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 who was raised frequenting National Parks alongside her biology professor grandfather. She completed her B.S. in Anthropology and B.A. in Environmental Studies at Tulane University (2015) and spent her years in New Orleans engaged in social and environmental activism. Her first year in Austin was spent at the Austin Nature and Science Center and she then joined the Green Gate Farms team as a Food Justice Intern in May 2016. Two months later she was hired on full-time as the new Community Outreach Manager and now divides her time between comprehensive non-profit management and field work. She looks forward to participating in the Austin Permaculture Guild’s Fall Design Certificate Course as she continues to expand her education from this beautifully connected community. Carolyn spends her free time cooking, in the photography darkroom and searching for Austin oddities.
Matt Simon, River Farm Manager
Matt Simon is a fourth generation Austinite who has been a part of Austin’s sustainability and food community for a decade. In 2008, he helped start Wandering River Recycling, Austin’s first single stream commercial recycling provider. Matt earned his Permaculture Design Certificate from the Austin Permaculture Guild in the Summer of 2015. That same summer he spent several months working with the Austin Compost Pedallers, a fossil fuel free, bike powered compost hauler that delivers food waste from people’s doorsteps to composting facilities at community gardens. He began working for Symbiosis Regenerative Systems in Summer 2016, helping to install perennial food and rainwater harvesting systems.
Matt has been a part of the workshare program at Green Gate Farms since 2012, where he has assisted in running the Multicultural Refugee Coalition’s Farm-link program in partnership with the farm for several years. Now a full time employee at the Farm’s Colorado River location near Bastrop, he is excited to be a part of such a talented and enthusiastic team.
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!
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.