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Berkshire Agricultural Ventures expands staff

GREAT BARRINGTON — Jake Levin and Ben Crockett have joined the staff of Berkshire Agricultural Ventures.

Levin will serve as the project coordinator for the organization’s new livestock support program, while Crockett will serve as the group’s program manager.

In his role, Levin will help implement and manage programs and services for livestock producers in the Berkshire-Taconic Region. Along with Kitchen Table Consultants, a nationally recognized farm business consulting firm, he will work with existing regional USDA-certified meat processing facilities. Other plans include exploring expanding regional storage capacity, a community meat locker and regional branding opportunities.

A Berkshire County native who lives in New Marlborough, Levin sits on the boards of Berkshire Grown, the Berkshire Food Co-op and the New Marlborough Land Trust. The author of the 2019 book "Smokehouse Handbook", Levin holds a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. from Bard College. 

As program manager for BAV, Crockett will develop and implement climate-smart agriculture solutions with farms in the Berkshire-Taconic region. These include methods such as agroforestry, cover cropping and other practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture while preparing farms for ongoing climate change intensification.

He has worked as the department chair for the Kennebec Valley Community College Sustainable Agriculture associate degree program. Through UMaine Extension, Crockett became a master food preserver and has mentored startup farm businesses in the Hudson Valley with Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming. He holds a bachelor's degree in sustainable landscape horticulture from the University of Vermont and recently completed the Climate Adaptation Fellowship for farmers and foresters.

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