Stephanie Breed

VC 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.
Merck forest employee
Marybeth Leu

Communications Coordinator

Marybeth’s background includes an undergrad degree in English from Northeastern University and certificates in Landscape Design and Landscape Management from Harvard University’s Radcliffe Seminars and the University of Massachusetts’ Green School. She has over two decades of experience in the high-tech industry as a systems-installation specialist in healthcare organizations and a decade of experience as a landscape designer, where she was the principal in Boston Garden Gems. In addition to her duties in the VC, she handles IT at Merck Forest.

In her free time Marybeth loves scuba-diving, woodworking and puttering in the garden.


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. She now lives with her husband and three children 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.


Merck Forest staff member

Chris Hubbard


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.

Cara Davenport

Education Manager

An apprenticeship at Merck Forest in 2018 has developed` into Cara’s current role as Education Manager. With a love of experiential learning in outdoor spaces, Cara enjoys planning and leading programs and camps in Merck Forest’s diverse ecosystems and landscapes. 

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.
Merck Forest staff member

Elena Santos


Elena joined MFFC in January of 2022. She 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.


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. 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. She lives with her family in East Dorset.

Kathryn Lawrence

Kathryn Lawrence


Kathryn joined us in 2010. Her professional experience in finance and business is essential to our team.

Kathryn lives in Pawlet with her husband Rick, where they tend vegetable gardens, horses, cats and chickens.

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.


Currently there are no open positions at Merck.

Board of Trustees


Sue Van Hook

Cambridge, NY
Vice President

Sam Schneski

Guilford, VT

Kat Deely

Seal Harbor, ME

Greg Hopper

Dorset, VT

Mark Lourie

Rupert, VT

John Stasny

East Wallingford, VT

Brian Vargo

Bennington, VT

Merrill Bent

Sunderland, VT

Dinah Buechner-Vischer

Concord, MA


Jim Hand

Dorset, VT

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!