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Instructor Bios



Aaron Santangelo

BF 110: Soil Health

Aaron provides programming in Field and Forage Crops, Soil Science, and General Agriculture in his role as an Agriculture Community Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County. Growing up in Cuba, NY, Aaron was involved (and now volunteers) with the local 4-H and FFA programs.  For many years, he and his sisters raised livestock for the Allegany County Fair, and now all of them work for Cooperative Extension Offices in NY and PA. After a four-year stint at Cornell University, Aaron is back in his hometown helping to manage his family’s start-up Hereford cattle herd.  A beginning farmer himself, he is working to revive his great-grandparents’ land back into family farming.


Amy Ivy

BF 120 and BF 121:
Vegetable Production I and II

Amy Ivy works with commercial vegetable and berry growers as a member of the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program. She has worked with gardeners and growers for Extension for 27 years in the northeastern corner of the state, on the east side of the Adirondack Mountains.  Her particular interests are season extension, protected culture including high tunnels, and insects both good and bad.


Brett Chedzoy

BF 231: Grazing Management

Brett Chedzoy is a forestry and agriculture educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County. Brett and his family also own and operate Angus Glen Farms, LLC in Watkins Glen, NY – a 300- acre grazing operation that raises grass-fed beef.

Bonnie Collins

BF 104: Financial Record Keeping
BF 204: QuickBooks for Farmers

Bonnie Collins is a resource educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County, with responsibilities in farm business management and the environmental touring teacher program. She has also operated an accounting business for nearly 30 years. She holds an MBA in technology management, a BPS in Accounting, has completed the Cornell Bird Biology seminars, is a Master Gardner, and has won the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science award for Environmental Education.

Beth Claypoole

BF 102: Markets and Profits

Beth Claypoole is the Executive Director and Agriculture Issues Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension Wayne County. She has been an extension specialist for more than 20 years, with expertise in dairy management and business management. Beth has taught business planning to more than 1000 people across the United States and in Poland. Her most recent expertise has been building workshops and working with the New England Small Farm Institute as a trainer and facilitator for “Exploring the Small Farm Dream”. She has an MS in Animal Science Nutrition and an MBA, with emphasis in Marketing. Her current focus is on new farm start-ups and agriculture economic development.

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Darcy Telenko

BF 120 and BF 121: Vegetable Production I and II

Darcy Telenko is a regional Extension Vegetable Specialist with the Cornell Vegetable Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension. Originally from Batavia, NY, Darcy grew up on a dairy farm and worked extensively in her parents’ fruit and vegetable stand. She completed her undergraduate work at Cornell in Biological Sciences and Plant Biology. She completed her MS at Southern Illinois University in Plant and Soil Science, and earned a PhD in Plant Pathology and Crop Science from North Carolina State University. She has much experience in scouting, applied research and interpreting the results for constituents through presentations and extension publications.

Erica Frenay

BF 101: Starting at Square One
BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning

Erica Frenay is the Online Course Manager for the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project for the Cornell Small Farms Program, and also teaches whole farm planning and holistic decision-making to beginning farmers. She is a certified educator of Holistic Management. She and her husband also manage Shelterbelt Farm, a diversified livestock farm near Ithaca, NY.

Gia Codispoti

BF 130: Poultry Production

Gia Codispoti is a licensed veterinary technician working for Cornell Cooperative Extension at the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center in Yaphank, NY. She works hard on the farm taking care of the livestock and educational farm animals as well as spending part of her week teaching animal science to elementary and high school students. She holds a BS in Biology & Environmental Studies and is committed to lifelong learning.

Jim O’Connell

BF 122: Berry Production

Jim O’Connell is a Resource Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ulster County, NY, with responsibilities in berries and grapes. His interest in agriculture started at the Univ. of NH, where he worked as a research assis­tant in both veg­etable and fruit crops. From there Jim’s love and knowl­edge of agri­cul­ture grew, even­tu­ally tak­ing him to Mass­a­chu­setts where he worked as a research tech­ni­cian with cran­ber­ries for nine years. Jim made the move to New York and started work­ing for Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion in June 2012.


Judson Reid

BF 220: Season Extension with High Tunnels

Judson Reid is a Senior Extension Associate with the Cornell Vegetable Program and Program Leader with Harvest New York. He manages a series of research and education projects throughout New York State for greenhouse, high tunnel and field production of fresh market vegetables. An extensive network of private farm cooperators help Judson examine new production technologies such as grafting, biological insect control, multi-story cropping as well as variety evaluations. His relationships with many types of farm operations enables Harvest New York to respond rapidly to emerging market demands. Judson has conducted educational sessions with farmers in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Cuba (New York) on these topics. Having spent his youth on a Northern New York dairy farm, Judson earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell University in agriculture.

Kat Loeck

BF 140: Small-Scale
Grain Production

Kat Loeck is a beginning grain farmer in Seneca County, NY. She works with an established farm that grows 950 acres of certified organic small grains, corn and soybeans. Kat began her agricultural career in small-scale vegetable production. She is passionate about the role of grain in regional food systems. She earned a Master of Science in agricultural policy, specializing in agricultural resource management. Kat also teaches Prana Flow yoga.

