Meet the Connecticut Farm to School Steering Committee

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Cyrena Thibodeau
(she/her)

Cyrena works at the CT Department of Agriculture in the Ag Development Unit. She is the agency's Farm to School Coordinator and manages the CT Grown for CT Kids Grant Program. She likes kayaking, gardening, hiking, and eating!

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Sherlene Rodriguez
(she/her)

Sherlene Rodriguez brings many years of experience in program development and project management from the corporate and the non-profit sector. Sherlene has worked with various community-based organizations in Fairfield County, including Family and Children's Agency, FoodCorps, and Green Village Initiative. She has a passion for developing strategic, sustainable solutions for public health and food systems by prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion to serve communities better. Sherlene has a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College. She is thrilled to join the new steering committee and is committed to achieving its goals.

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Shannon Raider-Ginsburg (she/her)

Shannon's work in sustainable agriculture, food justice, and experiential education has led her to work in all manner of farms, non profits and business ownership. She is a certified Master Composter, CT NOFA board member and a founding member of the New Connecticut Farmers Alliance. Shannon currently is the project coordinator for Put Local on Your Tray at UConn Extension supporting school through the maze of local procurement.

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Eric Dawson (he/him)

Eric was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts but now calls Stonington, Connecticut home. Eric graduated from Connecticut College in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Science and International Relations. He is passionate about food and farming and is excited to be a part of the Collaborative and Steering Committee.

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Dr. Ivette Ruiz
(she/her)

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As a 3rd generation farmer who is bi-lingual and bi-cultural I have had the immense opportunity to partner and collaborate with a variety of individuals, groups and organizations in diverse areas and platforms around BIPOC programming, Disability Integration, Underrepresented Groups, Holistic Coaching, Leadership Development and Organizational Development. 

Last year I suffered a devastating Traumatic Brain Injury that changed my life completely. My goal is to improve the community's understanding of trauma related mental, behavioral and spiritual health.  I hope to help connect the dots for people navigating this confusing chapter by providing an oasis respite farm space where farmers and non-farmers can receive the support, awareness and resources needed to thrive successfully after TBI injuries.

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Dawn Crayco
(she/her)

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Lexi Basile
(she/her)

Lexi is a Food Policy Analyst with the Food System Policy Division of the City of New Haven. She manages the Division’s Equitable Food-Oriented Development Portfolio, which includes supporting food-based business entrepreneurs and leading institutional values-based procurement efforts. Lexi enjoys working at the center of social justice, health equity, and law and policy to promote community-driven development in the food and agriculture sectors.

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