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RICHARD Berkfield


Favorite Part of Job? Expanding potential of deep collaboration. Relationships. Engaging kids with food.

Most Inspiring Mentor: Peter Allison, formerly of Upper Valley Farm to School, now of Farm to Institution New England (FINE). I am inspired by his commitment, and ability, to engage with complicated relationships, collaboration, transparency, and clear, often humorous, communication. He also taught me how to appropriately be the only male at Farm to School meetings.  

Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I am a collegiate, national champion Ultimate Frisbee champion.

Favorite Hobby: I enjoy fishing, even just being on or near the water recharges me.

Favorite Vermont Escape: It wouldn't be my favorite anymore, if I shared it with the world.

Favorite Social Media: Twitter for Vermont food system news feeds.

Favorite Website: Vermont Food System Atlas:

Vermont Business Person you would like to have lunch with:  John Kimmich, The Alchemist Brewery. Not just because I like the beer, but also because I would like to learn about their sourcing and distribution.

Career Highlights: Richard co-founded food Connects in 2013 with the mission to cultivate healthy food and farm connections in classrooms, cafeterias and communities. The organization has quickly grown to employ 5 others and expand their reach across southern Vermont and New Hampshire. Richard runs Food Connects as an entrepreneurial non-profit, developing quality educational services to generate program service revenue. In addition, Richard is the General Manager of Windham Farm and Food, LLC, a local food aggregation and distribution business serving schools, hospitals and more. Since his involvement began in 2012, the business has grown from $75,000 in annual sales to more than $200,000 projected for 2014. Richard is committed to a Vermont food system that includes all members of the community regardless of income. He is a member of the Farm to Plate Steering Committee as Co-Chair of the Food Access Cross-cutting Team and recently joined the New England Food Summit as one of 12 Vermont delegates.

Community Involvement: As a father of two young boys under 6, and leader of a young and growing community-based organization, I have not had the ability to commit to any long term volunteer service such as being on a board of directors or town committee.  Additionally, my work commits me to community engagement through support of evening and weekend events, participation in School Board and other meetings both locally and statewide, and general community outreach.  That said, I stay involved the best I can primarily at my kids’ schools, The Root Social Justice Center, KidsPlayce, and other events focused on people and the planet.


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