Tim Brady | Easton, CT
Tim Brady and his family are relatively new to farming. Inspired and supported by farming friends and Connecticut Farm Bureau, they created Shaggy Coos Farm, a small part time farm on their property in Easton, Connecticut in 2006. Their focus is livestock. In addition to their small fold of registered Scottish Highland cattle, their daughters raise pigs, chickens and turkeys.. They also host an equine co-op on their property.
Tim has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University, and an MBA from Marymount University. Their eldest daughter is currently a Junior in Trumbull's Agriscience and Biotechnology School.
He has served on the Fairfield County Board of Directors since he started, as a CFBA Director from 2009 to 2013, before assuming the role of Fairfield County President in 2013. Tim has always enjoyed the outdoors and his farm is a welcome change from his daily office life in Hartford. He is also a retired U.S. Army officer.
Jerome Mayer, President | Newtown, CT
Abby Kende, second vice president | newtown, ct
J. Scott Edwards, Treasurer | Easton, CT
Over 200 acres and nine varieties of Christmas Trees is what Maple Row Farm is known for. Scott is the general manager and eighth generation on this, his family's farm. The farm which sold its dairy herd in the 1960's and moved towards Christmas Tress, has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families and one of the centerpieces for Easton's agricultural image. In addition to Christmas Trees, Scott has diversified with a business in landscape mulch and supplies as well as firewood.
Scott has been treasurer on and off for FCFB since 2007 and served on the board for slightly more. He sees Farm Bureau as an important legislative voice for an ever shrinking agricultural base in CT.
A B.S. in computer science shapes his approach towards agriculture as modern and efficient. He lives in Newtown with his wife and three children.
Bruce Benedict, Farm & Garden Centers | Monroe, CT
Bruce Benedict has served on the Board of Directors since 2003 and has been involved in farming for 30 years. He is President and General Manager of Benedict’s Home and Garden, a retail farm supply and garden center. He also raises beef and chickens. Bruce holds a B.S. in Agriculture, a B.A. in History, and an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2005 and on the CT Marketing Authority since 2006.
Dina Brewster, Organic Gardening | Ridgefield, CT
Dina Brewster is the farm manager of The Hickories, a fruit and vegetable farm in Ridgefield, CT. The Hickories is a family farm that has been in operation for over 200 years. Dina is also a member of NOFA (New England Organic Farming Association) and is committed to organic and sustainable farming practices.
Dina is relatively new as a farm manager, but she spent her early adulthood working for previous farmers and studying organic farming. Dina has a B.A. in English literature from Yale College and a Ed.M. from Columbia Teachers College. After experiences in the US Peace Corps and teaching in the Bronx in New York City, Dina has returned to her family’s farm.
The Hickories is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. And in addition to feeding the families in the CSA program, Dina and her partner manage a pick your own fruit, farm stand, and small wholesale operation.
Alyce Block, Women's Committee | Monroe, CT
Alyce was married to the late Burton Block and was farming in livestock and wholesale meat business in Monroe for 55 years. She has four children and 13 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She is a registered nurse and graduated from Norwalk Hospital. –Alyce has been a Farm Bureau member for 60 years. She has been County Women’s Chair since 1990, State Women’s Committee Chair 1994 -2000, AFBF Women’s Leadership Northeast Representative 2000-2008. She has been on FCFB Board of Directors since 1990, until the present time. She received the CFBA Most outstanding member award in 2002, and the FFA Lifetime member award for working with Ct. youth. She designed and developed the Traveling Farm AG Education Program and presented it to 35000 children over a period of 14 years in Fairfield County Schools. Alyce presents the “Farmin Fever” Program at Ct. Beardsley Zoo with Chris Rowlands each Memorial weekend and has done so for 16 years. Alyce is proud of her many achievement awards as well.
Alyce is also on the Board of Managers of the Yale Hospital Auxiliary and enjoys working with many doctors lectures throughout the year.
Jamie Jones, Vineyards | Shelton, CT
Philip Jamison Jones has served as a Director of Fairfield County Farm Bureau since 2002. Jamie is a member of the 6th generation to farm on the Jones Family Farms. His family farms 400 acres in the White Hills of Shelton and grows strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, Christmas trees and wine grapes, all of which are direct marketed. In 2003, Jamie was the Connecticut Farm Bureau State Discussion Meet Winner. He started the Jones Winery in 2004 after graduating with a B.S. degree from Cornell University.
Jamie currently serves as the 2nd Vice President of the Connecticut Farm Bureau, and also serves on the Shelton Zoning Board of Appeals.
Peter Sepe, Awards, Education, Sheep | Sandy Hook, CT
Peter Sepe has been a Farm Bureau member for 36 years and served on the Fairfield County Board of Directors for 12 years. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut. He has been involved in farming for over 40 years. Pete and his wife own Sepe Farm where they are producers of CT Grown sheep and lamb products. Pete is a professional sheep shearer, an agricultural consultant, and, for 24 years, an agriculture and science teacher.
