Alice Varon is Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. CNG offers peer-review certification for farmers and beekeepers who use natural practices free of synthetic chemicals and GMOs to produce food for their local communities. In 2010 Alice helped launch CNG's apiary program to support and encourage natural beekeeping. In recent years she worked with experts to develop new CNG certification programs for aquaponics and mushroom producers. She is an active member of IFOAM-Organics International, serving as the North American representative on IFOAM's PGS Committee, a group formed to support the development of grassroots certification programs like CNG that are built on trust, social networks and knowledge exchange. When not working Alice enjoys exploring the woods and riding bikes with her son. Alice lives in Brooklyn, but she spends as much time as possible at her country retreat in the Hudson Valley where she keeps her Shiitake mushroom logs, battles invasive plants, and will some day resume her beekeeping hobby.
Aly began working with food and farming at the University of Wisconsin, where she initiated urban gardening projects with Slow Food-UW and Growing Power, and served as an AmeriCorps Farm-to-School volunteer. Although she now lives in NY, she feels at home working with farmers and supporting their work at CNG. Here in the office, you'll find her helping farmers get certified and designing new marketing materials. Outside of CNG, she works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.
Hannah’s main role at CNG is to review the hundreds of new applications we receive each year, and support the development of new certification programs, like aquaponics and mushrooms. She works remotely from her home in Minnesota while she is in graduate school studying how urban agriculture can strengthen communities. When she gets a bit of free time, she likes to spend it working in the garden, playing with her pup, or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. Currently, her favorite vegetable is the lemon cucumber because of its stunning color and shape.
Ariel Looser, Marketing Services Coordinator
Around CNG, Ariel helps guide farmers through the certification process, ensuring that emails get answered and papers get filed. (If you have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out!) Prior to this, she’s dug her teeth into the urban ag world in New York, working for Local Roots NYC and interning at several urban farms, including Brooklyn Grange and The Youth Farm. When not hanging out at the office, Ariel enjoys sharing food with friends (surprise).