CNG Staff

Alice Varon  Certified Naturally GrownAlice Varon, Executive Director
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Alice Varon is Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. CNG offers peer-review certification for farmers and beekeepers who produce food for their local communities without the use of synthetic chemicals and GMOs. In 2010 Alice helped launch CNG's apiary program to support and encourage natural beekeeping. More recently 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 mountain biking in New York's Hudson Valley where she grows Shiitake mushrooms on logs, battles invasive plants, and will someday resume her beekeeping hobby.

Keegan Athey

Keegan Athey, Outreach Coordinator
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Keegan is a long time farmer, river guide, and desert rat. With more than ten years of experience in organic agriculture, she has pulled calves, carrots, muscles, and weeds on farms and ranches throughout the Mountain West. After years of running CNG farms in Idaho, Keegan shifted out of production agriculture and into a research associate position at the Colorado State University Organic Agriculture Research Station. Keegan lives in Hotchkiss, Colorado where she spends her free time running rivers, climbing, and taking apart vehicles with her partner, Andy.


Kat Johnson  Certified Naturally GrownKat Johnson, Certification Specialist
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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 Certified Naturally GrownJenna Sabers, Program Manager
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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 Certified Naturally GrownCathy Joly, Member Services Coordinator
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Cathy is an avid gardener and cook who is passionate about nutritious food and will go to great lengths to support small farms. After leaving the engineering world to homeschool her children, she has thoroughly enjoyed delving into regenerative agriculture, green building, medicinal herbs, raising fiber animals, and working on small produce and dairy farms. Cathy is grateful to reside in Temple, New Hampshire where she serves on the town’s Conservation Commission. She lives in an off-grid strawbale home with her partner and dog.