Pete received the CT Farm Bureau Excelling Youth in Agriculture Award in 2006, the Secretary of the State’s Public Service Award in 2003, a National FFA Alumni Legion of Merit Citation, a nomination for the Disney American Teacher Award, and was honored by the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull; Garden Club of America (Stamford) as well as being awarded an honorary CT State FFA Degree. In addition, Pete has served on the Governor’s Task Force for CT Agricultural Development.
CAROL SEPE, WOMEN'S COMMITTEE| SANDY HOOK, CT
Carol Sepe owns Sepe Farm with her husband, Peter, in Sandy Hook where they have produced CT grown lamb and woolen products over the last 26 years. Both beautiful daughters and handsome son-in-law continue the family agriculture tradition working with the animals as well as individual careers connected to agriculture.
Carol was a New York 4-H'er and worked as a meat wrapper part-time and summers to help finance college. A BS from Cornell University and a MA from UConn led to a 30+ year career teaching Family and Consumer Science in high school and middle school. 4-H leader and FFA Mom were also part of the job description.
Since retiring from formal education. Carol has been working with the Women's Leadership Committee focusing on their Ag Literacy initiatives, most notably, the Barnyard Bookcase projects and Read Across CT.
Bonnie BuRr, Legislative | BROOKFIELD, CT
Phoebe Cole-Smith | Weston, CT
Phoebe Cole-Smith lived with her mother and stepfather on their Illinois cattle farm from the age of 12 until she left to attend boarding school. She is a graduate of The Putney School (a working farm as well as a secondary school) in Putney, Vermont, The University of Michigan (BA, Residential College), and The French Culinary Institute (Grande Diplome) in Manhattan. After graduating from the FCI in 2004, Phoebe interned in the kitchen at Blue Hill at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
A private farm-to-table chef, Phoebe and her husband Mike, a hockey consultant, keep laying hens and honeybees; grow organic vegetables, cutting flowers, herbs and fruit; and produce maple syrup on their 5 ½-acre farm in Weston, all of which Phoebe uses for her cooking jobs. She also sources produce and products from a number of local farmers and producers.
Phoebe is a longtime supporter of The Connecticut Farmland Trust, a member of CT NOFA, Chefs Collaborative, the Backyard Beekeepers Association and is a past member of the Town of Weston CT Select Committee for Sustainability. Her children Sophie, 26, and Walker, 23, both live in Los Angeles and work in the film business.
Gail Bunovsky | Monroe, CT
Gail has owned horses for 40 years, but 20 years ago she went to a "natural horsemanship" clinic and it changed her whole life on how she thinks of a horse.
Gail writes, We do composting with our manure and organic gardening. We raise Blue Silkie chickens, but also have standard size chickens for eggs. I am Vice-chariman of Conservation for the town of Monroe where my passion is protecting our water supply. Ron and I have been married 52 years, have 4 children, 9 grandchildren. Youngest son Keith owns TLC Wholesale Nursery in Monroe and Canterbury. Our son, Stephen, teaches at Nonnewaug High School.
Dr. Candace Benyei, CFBA Director, ALT STATE DIRECTOR| Redding, CT
Dr. Candace Benyei began vegetable and flower farming as a 4-Her when she was seven and went on to become a 4-H horse club leader as an adult. In 1974 she became Secretary of the Fairfield County Cooperative Extension Council and then it’s President from 1975-1978. Candace became a member of the Fairfield County Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 1991 and served as its President from 2007 -2013. She served as the Fairfield County Delegate and member of the Connecticut Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 2014-2016 and is currently the CFBA Alternate Delegate. Since 1972 she and her family have owned and operated Whimsy Brook Farm, Ltd. in Redding, a horse training and boarding facility and United States Pony Club Center. The family also owns and operates Schulhof Animal Hospital in Westport, where she serves as Hospital Administrator, and her husband Chris is a veterinarian. In 2005 she received the CT Farm Bureau Grassroots Member of the Year Award.
Candace holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Colorado College, a M.S. in School Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University, an M.S. in Family Therapy from the University of Bridgeport, an M.P.S. in Theology from New York Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Union Institute.
Candace has served on the Agri-Science & Tech. Ctr. Advisory Committee of Nonnawaug High School since 1996. In 2007 she was elected a Trustee of the Eastern States Exposition. She is an Approved Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, has taught at four universities, and is a poet and many times published author. In addition to managing the farm and the animal hospital, Candace has a private practice of family therapy, business and life coaching, and congregational consultation and conflict resolution.
Jimmy Bloom, Shellfish | Norwalk, CT
Jimmy Bloom is a third-generation shellfisherman at Norm Bloom and Sons, LLC, a shellfish farm owned and operated by his family and based in Norwalk, Connecticut. Jimmy's family farms and sells oysters under the brand name "Copps Island Oysters." They also market clams and lobsters.
Jimmy has recently been appointed to the Connecticut Aquaculture Advisory Council and also serves as an alternate industry representative for the Executive Committee of the National Shellfish Program.