Instructor Biographies

Ali English
Ali is FarmStart’s FarmLINK Coordinator and also works on developing training programs and resources for new farmers.  After completing a master’s degree in Agroecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ali spent three years running a market garden CSA with two friends. Having been a new farmer faced with the challenges of accessing relevant training and secure farmland, Ali feels very fortunate to be working on these issues with FarmStart. Her years of apprenticing and farming in southern Ontario have left her with a strong connection to the local farming community.

Janet Horner
Janet is the Executive Director for the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance and the Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee.  The Alliance oversees the implementation of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Action Plan by working with farmers, rural and urban municipalities, the province and industry to ensure that the Food and Farming Cluster in the Golden Horseshoe is growing and vibrant.

Janet’s skills lie in group facilitation and consensus building as she has trained adults and youth in small business start-ups and encourages dialogue between urban and rural residents on land use and food issues.

Janet is a partner in the family businesses- Whitfield Farms Ltd., a cash crop operation in Dufferin County.  For 30 years, she operated Whitfield Farms Catering and brings with her a tremendous amount of experience in event planning, catering, food processing and small business.

Harris Ivens
Farming took Harris by storm after nine years of working with youth and adults in the outdoors in canoes and kayaks on camping trips.   After a year of interning he had the opportunity to return and help manage the farmers markets and CSA at Everdale Farm.

Teaching and facilitating for fifteen years led to continuing his work at Everdale developing and facilitating the Farmers Growing Farmers Program and business planning course.  Currently Harris is launching a business planning training and consulting business offering a simple and comprehensive approach to farm planning.  To continue building his skills Harris volunteers and works on farms nearby.  Harris brings a creative approach centered on the participants needs in developing their farm dream.

Angie Koch
After devoting 10 years of her life to the field of community development and social work, Angie made a shift in the direction of agriculture. Completing a full-season internship on a farm near Orangeville did the opposite of getting the farming bug out of her system and she started up her own vegetable CSA just outside of Waterloo. Angie is passionate about growing food and dreaming up ways to use her farm as a community development tool. Each season with Fertile Ground , Angie is excited about what the future holds, although she’s never quite certain how it will emerge!

Tarrah Young
Tarrah Young runs Green Being Farm in Neustadt, with her husband Nathan Carey.  The farm is devoted to embodying organic and humane principles while remaining economically viable. Green Being Farm offers a winter CSA, and produces and direct markets pastured pork, poultry,eggs, and grass-fed lamb. Tarrah holds a degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph, and acts as an instructor for both FarmStart and Georgian College, where she teaches both aspiring and existing farmers.  She also runs seminars for consumers designed to help them understand better understand farming and food systems.

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