About Us

Jiff Martin
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.
Nancy Barrett

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!

Brittany Hall

Brittany Hall - Program Coordinator

Brittany came to farming following a career in nonprofits where she wore many hats over the years, including: case manager, donations coordinator, volunteer coordinator, and wellness programs manager. Unbeknownst to her, the skills she learned in nonprofits would be valuable when she began farming in 2018. Since then she has been fortunate to learn from several farmers who have passed on their indispensable knowledge. She is passionate about food justice, providing healthy and organic produce to local consumers, and queering the food system. Brittany and her partner recently established Beets & Blooms Farm, an organic cut flower and vegetable farm in East Hampton, CT.

Using her background in farming and program management, Brittany comes to the Solid Ground team as Project Co-Coordinator, helping with farmer trainings; creating online programs that farmers can access from anywhere; and sharing the ingenious farm hacks she learns from local Connecticut farmers.

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.