Stephanie Breed

VC Staff

Locals will surely recognize Stephanie’s familiar smile: before working part time in the VC, she owned and ran the Dorset Exchange Consignment Gallery — and of course, she is a local girl. She is delighted to join the crew at Merck, and we are delighted to have her!


farm work vt

Dylan Durkee

Farm 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. 

Hay wagon team
Tim Duclos employee

Tim Duclos


Growing up exploring the woods and waters of Vermont, Tim has long been inspired to conserve and protect our natural resources. With a BSc and MSc in the field of ecology, and experience working with a variety governmental and non-profit institutions, he is excited to apply his interests in land management, scientific research, environmental education, and civic engagement at Merck. 


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.

kids learning
Family fun in southern VT

Cara Davenport

Program Coordinator

In an exciting development, Cara has moved from apprentice into a new role: as our newly-appointed Program Coordinator, she will bring her  passion for integrating  conservation, community, and outdoor work to a new generation of students. 


Merck forest employee
Marybeth Leu

Communications Coordinator

Marybeth joined us in 2015. She has over two decades of experience in the high-tech industry.

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

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.


Board of Trustees


Sue Van Hook

Cambridge, NY

Vice President

Sam Schneski

Guilford, VT


Kat Deely

Seal Harbor, ME


Greg Hopper

Dorset, VT


Merrill Bent

Sunderland, VT


Dinah Buechner-Vischer

Concord, MA


Jim Hand

Dorset, VT


Mark Lourie

Rupert, VT


John Stasny

East Wallingford, VT


Brian Vargo

Bennington, VT

Partners & Collaborators

Farm Based Education Network

Farm-Based Education Network


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

Vermont Huts Association

Vermont Huts Association

Vermont Land Trust

Vermont Land Trust

Vermont pure Maple Syrup

Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association

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!