About Us

Jiff Martin-Associate Extension Educator - Sustainable Food Systems Jiff has worked for years to strengthen agriculture and promote local food systems in Connecticut. Her current work includes:
  • Leading the development of new training and resources for beginning farmers
  • Building farm-to-school tools and programming
  • Helping consumers discover local agriculture through the heartCTgrown campaign
  • Coordinating with Connecticut Farm to School Collaborative to help increase equitable access to healthy foods in schools
Prior to joining UConn Extension, Jiff led farmland preservation advocacy efforts in Connecticut on behalf of American Farmland Trust, Working Lands Alliance, and Hartford Food System.  In 2015 Jiff received the White House Champion of Change Award in Sustainable Agriculture.
woman posing infront of purple flowers

Charlotte Ross- Program Coordinator

Charlotte Ross is Owner/Operator of Sweet Acre Farm, a Certified Organic mixed vegetable and flower farm in Lebanon, CT.  She is also a Program Coordinator for the Solid Ground Farmer Training Program, a BFRDP-funded training series for growers in CT that is offered through UConn Extension.  She currently works on coordinating Ag Mechnic trainings for the program and creating a series of "How to" videos to help CT farmers explore different projects they can do on their farm to benefit their production and storage capacities.

woman leaning on a tractor

Nancy Barrett- Program Coordinator

Nancy owns Scantic Valley Farm with her family out in Somers, CT. Passed down from her family, they continue the using the land to specializes in all-natural grass-fed beef with heritage Belted Galloway cattle, heritage Tamworth hogs, and fresh local eggs.

They also run a successful pick your own blueberries and strawberries operation in the summer that brings the public onto the farm and makes point of sale very important to them! Nancy also started working on growing the cut flowers side of her business and is bringing even more of a customer base to her farm as they continue to diversify and grow their business.


Nancy works with the Solid Ground program in helping to organize some of the trainings that are run for farmers throughout the region and coordinating informational videos that inspire at home learning for the farming community as well!

Becca holding a crate of broccoli

Becca Toms- Communications Coordinator

Becca has worked primarily with non-profits in the sustainable food and agriculture sector for almost 10 years and has been managing social media and communications for over 5 years.  She helps this project by making sure the word gets out about the different programs that are available to farmers throughout the state and creating content that is user friendly and easily accessible to the many hard workers that are producing our food.