"My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher but everyday, three times a day, you need a farmer."

-Brenda Schoepp

ALEC
HIGGINS

Field Manager

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After working as a musician during his twenties, Alec began looking for new challenges in environmental and economic regeneration, and found inspiration in permaculture and organic farming. Starting in New York City with urban agriculture, he soon moved on to a permaculture internship in Spain, followed by a year in Tanzania at a farming project that supported a center for vulnerable women and children. He spent a year in Missouri at Open Source Ecology, working on projects that included open source farm machinery, aquaponic greenhouses and chestnut/hazelnut agroforestry. In 2017, Alec started a small farm in the Nashville area, selling duck and quail products at farmers’ markets and to restaurants, and he also worked for Farm Nashville to assist in starting a cattle operation and market garden. He comes to Caney Fork excited about the breadth of agricultural opportunities here.  

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BETH
MASON

Delivery Driver

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Beth grew up helping on her parent’s farm in Smith County, TN. She is the mother of two wonderful kids. She is certified as a CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Kids Coach. She enjoys personal training to help others reach their goals and believes nutrition plays an important part in any health routine. Beth likes to spend her free time on the river, hiking, collecting rocks and fossils, and listening to live music. 

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DYLAN
FISHBEIN

Communications Manager

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Dylan grew up on land originally stewarded by the Ramapough Lenape (Northern New Jersey), and graduated from the University of Maryland where he studied Environmental Policy and Sustainable Food Systems. After graduation, Dylan participated in the Food Artisan Immersion Program in Spring Green, Wisconsin, where he studied regionally-reliant food systems. He is interested in systems-level thinking, and loves to view the farm as a dynamic, interconnected space. Dylan also loves birds :)

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GABRIELLE
HATHAWAY

Livestock Advisor

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Gabrielle Hathaway is an animal scientist with a background in pasture-based livestock systems. She has been building the livestock program on Caney Fork Farms since 2016 with animal welfare, ecological soundness, and meat quality as the central focus. Over the years, she has seen these three pillars become integral to the success of the business as each supports the optimization of the other. Her love of nature and animals brought her to farming at age 15, and the deep meaningful work of regenerative agriculture has been her life’s focus ever since. 

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JENNA
MARKELL

Herd Manager

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Jenna grew up in Campbell, a tiny town in upstate NY. As a child she loved helping out on her grandfather’s hobby beef farm, and throughout high school she enjoyed her time working on a dairy farm. Jenna majored in animal science at Cornell University, and eventually added minors in horticulture and in education to her degree to satisfy her diverse interests. After spending a summer interning at The Barefoot Farmer during college, she fell in love with Tennessee and felt compelled to become involved with local, regenerative food systems. She is grateful to spend each day alongside the livestock, managing their health and welfare.

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SHAYLAN
KOLODNEY

Research Coordinator &

Livestock Hand

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Shaylan graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in environmental science. After joining a research team led by Kristofer Covey at Skidmore, she spent the summers of 2019 and 2020 at Caney Fork Farms contributing to the creation of a soil carbon inventory across the farm. During her summers conducting research at the farm, she also participated in farming activities where she fell in love with working the land and tending to the animals. Now, as the research coordinator she is excited to be organizing research while still actively engaging in hands-on farm work!

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TERA
ASHLEY

Market Garden

& Sales Manager

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Tera began her farming career as an AmeriCorp*Vista Member, serving for two years as an organic urban farmer five minutes from downtown Nashville. During this time, she participated heavily in the local food and food justice movement, and decided that she would best serve the movement as a career organic farmer. After a four year stint teaching English in S. Korea to save resources for her own farm, she apprenticed here at Caney Fork Farms in 2016 and 2017 before going on to manage vegetable operations across Middle TN, including her own operation, Magpie Farm. Tera has served on the Tennessee Organic Growers Association board and was awarded a SSARE Grant in 2019. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drumming, and cooking meals for friends. 

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ZACH
WOLF

Farm Manager

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Zach Wolf began farming as a teenager at Whippoorwill Farm, in his hometown of Salisbury, Connecticut.  After a degree in Biology from Columbia University and research engagements at Aton Forest Ecological Research Station and The Earth Institute, he went on to manage the Field Operations and Direct the Growing Farmers Initiative at Stone Barns Center.  He has facilitated the Farm Beginnings Program at Hawthorne Valley Farm, served as the Director of Farm Operations at Glynwood and most recently as a Research Fellow at The Nature Institute.  He currently serves as a board member and on the standards committee of Demeter, USA.  You can usually find him around the farm, playing in the soil with his border collie, Joni.   

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