2019 DAPNet Board of Directors
Donn Hewes, President, email@example.com, Northland Sheep Dairy, Marathon, NY
Donn Hewes traded his Fordson Super Major tractor for a team of mules in 1993 and has been farming and logging with horses and mules ever since. He and his wife Maryrose Livingston own and operate Northland Sheep Dairy in Marathon, New York. The Northland Sheep Dairy makes award winning cheeses from 100% grass fed sheep. They sell all their cheese, meat and wool products at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. Donn uses horses and mules to do most of the farm work including haymaking, compost spreading, pasture clipping, Plowing and cultivating a couple acres of vegetables and small grains, as well as firewood hauling. Last year we used a combine pulled by horses and mules for the first time. Recently Donn has purchased a Mammoth Jack Donkey that will help insure good working mules for years to come. In his spare time Donn sells parts and repairs horse drawn mowers.
Vice-President, Michael Glos, firstname.lastname@example.org, Berkshire, NY
I have farmed with my wife Karma and daughter Rosemary for the last 20 years at Kingbird Farm in Berkshire, NY. We operate a diverse certified organic farm producing vegetables, herbs, plants, pork, beef, duck, chicken, and eggs. We have done this from the beginning with the assistance of draft horses and ponies ranging from Percherons and Belgians to our current Fjords and Haflinger. They are active in the woods in the fields and woods as we all continue to learn and grow together.
Meryl Friets, Secretary, email@example.com, Craftsbury, VT
Meryl is a current senior at Sterling College in Vermont studying Sustainable Agriculture Education with a minor in Draft Horse Management. She has been around horses since a young child and was introduced to draft power when she started at Sterling College. Meryl’s interest only spiked from there and she has spent the last two years in the program, both in learning and teaching positions. Meryl hopes to one day run her own draft powered educational farm. For now, she has a full time job with Ardelia Farm in Irasburg, VT starting in march where they hope to integrate a team of draft horses into the farm. Meryl plans on spending a few months WWOOFing in New Zealand after graduation learning about the farming culture and seeing what she can find for draft powered operations.
Reva Seybolt, Treasurer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Vershire, VT
Reva came to draft horses in her 50s after taking 30 years off from horses. On her hay farm in northeastern CT, Reva did some haying, logging, spreading manure, hauling stones and brush, Memorial Day Parades, and general chores with her farm team of Belgians. She helped with the NEAPFD and joined the first DAPNet Board in 2011. In 2015, she left the Board to become DAPNet’s Administrator. In 2017, she moved to Vershire VT with her team of a Cleveland Bay-Suffolk Punch gelding and a Percheron-Standard bred mare (courtesy of John Hammond and David Fisher.). She cares passionately about land and draft animals and is looking forward to returning to the DAPNet board since the administration will be in such good hands.
Jared Woodcock, email@example.com, Cambridge, NY
Jared Woodcock owns and operates Taproots Farm with his wife Shannon, and two kids, Calla, and Shiloh. He is the Agriculture Coordinator for SUNY Adirondack a small community college in the southern Adirondacks and is developing both credit and noncredit programs in sustainable agriculture. Jared has a broad range of interests but most importantly he just wants to have a good time!
Brad Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org, Northfield, VT
I first came into contact with horsepower on the Salt Marsh Farm in Wiscasset, Maine. At the time, I was a recovering high school teacher looking for something a little more hands on, and in the nearly twenty years since then I have certainly found it. After farming and logging with horses in Maine for ten years, my family and I moved to central Vermont, where we owned and operated a small, diversified farm in Randolph Center. During those years I began shifting away from farming with horses and into logging with horses and small machinery. For the past nine years, I have been working full time in the woods with my horses. In December of 2106, my wife, daughter, and I bought a woodlot in Northfield, VT and began building a house, utilizing wood pulled from our land. All the other livestock and cropland were left behind, but my horses remain at the heart of what I do for work as well as for fun. I discovered DAPNet early on through Carl Russell, and I served on the first DAPNet Board of Directors. Much has changed and since we first tackled the challenges of forming a non-profit organization focused on promoting the use of animal power, but I remain as committed as ever to the DAPNet mission. Much of my early success with working animals resulted from relationships with wonderful mentors, and DAPNet played a significant role in connecting me with those fine folks. Today I continue to treasure the people I am interact with though the DAPNet community. When I am not at work, I spend my free time outside mountain biking, hiking, skiing, or doing anything else that might involve a day in the sun, water, snow (or dirt). And our family always tries to finish a good day with a Vermont maple creamee!
