Jiff Martin

Associate Extension Educator – Sustainable Food Systems 860-296-1380 cell

For 15 years Jiff has worked 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 buyctgrown project
  • Coordinating the CT Food Justice VISTA Project, a service learning opportunity for VISTA members who help build the capacity of community-based organizations striving to increase food access and affordability.

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.



Mary Concklin

Fruit Crops Specialist and Integrated Pest Management 860-486-6449 office 610-220-7437 cell

Mary Concklin is the Extension Educator in Fruit Production and Integrated Pest Management at the University of Connecticut. She develops Integrated Pest Management (IPM) educational programs for fruit growers statewide, conducts applied research, and teaches tree fruit and small fruit training classes for the UConn Master Gardener program. She is also the state coordinator for the NEWA weather system (Network for Environment and Weather Applications).



Joe Bonelli

Extension Educator in Business Management 860-875-3331

Joe is an Associate Extension Educator at UConn. He specializes in farm business planning working with farmers across Connecticut. Since 2001 he has been involved with CT Farm risk Management and Crop Insurance program providing information to CT Farmers on important risk management topics and crop insurance. He is currently the Northeast SARE CT state coordinator.


Southbury Training School

Kip Kolesinskas

Land Use and Conservation Specialist 860-878-0393

Kip serves as the Land Use and Conservation Specialist for UConn Extension’s  Solid Ground Farmer Training Program. He has worked with Connecticut’s farmers, landowners, state agencies, municipalities, and non-profits for the past 31 years. Working as a field soil scientist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Kip was responsible for completing the state-wide update and digital release of the Soil Survey of Connecticut. He has intimate knowledge of all the soil landscapes in Connecticut and their limitations and potential for agriculture and agricultural infrastructure. As a Resource Soil Scientist he worked with teams of conservationists, agronomists, ecologists, and engineers to develop conservation plans for farms and evaluate, design, and install conservation practices. With his 35 years of government experience he has extensive knowledge on how to navigate and apply for federal and state programs that can benefit farmers, as well as the regulatory issues such as inland wetlands and water quality. He managed the USDA NRCS Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program and has worked extensively with state agencies, municipalities, and land trusts on farmland protection. Kip has been a major contributor to statewide efforts to increase farmer access to land, develop farm friendly municipalities, and promote locally grown and produced food. Kip speaks and teaches extensively statewide and nationally on soil quality, soils and land-use planning, wetlands, farmland protection, and the rental and leasing of farmland.