Shar Olivier, RFA Executive Director
Shar Olivier joined the RFA team as the Executive Director in March 2018. She brings more than two decades of sustainability leadership, and a commitment to conservation and the organic standard. She has a deep understanding of and dedication to the importance of local food systems and community engagement. Her background also includes work with state, local and federal officials on congressional green task forces and economic development councils. Her experience in corporate sustainability training and education, coupled with event and exhibit development, makes her uniquely qualified to lead RFA into the next chapter of growth and abundance for the community and the region. She has also built homesteads, including organic gardens and lived off-grid, which were some of the happiest times in her life.
Shar attended Duke University’s Nicholas School for Environmental Leadership Graduate Program, achieving the Masters of Environmental Management. She holds a BA in Communications & Sociology from The New School University, with a certificate in Film. She is a LEED Accredited Professional with the USGBC, as well as a Living Building Ambassador with ILBI. Shar lives in Blauvelt, NY with her partner and her three sons. She enjoys dancing, sailing, swimming, singing, motorcycles, gardening and yoga.
Betsy ho, cropsey community farm manager
A Westchester native of Sleepy Hollow, Betsy has farmed in six of the New York counties on the Hudson Valley. In 2018, she joined us as the Cropsey Community Farm Manager, bringing with her wealth of experience growing vegetables for restaurants and discerning foodies. Her working dog, Seneca, is also along for the ride!
Betsy first started farming at Hilltop Hanover, a nonprofit CSA farm and education center in Westchester. She has a love for soil fertility, working with the rhythms of nature to produce delicious, healthful food, and a passion for the great outdoors. She has studied with the Bionutrient Food Association, is a follower of compost guru Elaine Ingham, and is on a mission to fuse organics, biodynamics and permaculture into a working production model. She also teaches a Farm Beginnings course at FARMroots/NYC, whose mission is to nurture the next generation of farmers, particularly those folks who have been historically disadvantaged.
sarah bartges, education director
Sarah Bartges is a science and math educator who joined the RFA team as Education Director in January 2017. After graduating from Barnard College with a BA in Environmental Policy, Sarah happily, but accidentally, found her life’s passion for teaching and gardening at Columbia Secondary School for Math Science and Engineering, a public school. There, she worked with her colleagues to acquire a vacant plot of land in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan to start a school gardening program which is still thriving today. After completing an MA in Biology Education for Secondary School, Sarah taught high school biology at the Waldorf School in Manhattan. Upon relocating with her family across the Hudson River, Sarah was thrilled to join RFA in its mission to bring children onto the land and connect them to the joys of growing and harvesting the food that nourishes us all.
Adam Rauth, Cropsey Community FarM field manager
Adam grew up in Rockland County and has always loved the outdoors, but it was through his mother’s garden that he learned an appreciation for growing things. After graduating from Binghamton University with a degree in English, Adam joined the Cropsey Community Farm crew in 2014. Here, he learned much about organic and sustainable farming, and the following year he became the Farm Foreman. In 2018, Adam took on the role of Field Manager. Adam is proud to be growing healthy food for his family, and for the people of his community. He enjoys reading, playing guitar, and dreams of one day planting a giant sunflower maze.
Joy Buckhout, Administrative & Creative coordinator
Joy has been teaching workshops at Rockland Farm Alliance for several years, teaching plant identification, herbal medicine, and more. In 2018, she joined the RFA staff as the Administrative & Creative Coordinator. Joy is a clinical herbalist, as well as a childbirth doula. A woman of many talents, Joy also has a background in the graphic arts, which shows in RFA flyers and print. Growing up in Rockland County, she has always been drawn to nature in general, and to the plants and herbs in particular. After completing her BS in Communications from Boston University, she inadvertently acquired a new found passion for herbalism, nutrition and the concept of "Food as Medicine." She also enjoys foraging, knitting, swimming, reading, gardening & painting.
Kathy Rauth, Farm Educator
Kathy Rauth is an Early Childhood Educator and has helped to lead Junior Farmers Camp for the last several years. A longtime resident of Rockland county, she has always been an avid organic vegetable gardener. When the Rockland Farm Alliance started its CSA at Cropsey Community Farm, Kathy became an active member and volunteer. Kathy is the Educational Director of Nursery School of the Nyacks, and has been a teacher in the Two and Three year old class there for over 20 years. She finds that teaching young children about nature and growing food is the perfect combination of her two passions.
Alaina Mancini, Cropsey Community Farm Field Crew
Alaina is a recent graduate of Binghamton University with a BA in Environmental Studies. She has always loved the outdoors, planting, and watching things grow. During her college years she volunteered at the E.W. Heier teaching greenhouse on campus and was awarded a scholarship for her dedication. Alaina spent the summer of 2015 working with the Rockland Conservation and Service Corps inspecting streams and working throughout the county in places like the Pfeiffer Center and Cropsey Community Farm. This involvement allowed her to experience a variety of outdoor jobs and environmental services provided by the hardworking people of Rockland. She realized during this time that farming was a passion of hers. In 2016, she worked at Cropsey Community Farm as a member of the Field Crew and loved every minute on the farm. After two summers traveling abroad, in 2018 she has returned to her love of farming at Cropsey and is excited to start her career as a farmer.