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Cultivating a regenerative farm takes time and a dedicated team. We look forward to a future filled with students, scientists, farmers, and partners interacting closely with the land and watershed through the lens of permaculture design.

Stewards of the farm

The staff of Ocean Hour Farm has stewarded the land for decades. They observe the natural systems, breathe in the salty air, and tend to the bees, sheep, and chickens with care.

Our Team

Beth Alaimo, Ocean Hour Farm Beth Alaimo, Ocean Hour Farm

Beth Alaimo

Education Program Manager

From a young age, Beth was fascinated by different cultures and their relationship with the natural…

From a young age, Beth was fascinated by different cultures and their relationship with the natural world. These passions resulted in a unique career path, starting with earning a degree in Anthropology and Ecology from the University of Connecticut. Upon graduation, Beth joined AmeriCorps and served as an Environmental Educator. After a few years of working in education, she was ready to expand her worldview. She moved to Portland, Oregon, to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Development. During this time, she lived abroad in Ecuador, and Italy, and traveled to seven countries. For her thesis, Beth focused on her passion for farming, drawing on experiences working at various organic vegetable farms.

Following graduation, Beth moved to Cusco, Peru, and worked as a Field Manager for international volunteers. Time abroad helped Beth reflect on her own culture and motivated her to apply a racial justice lens to her work in youth-focused nonprofits over the following years. 

Today, Beth has landed her dream job at Ocean Hour Farm! She is excited to learn and share as much as possible about whole systems farming with communities across the Ocean State.

Brad Cheever Brad Cheever

Brad Cheever

Ecosystems Manager

Brad was born and raised in Rhode Island, the Ocean State. He grew up on the water, where his dad taught…

Brad was born and raised in Rhode Island, the Ocean State. He grew up on the water, where his dad taught him to surf and fish at a young age. His first ever job was collecting bushels of quahogs and selling them to the local fish markets. Brad attended the University of Rhode Island, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture and, even more importantly, met his future wife, Jenlyn.

After college, he spent a few years prepping for a US Open at Pebble Beach in California. Today he enjoys doing small projects at his home in North Kingstown along the Annaquatucket River. If not at home, you can find him living the dream, working at a small farm in Newport whose primary focus is taking care of the environment for future generations.

Julie Chille, Ocean Hour Farm, Staff Julie Chille, Ocean Hour Farm, Staff

Julia Chille

Office Administrator

Julia Chille was born and raised here on Aquidneck Island. She spent much of her childhood following her father, a horticulturist, around…

Julia Chille was born and raised here on Aquidneck Island. She spent much of her childhood following her father, a horticulturist, around greenhouses and gardens throughout Newport. After graduating with a degree in Religious Studies from Wellesley College, Julia lived on organic farms in Western Massachusetts and County Sligo, Ireland, which deepened her interest in building accessible and equitable food systems and supporting land rematriation. Since moving back home in 2017, Julia has spent as much time as possible outside exploring the island’s shorelines, learning about local ecosystems, and contemplating how she can best help the home she loves during this age of deepening climate crisis. She is thrilled to join Ocean Hour Farm and aid their vision to steward land on Aquidneck Island and build collaborative partnerships within the community and region. In her spare time Julia can be found knitting, quilting, cooking with friends, and studying herbalism and ancestral folkways. You can find her swimming at Third Beach every night in the summer, and she’s working her way up to a three minute cold plunge this winter.

Melissa Conlon, Ocean Hour Farm, Newport, Rhode Island Melissa Conlon, Ocean Hour Farm, Newport, Rhode Island

Melissa Conlon

Farm Project Manager

Melissa grew up near a 60-acre bird sanctuary at the end of a winding farm road in Warren, Rhode Island.…

Melissa grew up near a 60-acre bird sanctuary at the end of a winding farm road in Warren, Rhode Island. She spent most of her time as a child running around the marshlands of the Touisset. Her first job was mucking stalls and tacking up horses in exchange for horseback riding lessons. Melissa has always been fond of the outdoors and working with her hands. She discovered her love of sailing traditional schooners when she was twenty-two years old and has since traveled up and down the east coast on vessels such as Privateer Lynx and Schooner Tree of Life. Sailing eventually ignited her interest in wooden boat building, leading her to IYRS School of Technology and Trades for certification in Wooden Boatbuilding and Restoration. Throughout her travels, she has also acquired her Associate’s degree in Fine Arts from Community College of Rhode Island. Melissa enjoys various art mediums and is always looking for new ways of creative expression. When she’s not creating or building, she enjoys hiking or cozying up with a good book.

