View of Camel's Hump taken from drone, with farm fields and forest buffers around Winooski River on a day with morning fog.

Our team is a dynamic group housed across the Brattleboro, Bennington, Berlin, Rutland and St. Albans offices, covering many aspects of business management in agriculture, maple and forestry products.

Mark Cannella, Farm Business Director. Berlin office. 802-656-4822,

As Director of Agricultural Business programs at UVM Extension, Mark oversees team efforts, maintains core programs, and develops new program initiatives in applied research, technical assistance and outreach education. Mark’s primary outreach programming is in the field of maple business education and economic development. He works with maple business owners on cost of production analysis, business planning and feasibility studies. Mark has been working for UVM Extension since 2011. He holds a B.S. from Saint Lawrence University and an M.S. in Community Development and Applied Economics from UVM. Mark grew up in New York and connected with Cornell Extension while in college, during which time he also studied agriculture abroad in Kenya. After college he worked at Shelburne Farms for six years as a market gardener, sugarmaker and educator. Mark’s past experiences provided a deep appreciation for land stewardship and the essential importance of farmer livelihoods. In his work he is excited to see farm and forest operators find a way to make a living with the land. He focuses on listening, sharing resources and working through the technical details of financial analysis.

Whitney Hull, Dairy Herd Management Educator. Morrisville office, 802-656-7567,

Whitney provides one-on-one technical assistance to dairy farmers throughout the state. She has expertise in records analysis, dairy nutrition, facilitating farm management teams, and providing recommendations on dairy herd management. Her key area of interest is in helping dairy farmers improve their management techniques to improve economic viability. Whitney earned a dual B.S. in Biology and Animal Science from The Ohio State University in 2008. Following her degree, Whitney worked in the dairy industry both as an A.I. technician and a dairy nutritionist. In her free time, Whitney can be found exploring Vermont’s mountains by skis or mountain bike with her husband and two daughters.

Christopher Lindgren, Forest Business Program Manager. 802-656-7583,

Chris provides one-on-one business planning and coaching, as well as business skills workshops and training to Vermont’s forest products industry and businesses. He also works with the Maple Business Benchmark project managing data and developing business planning tools and resources. Chris has been working with Extension since 2013 when he collaborated on work with Farm Viability and the Carrot Project. Previously, he worked in small businesses for 25 years, focusing on finance and production management. He also has specific experience in sawmills, wood products manufacturing and timber framing. Chris grew up in Vermont, built a post and beam home on his family’s land and operates a small sugaring operation with his family. In his spare time he enjoys exploring the mountains and valleys of Vermont with his family. He holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Marlboro College, as well as continuing education in accounting.

Dana Ruppert, Forest Business & Farm Viability Outreach Coordinator. 802-656-7537,

Dana coordinates programmatic activities and conducts general outreach for the Forest Business and Farm Viability program areas, and the Maple Sap Business Promotion project. Dana began working with Extension in 2015, and previously managed farm conservation and disaster assistance programs at the USDA Farm Service Agency, and agricultural outreach and water-quality projects with a Vermont conservation district. Before that, she managed sustainable energy grant programs working with local manufacturing business at a non-profit in NYC. She has worked on diversified vegetable, maple and organic dairy farms, and her own small homestead, since moving to southern Vermont in 2007.  Dana has a B.A. in Geography from the City University of New York.

Zachary Smith, Agricultural Business Educator. 802-656-7624,

Zac provides farm business outreach and education, assisting farmers in analyzing their businesses, evaluating alternatives and promoting best practices. Zac advises farm owners in the preparation of farm business plans and transfer & succession plans. He also oversees project teams to implement operational and investment changes and comply with environmental regulations. Zac joined the staff of UVM Extension in 2019 after collaborating on Farm Viability projects. He began working in agricultural communities in Ecuador in 2005 as a Peace Corps volunteer and worked in both Ecuador and Guatemala for six years on community and farm development projects. He holds a B.A. from Ohio University (Athens), an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University in Georgia and is pursuing graduate studies at UVM focusing on Plant and Soil Sciences and Agroecology. Zac has lived in Vermont since 2014 with his wife. He is inspired by the unique farmers he works with and sees his work as a way to contribute to growing communities.