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 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.
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.
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!
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!
Cheyenne is excited to be a part of the Shalom Farms staff as a Farmer-in-Residence for the 2020 growing season after being an intern in 2019. 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.