Justin Costa, Regenerative Stewardship Assistant Justin Costa, Regenerative Stewardship Assistant

Justin Costa

Regenerative Stewardship Assistant

Justin was born and raised in Rhode Island and grew up with a passion for sports. He fell in love with…

Justin was born and raised in Rhode Island and grew up with a passion for sports. He fell in love with nature through time spent hiking and camping all over New England. His first hike was up Mount Washington, and he hopes to summit all 48 4,000 ft peaks in New Hampshire and is also eyeing the Appalachian Trail, among others. Justin’s passion for nature led him to work taking care of the natural ecosystem. Upon taking his first permaculture course, he was truly inspired after discovering a way of seeing and thinking that spoke to him. Justin looks forward to continuing to implement and study permaculture. While working at Ocean Hour Farm, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to impact the environment and his community in a positive way.

Jason Howell, Facilities Manager Jason Howell, Facilities Manager

Jason Howell

Facilities Manager

Jason was born and raised in Rhode Island. His first experience with the land was at the age of 13 when…

Jason was born and raised in Rhode Island. His first experience with the land was at the age of 13 when he took on his first job at a local farm picking corn and working in the greenhouses. At around the same time, he also became connected to the sea, both on Narragansett Bay, where he learned to fish, and at the South County beaches, where he took up surfing and became a lifeguard.

Jason graduated from Maine College of Art, where he received his BFA in Ceramics. He focused on using natural objects to create textures and explored the method of Raku firing. In his free time up north, he pursued another childhood passion, skiing. During his summers home, Jason worked on several charter boats and obtained his captain’s license. After college, he took an opportunity to run a sports fishing boat on the South Pacific island of Samoa. When he returned to the Ocean State, he began his own charter boat business, Pamela May Charters, and also spent time teaching children’s art programs at local educational organizations. He also started his own architectural landscape business and worked in several property management roles, which has given him experience as a facility manager. Jason continues to operate his charter boat, as well as being an artist, ski instructor, and volunteer ski patroller.

All of these experiences with the land and sea, as well as a passion for teaching others what he has learned, has led him to another great opportunity, working at Ocean Hour Farm. 

Jason and his wife, Jennie, have passed these interests on to their two daughters. Whether it’s helping with the backyard garden, fishing on the boat, surfing, or snow sports, they all have a love of the outdoors and a desire to preserve our environment for all to enjoy.

ocean hour farm, Jane

Jane Full

Housekeeper

Jane was born and raised in Newport, Rhode Island, by her wonderful parents. Her dad was a Newport police officer and detective. He also…

Jane was born and raised in Newport, Rhode Island, by her wonderful parents. Her dad was a Newport police officer and detective. He also worked as head of security on the property where Ocean Hour Farm now sits, giving Jane the chance to explore the land in her younger years.

Jane raised five children in Newport and was deeply involved in school activities. While raising her children, she also worked part-time at Newport County Schools, McGrath’s Clambakes, and the SVF Foundation. When Jane isn’t taking care of everyone at the farm, she enjoys spending time with her eleven grandchildren.

Sean Loftus

Sean Loftus

Farm Manager

Sean moved to Newport in 2019 to join the SVF Foundation grounds team. Prior to that, he lived in New York City and the Lower Hudson…

Sean moved to Newport in 2019 to join the SVF Foundation grounds team. Prior to that, he lived in New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley, where he owned a 124-acre farm. Livestock included Polled Hereford (with Cornell Cooperative Extension), Holstein cows, and retired racetrack horses. The farm had a large organic vegetable garden, and approximately 50 acres were hayed every August. Sean’s farming practices are greatly influenced by Rachel Carson, Eliott Coleman, and Joel Salatin. He has also worked as a carpenter and a sawmill operator and has extensive experience with apple orchards. Sean is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and has been a commodities trader for over 30 years. He is very excited to continue working the land at Ocean Hour Farm to combat climate change.

Joey Moniz

Livestock Foreman

Joey’s love for farms and the animals that live on them was born from growing up on a farm in Warren, Rhode Island. After…

Joey’s love for farms and the animals that live on them was born from growing up on a farm in Warren, Rhode Island. After graduating from Warren High School, Joey got his CDL license, became an EMT, and studied animal sciences.
Joey has worked the land at Ocean Hour Farm for seventeen years. He knows each animal’s name and needs and is one of the few people the sheep will walk to instead of away. When not on the farm, one of his favorite activities is moose watching in New Hampshire.

