New Entry is excited to introduce our new Technical Assistance and Incubator Farm Site Coordinator, Eero Ruuttila. Eero (pronounced “arrow”) comes to New Entry from Siena Farms in Sudbury, Mass., but he is best known in these parts for his 21 years managing Nesenkeag Farm in Lichfield, New Hampshire. At Nesenkeag, Eero worked with a staff made up mostly of Cambodian immigrants and refugees to keep the 65-acre nonprofit farm self-sustaining through vegetable sales. Eero’s innovations – especially his cover cropping strategies – drew visits from farmers and extension agents around the country.
Eero was also involved in New Entry’s early years as a farmer training project. He was one of New Entry’s first mentor farmers, and helped to teach some of the farmer trainings. In 2003, he worked with two of New Entry’s first farmers, Mr. Kim and Mr. Nil, on a pea tendril project hosted at Nesenkeag. We even discovered that he was the one who put in the order for New Entry’s three walk-behind tractors – the same ones with which our incubator site farmers are, to this day, intimately familiar.
In his return to New Entry, Eero will teach our Farm Business Planning Course and hands-on field trainings, provide technical assistance to New Entry farmers, and manage our incubator training farms. We are all looking forward to working with and learning from Eero – and our new class of Farm Business Planning students should be, too!