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Meet Vijay Nazareth, head of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition

Editor’s note: The Addison Independent was remis in not introducing you to Vijay Nazareth when he was hired to run an important local farming organization this past summer. We were reminded of that when the organization held their annual meeting this week. Here’s a brief introduction.

CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FARMER COALITION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR VIJAY NAZARETH

ADDISON COUNTY — The Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition (CVFC) in Middlebury last July hired Vijay Nazareth as its executive director.

Nazareth’s experience in the private sector and in nonprofit management and finance, combined with his passion for conservation in agriculture and environmental stewardship, will help to further advance the organization’s mission. CVFC assists farmers in implementing innovative agricultural practices that enhance water quality, soil health, climate smart farming, and their economic resiliency.

“He is a curious, collaborative, and results-oriented leader who will bring strong strategic thinking and problem-solving skills to the role,” said Brian Kemp, CVFC’s board president.

Nazareth comes to CVFC following a robust search process that netted more than 20 applications from individuals in Vermont and around the country. The organization embarked on the search following the February 2022 departure of its previous executive director, John Roberts. Roberts was appointed as USDA state executive director for the Farm Service Agency in Vermont by President Joe Biden. Sarah Audet served as interim executive director while the search was ongoing.

Nazareth’s first day with CVFC was July 11. He has overall operational responsibility for CVFC’s mission, programs, member relations, communications, financial growth, grant management, and staff. Among his many priorities is resuming the organization’s in-person educational programming for farmers to learn more about innovative agricultural practices.

“CVFC has built an amazing network of farmers over the years,” Nazareth said at the time of his hiring. “I am truly honored to be the next executive director, and I look forward to meeting and working with our members and community partners.”

Nazareth holds a Master of Science in Agriculture/Soil and Water Science from the University of Florida, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut. His academic research interests include the use of precision agriculture for sustainable intensification and soil and water management. He collaborated with the USDA Water Management Lab in Maricopa, Ariz., on improving water use efficiency for cotton in semi-arid climates. The research paper he co-authored with the USDA was recognized by The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Before coming to Vermont, he most recently served as the founder and executive director of Skills for Life, a nonprofit organization based in Frederick, Md., dedicated to empowering youth through social entrepreneurship, gender equality and career advancement. He was also the CEO of Exeter Capital Companies, specializing in institutional asset management, global market analysis and portfolio structuring and management. He formerly served as a Food Security & Nutrition Consultant for the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., where he worked on projects in the areas of crop and climate water management, value chain enhancement and climate risk mitigation.

The Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition is a 501(c)(5) nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to assist all farmers in implementing innovative agricultural practices that enhance water quality, soil health, climate smart farming, and their economic resiliency in the Champlain Valley. We accomplish this through a positive, unified voice that provides targeted education and outreach to farmers and the public; advocates on behalf of farmers’ environmental interests; and collaborates with community partners to achieve common goals. Learn more online at cvfc-vt.com.

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