About the Farmers

Here's a little more about us!

Alex Mayer (Senior)
Howdy friends! My journey to the farm was quick and surprising. I chose to live in EcoHouse my freshman year, but only because GlobalHouse was full. Before college, I had never really worked with plants or even gone camping. By the end of my first year, I was obsessed with nature, and the planet's health. So, I moved onto the farm. Fast forward three years: I'm still here! (and loving it). Now, I'm passionate about the interconnection between climate change, food, and human rights. The farm continues to help me learn about agriculture and sustainability every day! A big thank you to all the wonderful people I've lived with past and present and to Julia, the farm manager who has taught us all so much. 

Kelsey Karp (Senior) 
Hi, I'm Kelsey! I am a senior Animal Science Major and Food Science Minor pursuing Ag Education. Aside from being a Student Farmers at SVSF, I am the Vice President of UConn Diary Club and the Fundraising Chair of UConn Block n Bridle Club. Some things about me: I love to cook. I love cows, Elvis Presley has been my favorite musician since I was little, I liked to read when I have the time to, and I am a Zumba enthusiast. In the near future, I will live on my own small sustainable farm that will have a variety of crops, a bloodhound, a basset hound, goats, chickens, a horse or two, mostly cows but only Jerseys and Brown Swiss (; 

Gabe DeRosa (Junior) 
 Hello! My name is Gabe DeRosa. I moved into the farm in December 2014 and the rest is history. It all began one foggy autumn night. I was bragging about my homemade tomato sauce and ended up getting myself invited to the farm to my world famous sauce. (*editor's note: yeah, okay Gabe). After spending the night harvesting tomatoes, making sauce and pasta, and meeting the wonderful crew of farmers, I fell in love with Spring Valley. Where else can you talk about organic farming and sustainability with liked minded individuals while also dancing your buns off to some funky farmhouse music? Needless to say, I applied to live there immediately. The community involvement over here is more than I though possible, plus you start up your own experiments or projects if you have an idea and some motivation. For instance, we are now working on installing aquaponics at the farm! Long story short, the farm is an amazing place to leave, work and learn. I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful crew!

Caitlin O'Donnell (Senior)
I'm here to groove, learn, and play in the dirt. I love peppers and hate Bio1107. I moved to the farm in Fall 2014 and am now in my last year at UConn. I call the people I've had the honor to live with family. Because I've worked through all the seasons at farm, I've been able to follow the seed from idea to plot to harvest to market. It's such a rewarding experience. Hope to see you out here someday. Until then, smell ya later.

Carl Underwood (Senior)
You may not know this, but I am actually Carrie Underwood in disguise. I wanted to rid myself of the  fame and paparazzi and live the simple life (thanks Paris). Now that I don't have to sing for strangers all day and live in a van, I like to rock climb, camp, kayak, pretend to tight rope, and generally just play outside. I've been in Ecohouse forever and moved to the farm Fall 2014. Now, I'm in my final year. I call the farm (and lower house) my home. One day, I'll be a naturalist. Until then, I'll live as sustainably as I can, travel often, and make my own peanut butter.

Marisa Kaplita (Junior)
Thank you for reading all the way to this point! You have hit the best part of the page. (editor's note: true.) My name, as you know I guess, is Marisa. I'm an Environmental Scientist, the (M)VP of EcoHusky and a pug in human form. I am currently celebrating my second year of living on the farm. For me, the farm is a combination of my two most favorite things and my absolute least favorite thing. That is to say: food, the outdoors, and heavy lifting. But nothing beets (!) watching your hard work turn into something delicious. My future career goals include working with dirt and saving the planet. My travel goals include hiking the ATC, watch the aurora borealis, doing research in Antarctica, and olive picking in Greece. My life goals include being happy and living a life exciting enough to write about in an autobiography. Oh, and I am the proud face of the SVSF instagram.

Anthony Chiozzi (Junior)
Yo. This is my first year living on the farm, and I dig it. I moved in during the Summer, at which point, I worked with EcoGarden. It's awesome to learn about helping the earth and growing food. In my free time, I like to climb, listen to music, and play League of Legends. If I were a fruit, I'd be a banana.

Paul Ference (Junior)
Environmental Engineering is my game, Paul is my name. As a former Eagle Scout, I've always had a thing for the outdoors. I started EcoHouse my freshman year and moved to the farm two years later. I'm passionate about green building and believe that technology can help us in the struggle against climate change and environmental degradation.

Jennifer Borque (Junior) 
Aloha! You can call me Jen. I'm really into wildlife conservation. I work at Four Arrows and spend my summers at Silver Lake Conference Center as a camp counselor. I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones, and make a pretty decent playlist. Living at the farm has been such an amazing opportunity as I continue to further my understanding of soil, the environment, and the interaction between all species. This is my first year at the farm, and I look forward to spending more time cultivating plants and getting my hands dirty. 

Everyone who helped make the farm what it is today!

Trevor Biggs
Katie Kabot
Lucy McNaught
Brett Lehner
Ysabelle Stuard 
Lisette Rodriguez
Karl Iffert
Andrew Brown 
Tanya Lama
Tanner Burgdorf
Paul Parzyszek
Laura Rice
Chris Tenaglier
Shane McNamara
Jennifer Silverstein
Andrew Lyons
Abigail Phillips
Corey Thomas
Marcos Quiquivix
Sienna Valente-Blough
Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah
Ashley Sullivan
Luis Organista
David Zabrowski
Greg Vietch
Jaime Traverse
Kelsey Sullivan
Lina Starovoitova
Jennifer Kuzansky
Kayla Rutland

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