cooking, talking about, or eating veggies, you can find her riding her bike around town, doing yoga, or playing guitar with her band.
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 Powhatan 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!
Amber is thrilled to be orchestrating harvests and working alongside volunteers as the Northside Farm Manager. Amber graduated from the University of Connecticut with a dual degree in Agriculture & Resource Economics and Human Rights. Soon after graduating she joined the Peace Corps Food Security program in Madagascar and spent two years learning from and working with farmers, and singing much too much karaoke. After returning, Amber followed her passion for food justice by diving into a career in vegetable farming and hasn’t looked back since. Most recently she managed a no-till vegetable operation at Deep Hollow Farm in Chester, CT. 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.
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.
Bio coming soon!
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!
Arin is our Volunteer and Education Coordinator. She has worked on and off with Shalom since 2016 when she started as a Farmer in Residence. During the seasons she wasn’t working with Shalom, she was traveling through Europe and North Africa where she eventually settled for two years in the south of Spain. During her time abroad, she taught full time in a public school and spent her free-time volunteering at a nearby vegetable farm and farmer’s market. She is so excited to combine her passion for social justice, her love of growing food and her latest teaching skills in this new role. When she’s not dreaming about vegetables or far away lands, she can be found soaking in the James river, carving crooked wooden spoons, reading in Spanish to her two precious nieces, burning something in her kitchen or perusing Richmond’s many thrift stores for the perfect vintage jeans.
Cheyenne is excited to be the Northside Assistant Farm Manager for the 2021 growing season. Cheyenne started with Shalom Farms as a Farm Intern in 2019 before becoming one of our Powhatan Farmers in Residence in 2020. Previously a barista and bookseller at Barnes and Noble just a few minutes from the Powhatan site, a coworker suggested she apply and the rest is history. Her favorite farm tasks include pruning and clipping tomatoes and her favorite vegetable is tatsoi. In her free time she likes to hike, camp, and hoolahoop in the sun.
Josh is the Packing Coordinator for Shalom Farms and is grateful to be part of the Powhatan Farm team. His degree in Industrial Design from Virginia Tech has contributed to a systems-thinking mindset and joy for creative problem solving. A longtime restaurant worker, he is ever curious about food and it’s role to nourish, heal, and interconnect people. His agricultural journey began while backpacking in New Zealand as a WWOOFer, traveling and working on a variety of farms and experiencing rural lifestyles. Upon moving to Richmond in 2009, he was determined to explore the local food scene and dedicated himself to supporting locally grown and crafted food. His curiosity drove him to work at Origins Farm, earn his Permaculture Design Certificate, intern at Les Jardins de la Grelinette, and co-create a small urban farm in Richmond. He lives in the East End with his partner, Katy and their two dogs, Brutus and Jack. When not at the farm or in the garden, Josh is experimenting in the kitchen with fermentation and other traditional food preservation techniques.