Darla J Belevich
She loves being back talking to visitors at The Merck.
FARM & FOREST
Fleet & Facilities Manager
Dylan grew up on his family’s dairy farm. As a farm kid, he learned all aspects of farm management, animal husbandry and crop care; he has broadened his skill set with experience working for an electrical and general contractor.
Dylan’s passion is to raise healthy livestock and to manage the land in a sustainable manner.
Hadley grew up just down the road from Merck Forest in Dorset and has many great memories of time at Merck throughout the years.
She is excited to join the team as the Farm Manager and bring her passion for small scale sustainable agriculture and local food.
She has spent the past 15 years working in farming and food production throughout Southern Vermont.
Resource Management Coordinator
Mike has a degree from Paul Smith’s College in Urban Tree Management, and loves the outdoors, chainsaws, sugaring, and working hard!
He also loves working with Merck’s interns and students and is excited to be part of the land management crew here.
Mike and Hadley and their three children live on their small family farm in West Pawlet where they raise pigs, chickens, cows, goats and ducks, and where they love making maple syrup together as family.
EDUCATION & PROGRAMS
Amy grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. Having fallen in love with the Green Mountains, she made Vermont her home, and Spent 16 years in elementary education and 5 years running a registered daycare before joining th eMerck Forest family. Over the past 21 years, Amy has spent countless hours hiking and enjoying MFFC with her 3 sons.
She lives in Manchester Center and enjoys long-distance running, cooking and experimenting with food, and finding new ways to have conversations about our relationship to the land and living things on which we all depend.
Elena studied Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Education at Green Mountain College and has worked on diversified farms and summer camps in southern and central Vermont and the Hudson valley.
She is excited to be working at MFFC where she can combine both focuses of her degree. Elena lives close to MFFC with her fiancee and a small flock of chickens. She loves identifying wildflowers, gardening, cooking and going for bike rides.
Rob has taught in a number of experiential outdoor programs, and his passion is to foster in our visitors the desire to connect in meaningful ways to the natural landscape at Merck Forest.
He and his wife Anna enjoy introducing their two children to new adventures in the outdoors.
Liz Ruffa joined MFFC as Advancement Director in 2018. Previous to that, she launched and led Northshire Grows, a regional food system network. Liz has held leadership positions at Common Good VT, VT Arts Council and VT Sustainable Jobs Fund, among others since joining Vermont’s mission-driven sector. She serves on Vermont Foodbank’s Board of Directors, was appointed in 2017 to the Vermont Community Development Board, and is a member of the Town of Dorset’s Select Board.
Education Director John Schneble has been an educator for 25 years, working in schools in Colorado, Germany and Washington state and most recently in Dorset VT at the Long Trail School. His passion for watching youth grow and flourish — by providing opportunities for them to challenge and learn about themselves through wilderness experiences — is a great fit for his new role at MFFC. John has several wilderness safety certifications and is an accomplished soccer coach. He has degrees from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University and Ohio University.
Special Projects Coordinator
Chris spent decades as an educator and traditional folk artist. She’s brought that experience to bear in expanding Merck’s educational programs.
Chris and her husband have a small farm and enjoy sea kayaking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Business & Systems Manager
In her free time she loves scuba-diving, woodworking, puttering in the garden and indulging the whims of the wonder-dog, Poppyseed.
COME WORK AT MERCK
There are currently no open positions.
Board of Trustees
Sue Van Hook
Vice President & Secretary
Jill Perry Balzano
Partners & Collaborators
Vermont Huts Association
Vermont Land Trust
Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association
Farm-Based Education Network
Connected Taconics Project
Northeast Woodland Training
Farm & Food Link
Solo Wilderness Schools
Vermont Certified Organic
Many people contributed photos for inclusion in this website: Darla Belevich, Tim Callahan, Melissa Carll, Chris Hubbard, Katie Connor, Ethan Crumley, Kat Graden, Angela Kilpatrick, Aaron Lamp, Kathryn Lawrence, Marybeth Leu, Heather Richardson, Anna Terry, Rob Terry, Karl Uy. We appreciate your contributions.