Lucinda is the Executive Director of the Chester Agricultural Center. Lucinda has worked in several roles in the HV to help develop strong, diverse communities. She is passionate about the mission of the Chester Agricultural Center and collaborating with farmers, farmworkers and values-aligned organizations to build a stronger more equitable regional food system. She stewarded CAC’s transition to a non-profit, made the land access program more inclusive, and is developing mission-related programming including a model for affordable housing for farmers and farmworkers. Lucinda was formerly the ED of Re>Think Local, a collaborative that educates and empowers locally owned independent businesses and citizens who care equally about people, planet and prosperity. Previously she started 2 Alices Coffee Lounge in Cornwall-on-Hudson.
Community Relations & Farm Store Manager
Maria is Ecuadorian by birth, New Yorker by migration, and a new transplant to the mid-Hudson valley region. A bilingual childhood educator by training, Maria’s interest in food, soil and plants grew as she taught in a variety of community settings and outdoor classrooms in NYC. Committed to reconnecting people to nature, Maria is always in search of opportunities to grow her love for the land and share it with others. She keeps a community garden plot near her home in Highland.
Over the last 5 years, Maria’s practice and on-the-job learning has allowed her to support NYC public schools with starting their own gardens, work with NYC youth in urban ag and food justice projects, run an outdoor culinary education program for Bronx families, and participate in food systems work at the city level.
Maria’s work is very personal too. As the daughter of a former sharecropper, Maria aligns herself with the plight of peasant farm workers, and black, brown and indigenous farmers all over the world, but especially the Hudson Valley region, where she now calls home. She envisions a future where harms are repaired, colonial mindset extinguished, and radical care is everyone’s modus operandi.
Coordinator of Strategic Planning
Steffen finished his agricultural university studies in Glessen, Germany in 1982. He has been a biodynamic practitioner since 1983, first in Wisconsin, and since 1989, at Hawthorne Valley Farm. He loves working with the livestock, specially the dairy cows, and his passion for biodynamics continues to grow. He is convinced that a spiritually grounded agriculture is a major lever for societal transformation. He has given workshops and lectured at numerous national and international conferences.
Through the Institute for Mindful Agriculture, he is currently engaged in food justice projects in the Hudson Valley and supports food systems change in collaboration with several agricultural ventures, locally and nationally.
Currently, he serves on the Board of the Biodynamic Alliance as a treasurer. He lives with his partner Rachel in Columbia county, NY and is grateful to be able to spend more time with his two sons and three granddaughters.
Farm & Property Manager
Dave comes to the Chester Ag Center having lived in Chester for most of his life. As a teenager, Dave worked with previous owners of these farmlands and is a skilled tractor operator. Before joining the Chester Ag Center, Dave worked for 30+ years for the Town of Chester’s Department of Public Works. He supervises and maintains the Cromline Creek pump which is critical to our farmers’ drainage and irrigation efforts. Dave also maintains all of our fields, cover crops, looks after our farming infrastructure, as well as supports farmers in their day-to-day operations.