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. Steffen served on the Board of the Biodynamic Association of North America for many years . Email Steffen.
Spencer Fenniman ~ Farm Manager, 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.
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 extra-ordinary work ethic and has an amazing way with the cows. When she isn’t with the dairy herd she is at home making beautiful art work or walking with her dog, Nina.
Jeremy Shapiro ~ Creamery Manager
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.