Dan Oakley

Hennery Manager

Dan grew up in Newport, Rhode Island fishing and swimming at the local ponds and beaches. He earned a BA…

Dan grew up in Newport, Rhode Island fishing and swimming at the local ponds and beaches. He earned a BA in History from St. Anselm and was drafted into the Vietnam War upon graduation. Afterward, Dan became a history teacher in Middletown and was heavily involved with the Model Legislature and Close Up Washington DC programs. After retiring, Dan has spent his time as first mate and tour guide on a local boat and working at the farm. Dan is married to Geraldine, a retired English teacher, and has one son, a city firefighter.

Dan feels his most meaningful contribution to his community began when his parents and a small group of other families started a local community center for children with developmental disabilities. Dan served on the board for many years as the vice president and president.

Martin Radcke

Biodiversity Landscape Manager

Martin grew up in a mountainous region in Germany, where nature and the outdoors was always present. His…

Martin grew up in a mountainous region in Germany, where nature and the outdoors was always present. His family’s large vegetable garden provided tasty produce of many different varieties. He and his siblings were given a strip of land for planting and harvesting from an early age. The surrounding forests were their playground – observing wildlife, picking berries, nuts, mushrooms, collecting firewood, building rafts, tree houses, dams, and fishing for trout made for fun activities.

After finishing college, Martin worked outdoors all over the world. He also enjoys biking, cooking, photography, and listening to music. He has two loves, his wife of many years, Rafaela, and in second place FC St. Pauli, his favorite soccer team from Hamburg.

Michael Shepherd

Beekeeper & Mechanic

Mike grew up in Cumberland, RI, raised in an Italian immigrant family that taught him gardening, cooking, canning, collecting…

Mike grew up in Cumberland, RI, raised in an Italian immigrant family that taught him gardening, cooking, canning, collecting blueberries, mushrooms, and watercress from the local woods. Growing up, his favorite sports were basketball, skiing, hiking, and fishing. Mike attended Florida Institute of Technology, graduating with a BS in Marine Biology. He moved to Newport in 1981, married his wife Gail, and raised two great kids, lan and Meredith. He worked at the Middletown Fire Department for 27-years, ending as the Chief.

His son joined the Special Olympics in 2003, and Mike has coached numerous Special Olympics teams. Mike has many hobbies, including raising honeybees, volunteering for the Mystic Marine Mammal Rescue Program, skiing, hiking, backpack camping, surf fishing, boating, and volleyball.

Nicolas Tejada Nicolas Tejada

Nicolas Tejada

Regenerative Landscape Assistant

Nicolas grew up in Nueva Concepción, El Salvador on his father’s farm. As a young boy, he helped take care of the cows, red hens…

Nicolas grew up in Nueva Concepción, El Salvador on his father’s farm. As a young boy, he helped take care of the cows, red hens for eggs, and white chickens for the market. His family also cultivated corn, rice, beans, and vegetables. While studying business administration in El Salvador, Nicolas decided to come to the U.S. due to the dangerous twelve years of civil war in his home country.

When Nicolas arrived in the U.S., he didn’t speak English, but as he learned the language, he took on jobs in the restaurant and construction industries before returning to his love of farming. In his spare time, Nicolas enjoys walking on the beach and visiting the mountains to see wildlife.

Sara Wuerstle, Ocean Hour Farm Director

Sara Wuerstle

Farm Director

Sara grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This is where she first…

Sara grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This is where she first developed a deep curiosity and appreciation for the complexity and beauty of the world we all live in. This curiosity has taken her around the world, working with and learning from farmers, land stewards, and communities to regenerate ecosystems, grow delicious food, and create beauty. She finds herself most drawn to the edges, where differences meet, and emergence is possible, such as the nexus of art and science or where agriculture meets wilderness or where diverse cultures come together, or where land meets the sea. It is not surprising then that Sara has found her way here to Ocean Hour Farm.

Interested in a career with us?

Ocean Hour Farm is accepting applications for a Seasonal Farm Chef Residency.

Learn More

Partners

Ocean Hour Farm is part of the philanthropic organizations and initiatives created and funded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt to work toward a healthy, resilient, secure world for all. The farm is managed by 11th Hour Racing and works closely with Schmidt Ocean Institute and The Schmidt Family Foundation.

 

 

ocean hour farm, mushroom logs, watering plants