Vermont Agrarian Commons Board
Molly Anderson (she/her) is a professor at Middlebury College’s Academic Program in Food Studies where she teaches courses in agreocology, food systems, commons theory, and food justice. Molly has worked as private consultant for Oxfam America and at Tufts University, where she was the founding Director of Agriculture, Food and Environment Graduate Program in the School of Nutrition Science & Policy and directed Tuft’s Institute of the Environment for two years. Molly is particularly passionate about the ways that commons theory can be mobilized to imagine and create alternative structures to the private property model, and finds inspiration for these possibilities in among other places her favorite science fiction novels.
Hans Estrin (he/him) Hans brings to this project over three decades of teaching experience, and over a decade of collaborative development work with diversified produce growers in Vermont and New England. Hans co-developed the University of Vermont’s Practical Produce Safety Program and since 2014 has led and coordinated the Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) with the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association. As an On Farm Readiness Review lead for the University of Vermont Extension, Hans provides on-farm technical support to help Vermont growers meet market expectations. As a core member of the University of Vermont’s Ag Engineering’s Post Harvest Project Planning Team, Hans is often on produce farms, supporting Vermont growers to pragmatically integrate efficiency, profitability and food safety into their production systems. Hans further supports the development of local produce markets and businesses. He co-founded the Windham Farm and Food Network (now Food Connects), helped launch VT Dinners and Manadnock Menus, and has supported the start-up of other Vermont Food Hubs.
Alison Nihart (she/her) is the Vermont State Director for Rights & Democracy Project where she works on progressive political change and electoral organizing. She holds a masters of Natural Resources from the University of Vermont (UVM) where she studied urban agriculture policy. Alison has also worked with the UVM Food Systems Initiative and as Strategic Implementation Specialist at UVM Extension. Alison brings a deep passion for cooperative economic models to the Vermont Agrarian Commons Board.
Francine Miller (she/her) is a senior staff attorney and adjunct faculty member at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School (VLS), where she supervises students in the Food and Agriculture Clinic and leads a variety of projects. Fran focuses predominantly on farmland access, overseeing the expansion of CAFS’s Farmland Access Legal Toolkit to better serve historically marginalized communities. She also serves private clients through CAFS and the clinic, particularly regarding collaborative and community land ownership and business formation. Fran spent many years as a trademark and copyright lawyer, obtained her LLM in Food and Agriculture Law and Policy at VLS in 2017, and moved to Vermont from New York City in September 2019 to work at CAFS.