Farmer Skip Connett
Skip Connett’s boyhood was spent on a magnificent farm in Pennsylvania that got its start in the 1700s. His career has spanned journalism, public health, and farming. Most recently, he was a member of the TOFGA Advisory Board and TDA Organic Industry Advisory Board. He is the co-creator of Green Gate Farms and New Farm Institute, the farm’s nonprofit educational initiative. Learn more about Farmer Skip in his blog, Farm For Thought.
Farmer Erin Flynn
Erin Flynn is co-creator of Green Gate Farms and Executive Director of New Farm Institute, the farm’s nonprofit educational initiative. Though Erin’s family has farmed and ranched in Texas for six generations, she is the first in her family to create an organic farm that combines food, education, community and fun. Erin is an agricultural activist who serves on Slow Food Austin’s Board of Directors, the Growers Alliance of Central Texas and the City of Austin’s Sustainable Food Policy Board.
Carolyn Weaver, Community Outreach Manager
Carolyn is a Cleveland native whose childhood was spent camping in National Parks and learning about her surroundings from her biology professor grandfather. This upbringing shaped her into a passionate activist committed to helping prevent environmental abuse and degradation. After graduating from Tulane University in May 2015 with bachelor degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Studies, Carolyn moved to east Austin to pursue a career in the environmental field. Her first year was spent as an Environmental Educator at Austin Nature and Science Center and she then assumed the role of Green Gate Farms’ Food Justice Summer Intern after realizing her passion for urban farming and improving food access. Carolyn was hired on full-time in August 2016 as the new Community Outreach Coordinator, allowing her to gain a comprehensive view of Green Gate Farms as she divides her time between non-profit work and farm labor. Carolyn is also a photographer specializing in darkroom methods and is an active member of the art scene here in Austin.
Yolanda Bazdresch, Bilingual Farm Stand Manager
A native of Ciudad Juarez, México and El Paso, Texas, Yolanda moved to Austin a long time ago to attend the University of Texas. After a long career as a video producer in the healthcare and nutrition education fields, Yolanda is now focusing on using her bilingual skills and bi-cultural background to improve bilingual health communication materials and healthcare services for Spanish-speaking populations, and advocating to reduce health disparities. Though a gardening enthusiast and an avid cook, this is Yolanda’s first exposure to farming. For Yolanda, the greatest reward in managing farm stand is meeting and helping customers, and she is always ready to share recipe ideas and cooking tips for the delicious vegetables Green Gate Farms produces.
Alex Connett, Farm Reporter/Assistant Farm Educator
Alex Connett started working at Green Gate Farms in high school during the summers. This is where she got her first taste of what farming consists of. She loved the Texas heat so much that she decided to move from Georgia to attend UT for her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies. Upon graduating, Alex decided to put her PR and communication skills to test by driving the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile around the country for one year. However, her desire to travel didn’t stop there. After her Hotdogging tour ended she packed her bags and left for Europe, where she spent 6 months WWOOFing on farms. This experience gave her a whole new appreciation for organic food systems. Now that she has found her way back to Green Gate, she is eager to expand her knowledge of organic farming and sustainable agriculture. You might find her running around the farm with camera in hand, or creating word art out of vegetables!