Beth Hooker, Ph.D.
Sustainability Initiative Director, Hampshire College
Beth Hooker, Sustainability Initiative director, received a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in Asian studies from Connecticut College. She completed an M.S. in soil science, and a Ph.D. in ecology at the University of Connecticut. At Hampshire College, Beth manages initiatives related to campus and curricular sustainability, including the recently funded four transitions. These include transitions in healthy food systems, campus operations, creative curriculum, and campus culture. She worked with Hampshire faculty and staff members to create and teach in the inaugural Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute in summer 2012.
Brian Schultz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Entomology and Ecology, Hampshire College
Brian Schultz, associate professor of ecology and entomology, received a B.S. in zoology, an M.S. in biology, and a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Michigan. Brian is an agricultural ecologist and entomologist who does research at the Hampshire College Farm Center, including studies of: the effects of organic methods of pest control on pests and other arthropods in crops and in the laboratory. He has spent a number of years in Central America and the Caribbean studying methods of insect pest control. He is also interested in statistical analysis and social change. Recent courses include Terrestrial Ecology and Natural History; Ecology, Agriculture, and Society; Introduction to Statistics and Experimental Design; and Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming.
CSA Program Manager, Hampshire College
Nancy Hanson was born and raised on a family dairy farm in central Connecticut. Prior to and after receiving a B.S. in horticulture from the University of Connecticut, she spent 12 years working in ornamental horticulture. In 1999, a desire to return to farming brought her to accept the position as manager of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program at the Hampshire College Farm Center. Under her direction, the CSA has expanded to produce organic vegetables on 15 acres of college land and in several four-season greenhouses. The CSA currently serves over 200 households in the fall and provides fresh vegetables during the winter months at an on-campus, student-run farmers market. Dedicated to the educational mission of the farm, Nancy works closely with students who are studying sustainable agriculture and food systems. She also co-teaches the class Agriculture, Food, and Human Health in the School of Natural Science.
Livestock and Pasture Manager
Pete Solis joined the Farm Center staff in the fall of 2014. Before coming to Hampshire College, Pete owned and operated Mockingbird Farm in Easthampton, Massachusetts, a pasture-based livestock operation focused on humanely raising heritage breeds of cattle, chickens, hogs, and turkeys. Since coming to Hampshire, Pete has enjoyed working with students and finding synergies between the livestock and vegetable production programs. He has also worked closely with College dining services to coordinate the growth of the livestock program with the needs of the College community. In 2015, Pete looks forward to re-introducing a meat CSA as a companion to the College’s thriving organic vegetable CSA. Pete is interested in increasing local and regional meat production and infrastructure.
Assistant Vegetable Grower
Jason Dragon spent much of his freshman year at Hampshire College admiring the College’s farm and marveling at how beautiful and exciting it was to watch food grow. Now some 12 years later, he returned to Hampshire as the assistant vegetable grower. After receiving his B.A. in Latin American Socio-Cultural Narratives from Emmanuel College, he went on to intern and work at Seeds of Solidarity, a non-profit educational farm. It was there that Jason re-discovered his passion for growing food and developed a keen interest in teaching and working with students. Jason spent the next eight years working and managing at various other farms in Massachusetts. He now brings his experience and expertise of these different systems, models, and techniques to the Hampshire College Farm. More often than not, you can find Jason in the fields, working with students to help them to enrich their experience on the farm.
Each week, we will host a Hampshire alum with links to local, regional, or global agriculture. Last year, we hosted such guests as Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farms; Howard Wein, restaurateur; Josh Goldman, CEO and founder of Australis Aquaculture; Margaret Connors, founder of City Growers in Boston; and many more.