Massaro Community Farm is pleased to announce that its farm manager, Steve Munno, was named Outstanding Young Farmer of 2019 by the Connecticut Agricultural Information Council and CT Department of Agriculture. The announcement was made at the State Capitol on Agriculture Day, March 20, 2019, an annual recognition of the success and diversity of agriculture across the state.
The State recognizes that today’s farmer has become an active citizen, participating in everything from local and state government to civic groups and charitable organizations. The OYF award has been established to recognize outstanding achievements in agriculture as well as community involvement. Steve will represent Connecticut at the National Outstanding Young Farmer (NOYF) Awards Congress being held in Westbrook, CT, February 6-9, 2020.
“As manager of the farm’s growing operation, Steve has established a robust market for our farm produce through the sale of seasonal subscriptions, farmer’s markets and restaurant sales” said Executive Director Caty Poole. “Steve has also helped create a community of farmers to build support for each other and new first-generation farmers, first in his leadership role with the New CT Farmer Alliance, and more recently as president of the Connecticut chapter of Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA).”
Steve is originally from Long Island and is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. After graduation in 2001, Steve’s work in field science and wilderness skills education took him to California, where he lived for five years. There he volunteered with a farmer for two years before completing the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture.
Always a food lover and longtime supporter of local farms, Steve returned to the East Coast and arrived at Massaro Farm in 2009 to revive the land and bring the fields back into production. Since his arrival at Massaro Farm, Steve has employed at least five young farmers who have gone on to start their own independent operations in Connecticut. Additional efforts by Steve to share farming best practices include hosting incoming Yale freshman every August in a week-long stay at Massaro and partnering with Amity Regional High School every May to host interested seniors in a work cooperative arrangement. Most importantly, Steve has always made sure the farm maintains its commitment to donate 10% of its harvest to those in need, which donations have totaled 60,000 pounds since 2010.
Massaro Community Farm, Inc. (MCF) is a nonprofit certified organic farm located in Woodbridge, Connnecticut. Its mission is to keep farming, feed people and build community. The farm fulfills its mission by offering the sale of produce to seasonal subscribers, to restaurants and at farmer’s markets. The farm offers farm-based education for youth and adults, and holds community-building events each year. The farm maintains a commitment to donating at least 10% of its weekly harvest to hunger relief agencies and donated over 5,000 pounds of food during the 2018 growing season. For more information, please contact the farm office at (203) 736-8618 or visit www.MassaroFarm.org.