John Smolinsky, email@example.com, Greensboro Bend, VT
John Smolinsky was introduced to working animals in 2010 when he started at Sterling College in Craftsbury Common Vermont. He went on to Intern with Carl Russell, 30 year horse logger in Bethel Vermont. Following his internship he started his own small logging business using a Belgian draft horse. Earthbound Forestry Services focuses on low volume, high frequency harvest within the parameters of a silvicultural management plan. John focuses on putting the ecological integrity of the forest first by using horses special draft capability within a harvest. The goal is to work with landowners so that they can understand how harvests provide long-term health and strength to the forests economic engine within a healthy and strong ecosystem.
Will Stephens, firstname.lastname@example.org, Nantucket, MA
I am here to wave the flag of inexperience. I live on a small farm with my wife and small collection of animals… a dream come true. I am trying to transition to draft and driving horses from saddle horses and the one AMAZING mentor I had sold her farm to us and moved to France. Low & behold, I found DAPNet. An amazing collection of unselfish people dedicated to living a human scale, working animals as part of a sustainable lifestyle, with an unmatched energy for sharing and helping. I have chosen to join the Board of Directors to increase my level of involvement to do what I can to help other people find this group and to encourage more experienced people to get and stay involved. Living on Nantucket, I have limited farm work that I can do with my horses so I am working towards a commercial carriage business, retiring my tractor from the contract mowing I do and trying to pick up a little forestry management work. I’ve got a long way to go but it’s a lot of fun! As the owner & president of the residential building company Stephens & Company, Inc., I bring to the board a strong background in business management with a focus on customer service and hope to use these to further the mission of DAPNet.
Dave Gibaldi, email@example.com, Montgomery, NY
Dave and his wife Sam began farming in 2011 and in 2016 began to switch to a mixed power farm. Dave works his team of mules, while Sam uses her working steers and mini donkeys, to do most farm chores and timber harvesting. The goal is to transition to a 100% draft powered farm and mule logging business. Dave also works off the farm as a middle school wood shop teacher and values sharing knowledge and skills with others.
Caitlin Arnold, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hudson, NY
Caitlin Arnold is a native Pacific Northwesterner, currently living in the Hudson Valley of NY. She moved to NY two years ago to begin her role as National Chapter Coordinator with the National Young Farmers Coalition. As National Chapter Coordinator, Caitlin helps support our existing farmer-led chapters around the country (43 chapters in 29 state), including our five NY chapters. Most recently she helped to write and publish NYFC’s new Organizing Handbook, which you can download and read here. Before joining NYFC, Caitlin farmed for over a decade on a variety of small and mid-sized vegetable farms in Washington, Oregon and California. In 2014 she apprenticed with Ken and Martha Laing of Orchard Hill Farm in Ontario, Canada, and fell in love with draft horses. After finishing her apprenticeship, she moved back to WA to start her own 2-acre veggie and flower operation, Furrow Horse Farm. Furrow Horse operated for two seasons before losing their land lease, and sadly having to sell their team and equipment. While farming in Washington, Caitlin was also an active member of the Work Horse working group (a smaller, west coast version of DAPNet) and participated in several Farmer to Farmer annual events (similar to Field Days). Although not currently farming, Caitlin is passionate about getting young farmers onto affordable, productive farmland and working on issues of climate change and racial justice. She hopes to be able farm again someday and is excited about the opportunity to join the DAPNet board of directors.
Tianna Kennedy, email@example.com, Worcester, NY
Tianna has been farming in Delaware and Otsego Counties for nine years. She and Walter Riesen founded Star Route Farm in 2015. Originally a dairy farm and then a horse farm for the last 150 years, Star Route Farm’s 60 + acres of leased farmland is nestled in the Charlotte Valley in the Northern Catskills. For the last few years, Star Route has transitioned the land into a diversified vegetable farm growing botanicals for Hudson Made and Delaware Phoenix Distillery, and small grains, beans and vegetables for more than fifteen popular restaurants in Brooklyn and the Catskills. Concurrent with Star Route, Tianna also founded and manages the607csa, a three-hundred plus person multi-farm CSA. Tianna sits on the board of the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship, the Watershed Ag Economic Viability Committee, Congressman Delgado’s Agriculture Advisory Committee, and started the Catskills Chapter of the National Young Farmers’ Coalition. She is also a founding member of Delhi’s Bushel Collective and the Schooner Apollonia, a Hudson Valley Sail Freight venture.
Nick Hammond, firstname.lastname@example.org, Shoreham, VT
Nick owns a horse drawn trash pickup business in Middlebury VT. He also offers local wagon rides with his 4 painted drafts and one Belgian. Nick, his wife Martha, and their three children have a small farm in Shoreham, which features organic beef, laying hens and certified organic milk.
Erin Lorentz, email@example.com, Administrator for Draft Animal-Power Network
Erin works out of the Rutland, Vermont GWC office and has been providing administrative services such as event planning, communications, and other management activities since 2006. She has lived in Vermont all of her life and loves to tend her vegetable and flower gardens with her twin girls, age 4.