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.


Spencer Fenniman ~ Farming Director

Spencer Fenniman (he/him) is the Farming Director at Hawthorne Valley Farm. He has managed fields and fertility at Hawthorne Valley since arriving in 2012. As a younger person, his studies in Anthropology, food geography, and something-useful-to-do-outside-ski-season lead him to a series of organic and biodynamic farming apprenticeships. The more he practices nature-based farming, the more he appreciates the land and the deep knowledge, listening, creativity and dedication of his agricultural teachers. For Spencer, biodynamic farming is a way of life based in connection, and managing the soil, the livestock and the ecology in a holistic manner provides the fertile grounds for personal, productive and pedagogical connection. He lives in sight of the farm with his wife and two children.

Email Spencer.


Todd Newlin ~ Field Vegetable and CSA Manager

Todd comes with over a decade of experience as a biodynamic/organic farmer. He has extensive experience in growing for and managing CSA’s as well as working with apprentices. Email Todd.


Jess Brobst ~ Dairy Herd Manager

Jessica joined HVF as a whole farm apprentice in 2016 before moving up the ranks to herd manager in 2018.  Jess grew up on a farm in West Virginia and comes with a lot of experience working with animals.  She has an extraordinary work ethic and has an amazing way with cows.  When she isn’t with the dairy herd she is at home making beautiful art work or walking with her dog, Nina. Email Jess.


Artisan Foods

Jeremy Shapiro ~ Creamery Operations Supervisor

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.


Delsia Hilton ~ Bakery Operations Supervisor

Contact Del.



Zachary Fox-Hill ~ Director of Sales & Production

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.