Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Introducing New Faculty -- part 2

Our next installment in the introductions of new faculty focuses on the farm, and by this time in the summer none of them are really "new" at all -- and some of them are veteran TMS folk already!

Ben Casiello has been a whirlwind of activity on the farm since he began as Farm Manager here in the spring. He comes to us most recently from Hardwick, Massachusetts, where he was the herd manager for a grass-fed beef cattle farm, the Rotokawa Cattle Company, which was featured in a Time Magazine article this past January about how grass-fed cattle farming can be sustainable and carbon-friendly! He has also been the camp coordinator at the Heifer International Summer Day Camp in Rutland, Mass, and holds a bachelor's degree in Animal Science (Livestock Management) from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ben is excited to be taking leadership of the TMS farm, where farming and education are so well integrated.

His wife Cathy Casiello will be houseparenting with Ben in Thomas House. She works in the Athol-Royalston (Mass.) public school district as a speech-language pathologist. She is sharing the work in the gardens this summer, and looking forward to sharing her hobbies of folk-dancing, contra-dancing, and singing with the TMS community come Fall!

Lauren O'Donnell will be our Farm Intern for the 2010-2011 school year, and started up this summer. She is an airplane mechanic and automobile mechanic, and holds a Student Pilot Certificate: she was an apprentice aviation maintenance technician at Sandhill Aviation in NH. She has also been the repair shop coordinator at a lumber store, the cheerleading coach and choreographer for the Derry Demons Youth Football Association, and all sorts of jobs in between. She is excited to learn about farming, ecology, and business management here at TMS as she contributes her numerous maintenance skills!

Our other summer farm intern is Devin Green, TMS class of 2007 and a rising Marlboro College senior, who can be seen speaking about farm wisdom at an earlier age in the TMS video of 2006. As we were haying the Bartlett Fields in June, Devin was driving the truck pulling the big hay wagon, and I spotted a dog-eared copy of the philosopher-critic Michel Foucault on the seat next to him -- part of Devin's preparation for his senior independent work. It sparked a conversation about the difference between deconstructionists and post-modernists, as we tossed hay bales. It's good to have Devin back around the place.

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