Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Farmhearts Fellowship Awarded

Victoria Lesser, Bruce Ferguson, Laurie McFadden, Michael Lang and Heather Carlucci
of the Farmhearts Board present funding toward the Farmhearts Fellowship to WAC staff
and 2011 Fellow,
Sonia Persichilli.

We are thrilled to announce Sonia Janiszewski Persichilli as the recipient of the 2011 Farmhearts Fellowship. This position has been made possible through an award from Farmhearts, a Sullivan County-based organization with a mission to preserve the environmental integrity and economic sustainability of agricultural regions by supporting family farms. In 2011, the Fellow will work to advance beginning farmer programming in the Catskills region.

The first item of work will be the formation of a CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) chapter. CRAFT is a national model that provides networking and educational opportunities for beginning farmers. Sonia’s work will also include the launch of Catskills FarmLink, a website linking land seekers with available properties.

A Delaware County native, Sonia recently returned to the Catskills with ten years’ experience in communications, marketing and events management. As a third -generation farmer passionate about the future of farming in New York State, Sonia plans to utilize her skills actively promoting agriculture and the region’s farming legacy and opportunities. Sonia currently runs her own freelance business, working with farmers, Farm Catskills and other organizations and businesses to develop marketing and communications strategies and tactics. Throughout her career, Sonia has worked with a wide range of clients from nonprofits to Fortune 100 companies, such as BAE Systems, Honeywell, DSM and Performance Fibers.

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