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Ryan Voiland began his farming career when he was a middle school student living with his parents in Montague, MA. With the encouragement and support of his father and mother, he opened a small stand in front of the house where he sold wild berries that he picked. Over the course of high school Ryan took over and expanded the family garden with plans to grow more vegetables for his farm stand. By the time he reached college, Ryan was renting additional farm land and selling his produce at farmer's markets and to wholesale customers in addition to the Montague farm stand.
After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Fruit and Vegetable horticulture in 2000, Ryan pursued his goal of securing a permanent property for his farm business. With financing assistance from the Farm Service Agency (a department of the U.S. government) and Farm Credit East, Ryan purchased the Granby farm stead.
Ryan has now been farming in Granby for 12 years, and it has been 22 years since he took over his parent’s garden and became an organic farmer! Ryan is delighted that his passion for growing organic food continues to make a positive impact on the local food supply.
Sarah Voiland grew up in Stafford Springs CT, one of the most rural parts of that state. As an environmental studies major at Vassar College, she first learned about Community Supported Agriculture when she joined the college sponsored Poughkeepsie Farm Project CSA. Inspired by all of the positive environmental and social change that CSA’s encourage, Sarah decided after graduating that she should become a farmer herself. She started a small community supported agriculture farm called Down to Earth in her home town of Stafford on the land of a family friend. After meeting (and dating!) Ryan for a couple of years, Sarah decided to transfer Down to Earth's management to other CSA members, and began working at Red Fire Farm in 2007.
Sarah now manages communications at the farm, and you'll likely hear from her in the farm e-mails.
In 2009 Ryan and Sarah were married on the Far Away Little Hill Field, part of the Granby Farm. In 2012 they set up camp in the Montague farm house, and have been joined in their adventures by the small creature Walter (Wally) Voiland. Together they look forward to continuing the management of the farm and CSA.
Core Crew :
Many people are involved in making Red Fire Farm run. The management of everything on the farm happens through a team effort amongst our experienced staff.
Our core crew of farmers in 2013 includes:
All of these folks put in significant energy, sweat and care into their work and we encourage you to think of them as your farmers just as much as you think of Ryan and Sarah as farmers at Red Fire.
Red Fire Farm employs upwards of 60 people during the harvest season, many of whom are recent college graduates and have a passion for doing good work on the land. We have four interns each season who participate in a regional farmer training program called CRAFT which provides participants extra opportunities for practical farm training in addition to the daily on the job experience that they gain by working on the farm.
A big thank you to Paul Voiland and Jean Voiland for the many things they do for the farm. And a big thanks to Ring Associates director Roger Ingraham, Sarah's dad, who does the computer systems and networking for the farm.
If you are interested in joining the farm crew, please visit our jobs page to find out about current openings.