The Board of Directors
The Matthew 25 Farm is run by a board of directors consisting of individuals from the community at large. The board manages the farm and decides on the direction that the farm takes, to include what vegetables are planted. Below you can find further information on each board member.
Rick Rarick, Chairman/Senior manager
David Aronson, Manager
David has a passion for plants and enjoys being able to use his knowledge of plants to help and educate others. He enjoys the varied nature of working on a farm. Any given day could include not only planting, weeding, or harvesting, but also working with volunteers, vehicle maintenance, pest removal, mowing, helping neighbors, or solving some new problem as it arises. David resides in Syracuse with his wife Sara.
Valerie Rarick, Treasurer
Gary Gates, co-vice
Gary Gates brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Matthew 25 Farm. He has approximately 20 years experience working on a farm raising crops, animals, and market vegetables. Growing up he was a member of Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4H. Gary has an Associated Degree from Erie Community College and a Bachelors Degree from Michigan Tech University. Gary has approximately 49 years of business experience in electronics maintenance, manufacturing and quality assurance. He is also currently serving on the board of directors of two not-for-profit organizations and President of another small social organization.
Married for 44 years and the parents of two girls (one deceased) and grandfather to 4 wonderful grandchildren. Retired after 34 years as a chemist for IBM. College degree in Chemistry from Case Institute of Technology (now known as Case-Western Reserve University). Hobbies include amateur radio, camping, car and house maintenance and general repairs.
Charles VanBuskirk of Tully became a member of the board in 2017. He works overnights at Wal-Mart in Cortland and is a member of Christ's Chapel in Vesper and is the Elder of evangelism. Charles is married to Michelle (Santos) VanBuskirk and is dad to Airelle, Melody and Eric. Before becoming a board member, he volunteered with the farm over the years. Charles has been a member of toastmasters and worked on developing his public speaking skills. He is looking to helping Rick in his presenting of the farm. And develop our online and social media presence.
Katie served as a farm assistant at Matthew 25 Farm for three seasons, from 2018-2020. Prior to joining the farm, she graduated in 2018 from Le Moyne College with a BS in Biology and Minors in Environmental Science Systems and Chemistry. She focused her coursework in botany and ecology and she conducted research spanning a variety of topics, from soil science to marine ecophysiology. Since 2020 she has worked at several other farms across the country, learning about various sustainable farming techniques. She has also served as a research assistant for the USDA. Katie returned to the farm as a board member in 2021 in order to continue the fight against food insecurity in CNY.
Chloe Blaisdell, co-vice
Chloe graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2018 with a degree in conservation biology. She spent a year working as an aquariums keeper before she accepted a volunteer position with the Peace Corps. While in Zambia, Chloe taught about agroforestry, conservation farming, gender equality and more. As a result of COVID-19, she was evacuated back to the states where she became one of our farm assistants for the 2020 season. Chloe has returned to her job at the zoo, but plans to remain active in the local community efforts to alleviate the impacts of food insecurity, through her role as a board member for our farm.