Alice Varon, Executive Director
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 in New York's Hudson Valley where she grows Shiitake mushrooms on logs, battles invasive plants, and will some day resume her beekeeping hobby.
Aly Miller, Design and Marketing
Aly joined Certified Naturally Grown in 2014 as certification coordinator, but over the years has carved her niche in design, branding and marketing. Today as our in-house design maven, she helps define CNG's visual branding and designs vibrant promotional materials to convey our message to farmers and their customers. Aly is also the talent behind CNG's signs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and bandanas. Outside of CNG, she works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.
Kat Johnson, Certification Specialist
Kat Johnson is a farmer living in Floyd, Virginia. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and discovered an interest in farming in high school. She has worked for six organic and CNG farms over the past 17 years. Her love of farming is based on a love of food, creative work, and a gravitation toward clean and lean processes. This year she is launching her own salad-centric farm and food company called Kat The Farmer. In the off season she works as a farm consultant, writes a blog, and contributes to farming publications. At CNG, Kat's role is to review the hundreds of new applications we receive each year and to help create educational material for farmers.
Jenna Sabers, Program Manager
Jenna is a native of Rochester, New York where she returned after a brief stint in Brooklyn. Before joining Certified Naturally Grown, she worked a full season at Phillies Bridge Farm Project in New Paltz, NY, where she developed a deep appreciation for sustainable agriculture and the hard work that farmers endure. Jenna is the main point of contact for farmers working to earn and maintain their farm's CNG certification. She aims to build upon her experiences with agriculture to engage with issues of food justice and help build a more sustainable agriculture landscape.
Chad Gard, Education Coordinator
Chad and his wife, Xenia Czifrik, founded Hole in the Woods Farm, an exceptionally diverse, 35 acre, regenerative, Certified Naturally Grown small farm located in Culver, Indiana, in 2010. There, he grows over 450 varieties of vegetables, as well as rare fruits, native nuts, and microgreens. He also raises 100% grass-fed lamb, alpacas, geese, and honeybees. Always working towards providing a full diet of authentic food, Chad bakes rustic artisan breads and hand-makes fine chocolates for market. Chad actively supports his local food movement, acting as a mentor to beginning farmers, serving as market master of the Culver Farmers’ Market, and instigating what has become the Marshall County Food Council. At