Kelly Franke-Scott

BF 130: Poultry Production

Kelly Franke-Scott is the 4-H youth development educator and a farm educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension – Suffolk County with the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center in Yaphank, NY. At CCE Suffolk, Kelly teaches both agricultural education and historical education to a variety of ages. Kelly is a life long 4-H member, beginning in 1992 with rabbits and expanding to poultry and dogs. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys raising and showing rabbits for the American Rabbit Breeders Association and training dogs. Her goal to have a completely self-sustaining homestead one day.

Laura Biasillo

BF 106: Organic Certification
BF 201: Effective Marketing for
Busy Farmers

Laura Biasillo is an Agricultural Economic Development Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension-Broome County, in Binghamton NY. Laura focuses on increasing marketing channels for producers, creating education programs to help farmers develop new skills and technologies, and facilitating farmland protection within the county. She and her husband own ~5 acres, have 3 kids and raise chickens and a garden.

Laura McDermott

BF 122: Berry Production

Laura McDermott works with commercial vegetable and berry growers as part of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruit Program. Laura is the primary resource for berry crop production information and also handles season extension topics along with farm labor issues. Laura has worked with eastern NY growers and gardeners for over 20 years.

Lynn Bliven

BF 103: Taking Care of Business
BF 130: Poultry Production

Lynn Bliven is the Agriculture & Natural Resource Team Coordinator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Allegany County, NY. She began her career in 4-H and currently works in Agricultural Economic Development, specializing in beginning farmer outreach, local food systems and livestock production. Lynn and husband Shawn operate a 52 acre farm in Rushford, NY raising grass-fed beef, lamb and poultry.

Anselm photoMarie Anselm

BF 201: Effective Marketing

Marie Anselm is the Agriculture Economic Development Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Ontario County where she works to provide educational programming and resource support to a wide variety of farms. Marie specializes in working with farms and agricultural enterprises to improve their competitiveness in their market of choice, from small local operations to larger wholesale ventures. She holds a Masters of Public Policy degree from Oregon State University and Bachelors in Geography from Clark University. Marie enjoys her work with CCE, which allows her to be engaged with a wide spectrum of agricultural issues.

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Michael Farrell

BF 151: Intro to Maple Syrup Production

Michael Farrell serves as the Director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Forest, a maple syrup research and extension field station in Lake Placid, New York. There he taps approximately 6,000 maples, 700 birch trees, and several dozen black walnut and butternut trees every year, focusing his efforts on the economics of maple sugaring and sustainable development of the maple industry. He has authored dozens of articles on maple syrup production and forest management, is a featured speaker at maple producer, forestry, and agricultural conferences, and is the author of The Sugarmakers Companion: An integrated guide to producing syrup from maple, birch, and walnut trees.  Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Hamilton College, his master’s in forestry from SUNY-ESF, and his Ph.D. in natural resources from Cornell University.  He lives with his wife Andrea and their two sons in Lake Placid, NY.

Phil Metzger

BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning

Phil Metzger is a farm & natural resources development consultant having recently retired from a 32-year career as a resource conservationist with the US Department of Agriculture. Phil instructs on various topics including: farm, personal & business financial planning, goal setting, improved decision making, business & land planning, grazing planning, customer service, biological monitoring, and reading the land. He is a certified educator in Holistic Management and has practiced HM, including holistic financial planning, for over 10 years.

Rebecca Schuelke-Staehr

BF 202: Business Planning

Rebecca Schuelke Staehr operates Cayuga Pumpkin Barn, a seasonal vegetable farm in Springport, Cayuga County, NY. She has worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension and the NY Farm Viability Institute. She is a past chair of CADE, the Center for Agricultural Development & Entreprenuership. Rebecca serves on the board of Central New York Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Cayuga County Farm Bureau. She has taught classes in time management for beginning farmers, starting a farmstead cheese operation, and more.

Sandy Buxton 2014

Sandy Buxton

BF 102: Markets and Profits

Sandy Buxton is a Cornell Cooperative Extension educator with the Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program specializing in Farm Business Management. She has a strong background in dairy business analysis but works with farms of all sizes, start-up to large. Her goal is to help them understand and analyze their numbers and grow their business.

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Steve Gabriel

BF 101: Starting at Square One
BF 150: Farm-Scale Mushroom Production
BF 231: Grazing Management

Steve grew up in the Finger Lakes Region and graduated from Empire State College with a BS in Environmental Science, an educational path which incorporated aspects of forestry, ecology, and permaculture. He co-founded the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute in 2005 and began working at Cornell in 2009 in the Department of Horticulture, focusing on permaculture and agroforestry research and education. Along with wife Elizabeth, he operates Wellspring Forest Farm in Mecklenburg NY where they produce shiitake mushrooms, duck eggs, pastured lamb, and maple syrup. He has co-authored a book called “Farming the Woods” with Cornell professor Ken Mudge, published in Fall 2014.

Steve Hadcock

BF 104: Financial Record Keeping
BF 103: Taking Care of Business
BF 202: Business Planning
BF 204: QuickBooks for Farmers

Steve Hadcock is a Cornell Cooperative Extension Educator with the Capital Area Agricultural and Horticulture Program with educational responsibility for working with new and beginning farmers. He provides education on an individual and group basis to those interested in beginning a farm and for those who have been farming for less than 10 years.