The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

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Welcome Barrie Anderson, New Administrative Director

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2018 March Issue Newsletter

By Kathleen Geary, Outgoing Administrative Director

Barrie Anderson

Please join NOFA/Mass in welcoming Barrie Anderson to the position of Administrative Director. Growing up in Petersham, just a few miles away from the NOFA/Mass HQ, Barrie was surrounded by farmland and woods.  During the summer a local dairy farmer would send several cows to graze in the pastures around Barrie’s family home, and – to the extent that the cows tolerated it – Barrie would spend time outside playing with them. “The idea of a cowlick is not that far from reality,” he humorously noted.

Barrie spent 15 years in Boston building a musical career, but he always had the idea that he would return to Petersham, to the country, to nature. His sister and brother-in-law are actively farming on their Petersham land, while his wife’s mother has spent many years working to transform her Petersham home and land into a self-sustaining farm. It is clear that Barrie has strong roots in this central Massachusetts community, and he expresses a great appreciation for the fresh organic produce, as well as eggs and milk and meat, that are so much in abundance in the region.

“Doing something that you believe in is a great honor in life,” said Barrie, as he discussed his decision to work for NOFA/Mass. Already, he added, he has been impressed by the vibrancy of the people involved with the organization. Barrie likes to learn every day and see the wonder of the world around us, and he is thrilled to be involved with a community that cultivates that same awareness. He looks forward to seeing what will “dig into” him and his life as he deepens his NOFA connection.

Of course, no conversation about NOFA/Mass would be complete without exploring the many educational opportunities that are available. Barrie sees himself and his family (including his wife Emily and his daughter Sophie) as stewards of the land on which they live, and looks forward to expanding their knowledge in order to improve that land. Having re-established themselves in Petersham recently, they have been tending to a planting of the super-healer astragalus (inspired by a NOFA conference workshop!), and they hope to reinvigorate their honeybees while engaging in regenerative growing practices.

Kathleen GearyI will leave my position with NOFA/Mass on March 16, and shortly thereafter will head out for a Thailand adventure, teaching young children (ages 3-8) at a school that my brother and his wife run in Phuket.

After nearly thirteen years working for NOFA/Mass, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with my successor on the transition. Barrie is well-prepared to provide excellent administrative support to the organization, while his kind and inquisitive nature will undoubtedly serve to make him an excellent colleague and NOFA representative.

As I depart, I feel grateful for the opportunity to be part of the very special community that is NOFA/Mass, colleagues and members alike! In particular, I send huge thanks to Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge, who host the NOFA/Mass “HQ” in their farmhouse in Barre – one could not ask for more engaged and supportive mentors.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the 2018 NOFA Summer Conference. I am very happy to participate in this annual event at the attendee level, and in particular am eager to attend the keynote by Rowen White. And I am excited for what might be around the next corner!


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