Farm Staff

Hawthorne Valley Farm is ultimately comprised of the land we steward, the animals we care for, the customers and program participants that we serve, and the people who work here. Each person is integral and brings his or her own insights, creativity, and experience to our operations.



Steffen Schneider ~ Senior Director, Institute for Mindful Agriculture, Director Emeritus of Farm Operations

Steffen finished his agricultural university studies in Giessen, Germany in 1982. He has been a Biodynamic practitioner since 1983, first in Wisconsin and, since 1989, at Hawthorne Valley Farm. He especially loves working with the livestock and the dairy cows and his passion for Biodynamics continues to grow. He has given workshops at numerous conferences and also teaches at the Biodynamic Course at the Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, New York. Presently, Steffen serves as president of the Biodynamic Association of North America (through November 2018) . Email Steffen.


Spencer Fenniman ~ Co-Director of Farm Operations, Field Crop & Compost Manager

Spencer manages forage, compost, and grain production at Hawthorne Valley Farm. He also ensures all of our equipment is up and running smoothly. Spencer has farmed in Montana, Maine, and Oregon. In 2012, he and his wife, Jill, relocated from Winter Green Farm in Noti, Oregon to Hawthorne Valley. At Winter Green, a 300-acre Biodynamic Farm, Spencer managed the grass-fed beef herd, the compost operation, and the vegetable CSA. Spencer enjoys skiing and fly-fishing. Email Spencer.


Lucy Marston ~ Co-Director of Farm Operations, Field Vegetable & CSA Manager

Lucy started at Hawthorne Valley Farm as a Whole Farm Apprentice in 2011 then stayed on as the Advanced Vegetable Apprentice in 2012. She continues her work with the field vegetable CSA by stepping up as the manager for the 2013 season. Before coming to Hawthorne Valley, she worked in farm-based education in California and Connecticut. Email Lucy.


Bob Bower ~ Agawamuck 12 Star Fields Manager

Prior to joining Hawthorne Valley Farm in late 2010, Bob worked for over 15 years at Angelic Organics, a northern Illinois, 1,500-member, Biodynamic CSA with 30 acres in vegetable production each year. At Angelic Organics, Bob was both the General Manager and the Growing Manager. Additionally, since 1995, Bob managed efforts in Customer Service, Distribution, Finance, Marketing, and more. Bob is the father of three adult sons, is learning how to keep honeybees, and enjoys studying Anthroposophy and Biodynamics. Email Bob.


Artisan Foods

Karen Firth-Linton ~ Bakery Manager

Contact Karen.


Jeremy Shapiro ~ Creamery Manager

Contact Jeremy.


Tim Merante ~ Head Cheesemaker

Tim returns to Hawthorne Valley Farm, where he began his cheese-making career in 2005. After 5 years here, he left to join Milk Thistle Farm whereas production manager he was responsible for creating glass-bottled milk and yogurt. But it wasn’t long before his hands craved the familiar fell of curds and whey, so in 2010 Tim joined The Creamery at Twin Maple Farm, and became head cheesemaker there in 2011, creating their award-winning Hudson Red. Tim was born and raised in the Hudson Valley, where he got his first taste of milk straight from the cow at the age of 8.



Zachary Fox-Hill ~ Greenmarket Manager

Until 2010, Zachary lived in Breckenridge, Colorado and worked at a quaint Italian Restaurant called Giampietros. As Chef and General Manager of the restaurant, he realized his passion for good food and sought to get closer to its source. He moved to Columbia County at the end of 2010 to become the Head Buyer at our Farm Store, and has since developed relationships with local producers and artisans. Zachary continues his travels regionally in his VW Vanagon, visiting farms and producers to learn more about sustainable food culture and to find new purveyors. Email Zach.