JPreviant@thetrustees.org // x102
Jon arrived at The FARM Institute with a long agricultural career that began on a subsistence farm in northern British Columbia. Coming back to the United States in the early 80’s, he owned and operated a 500 acre diversified farming operation, which included grain and a variety of livestock. For the past 20 years he has worked in the animal nutrition businesses in the Midwest, California, and internationally.
Jon’s wife, Barbara “Sundy” Smith is a lifelong summer resident and graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. They recently rebuilt a family camp on Seth’s Pond, making the island their permanent home. The Previant-Smiths have six grown children between them and five grandchildren.
Jon looks forward to building on The FARM Institute’s success as a pioneer in farm-based education and to being a part of the Island’s growing group of local farmers.
Photo by David Welch
LBrown@thetrustees.org // x101
Lindsay joined the farm as Marketing & Special Events Director in the summer of 2013. Lindsay is originally from mainland Massachusetts but has been coming to the Vineyard for summers since her father opened his store in 1995. She graduated from UMass Boston with a double major in marketing and finance in 2010 and decided to return to the Vineyard for another summer (it always starts this way, doesn’t it?) and has been living here year round ever since. Her favorite aspect of working at the farm is the brainstorming fun farm events and being able to give back to the community she loves through donations of meat and programming!
Lindsay spends her free time in the garden and turning that work into a beautiful year round pantry (jams, pickles, and canned everything!). She also loves experimenting in the kitchen and hanging out with her hound dog rescue, Stella.
Photo by David Welch.
Rebecca joined the FARM Institute in early 2012 as Garden Manager, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to spend nearly every day outdoors, in the greenhouse and gardens, amongst the plants, animals, and children who visit. She grew up on a small farm in rural N.H. and first came to the island in 1990, working at both Hillside Farm and the Solviva organic greenhouse in West Tisbury, before heading to western Mass. in 1995. After earning a degree in plant and soil science at UMass Amherst, she spent 7 years working as a science instructor at Hampshire Educational Collaborative in Northampton, where she shared a community garden plot with her students.
In addition to her experiences in teaching, farming and gardening here in New England, Rebecca has worked briefly oversees, volunteering on farms in both New Zealand and Costa Rica. Since 2012, she has volunteered with Living Local MV, and in 2014, helped cofound the Martha’s Vineyard Community Seed Library; a local organization dedicated to preserving plant diversity and food resiliency on the island.
Photo by Lisa Vanderhoop courtesy of Farm.Field.Sea.
Sidney Morris spent the first six years of his life on a farm in Pennsylvania. He is now spending his sixties as our Farm Ambassador on Martha’s Vineyard. In between, he ate sheep in Russia, rescued a chimpanzee in the Congo, taught sailing in Zambia, learned Spanish in Mexico, made a movie in Ecuador, meditated in India, and started two schools on the Vineyard. He has lived on Chappaquiddick for 34 years, raising a family and working as carpenter, photographer, coffee house manager, tractor driver, film editor, community center coordinator, sailboat captain and teacher. As Ambassador at Large of the FARM Institute, he is devoted to helping people figure out how to grow good food – happily, efficiently and sustainably.
Alec Forbes, FARM Manager
Alec joins The Farm Institute as Farm Manager after a varied background in agriculture. He grew up on the Maine Coast and summered on Cape Cod. After a stint in Alaska firefighting, doing construction and homesteading he headed to Nova Scotia and started farming, first with sheep ( Polled Dorsets and Suffolks ), then moved into dairying with Holsteins on a 400 acre farm on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. He built a land-based aquaculture facility on the farm as well and grew Arctic Char, Steelhead trout and Atlantic Salmon smolts. Most recently he worked on a Grassland Reclamation project on Naushon Island, using Galloway cattle and Boer goats, mowing and controlled burning to control invasive plants. Alec married Annette Martel, a native of New Bedford who has long ties to the Vineyard, in May of 2014. Alec has 3 grown children from a previous marriage, all living in Canada and Annette has 2 grown sons working in Mass. Sailing, reading and birding are some of his favorite past-times but he has a passion for preserving working farmland while integrating practical conservation methods and looks forward to sharing his experiences with others here on the Katama plain at TFI.