Jennifer Hashley is the Director for the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (New Entry). Prior to her role as Project Director, Jennifer was the New Entry Project Coordinator for five years. In that capacity, Jennifer co-managed the project – supervising project staff, coordinating activities with project partners, managing finances and grants, assisting with proposal development and strategic planning, developing and managing training farm site infrastructure, and creating, implementing, and teaching a multi-year sustainable agriculture training curriculum for limited resource farmers. Jennifer’s managerial strengths have helped transform New Entry into a solid farmer training program with multiple components — training and technical assistance, marketing, finding land and resources, hands-on learning at training farms, accessing government programs and resources, and achieving independence. Jennifer also excels in working side by side with farmers in the field, at markets, and in the classroom.
As part of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Agriculture Food and the Environment program, Jennifer is also an Agricultural Science and Policy lab instructor, helping to bridge the gap between graduate students’ classroom learning and practical, farm-based education.
Jennifer’s background in agriculture helps keep the project’s training programs cutting-edge. Jennifer operates her own market garden, specializing in cut flowers, herbs, and unique vegetable varieties. In partnership with her partner, a full-time vegetable farmer, she also runs an organic pastured poultry operation, Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds. Jennifer was one of two Massachusetts representatives selected to attend a 3-week advanced training for extension professionals on organic crop production, certification, organic pest management, weed control, and soil quality, sponsored by the Northeast Organic Network/SARE Professional Development Organization. Jennifer has spent many years visiting diverse farm operations, attending scores of agricultural and food systems conferences and workshops, and completing an intensive hands-on apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Prior to this, she served as a Hillside Agriculture Extensionist in Honduras with the US Peace Corps. In their native Spanish language, she trained rural subsistence farmers in sustainable agricultural practices, designed irrigation systems, and initiated a community-based sugar-cane processing enterprise. Jennifer holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy with a focus on Agricultural Policy from Tufts University, a Certificate in Management of Community Organizations from Tufts University, a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from UC, Santa Cruz, and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Indiana University.