Stephanie Breed

Visitor Services Coordinator

Stephanie grew up on a dairy farm in Dorset.
She spent her childhood playing outside with her siblings, and has continued her love of the outdoors with involvement in a number of nature-oriented organizations, including the New Orleans Park and Zoological Garden, the Boston Horticulture Society, the Boston Flower and Garden Show, the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. 
She is happy to  be a part of the Merck Forest family.

Darla J Belevich

Visitor Services Staff

Darla grew up on a dairy farm in central New York, and had a 40-year career at SUNY Adirondack College, where she taught athletics, physical education and outdoor adventure courses. Her first visit to the Merck was in 1975, and she has been back nearly every year since — frequently introducing her students to backcounty adventures here.
She loves being back talking to visitors at The Merck.


farm work vt

Dylan Durkee

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 Stock

Farm Manager

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.

Mike Stock

Resource ManageR

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.


Amy Pim-Capman

Summer Camp

After being a field educator for MFFC summer camps in 2021 and 2022, Amy is delighted to now be coordinating all aspects of the 2024 summer camp season. She 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. 

Elena Santos


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.


Merck Forest staff

Rob Terry


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.

John Schneble


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.

Liz Ruffa employee

Liz Ruffa


Liz Ruffa joined MFFC as Advancement Director in 2018. Previous to that, she launched and led Northshire Grows, a regional food system network and worked for a number of mission driven nonprofit and state organizations. She serves on the Boards of the Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Community Development Board and is a member of the Town of Dorset’s Select Board.

Merck forest employee

Marybeth Leu

Operations Director

Recycle/Reuse/Repurpose: Marybeth started at MFFC as Communications Coordinator, but now maintains the financial and information systems of MFFC.

In her free time she loves scuba-diving, woodworking, puttering in the garden and indulging the whims of the wonder-dog, Poppyseed.

Renata Aylward

Communications Manager

Renata’s dream job is to work with kind, smart people, doing good things for the planet. She found that here at Merck Forest & Farmland Center. Renata is fluent in English, Spanish, and Sarcasm and can tell a good story in all three. 

Merck Forest staff member

Chris Hubbard

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.



Sue Van Hook


Perry Balzano


John Stasny

VP & Secretary

Flesch Barrett

Peter Hicks

Brian Vargo

Greg Hopper


Merrill Bent

Geoffrey Flynn

Partners & Collaborators

Southwestern Vermont
Chamber of Commerce
Vermont Huts Association

Vermont Huts Association

Vermont Land Trust

Vermont Land Trust

Vermont pure Maple Syrup

Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association

Farm Based Education Network

Farm-Based Education Network

Connected Taconics Project


Environmental Volunteers

Northeast Organic Farming Association

Northeast Organic
Farmers Association

Northeast Woodland Training

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link

Rutland Area
Farm & Food Link

Solo wilderness

Solo Wilderness Schools

Vermont certified organic

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.

Thank You!