Meet Our Team
Peter Swift & Diana McCargo
Philo Ridge Farm was established by owners Diana McCargo and Peter Swift in 2012 in an effort to preserve the historic Foote Farm and continue the agricultural legacy of the property. Today, we are a diversified farm using regenerative practices to produce pork, chicken, lamb, beef, wool products, hay, vegetables, fruits, small grains and flowers. Learn more about the history of this beautiful property here.
The farm is lead by Food & Farm Director Francine Stephens and Farm Manager Ed Pitcavage and has a growing, diverse and devoted team made up of Jamie Broe, Meg Dawson, Jane Engelman, Andrew Feinberg, Ian Johnson and Sean Richards, as well as our devoted market, kitchen, livestock, and farm crews. Support and business planning is provided by Bio-Logical Capital, a land investment and conservation company.
Land & Livestock
The livestock and land management plan of Philo Ridge Farm focuses on producing grass-fed and pasture-raised livestock, which is processed and sold in the market. The team manages over 200 acres of hay and rotationally grazed pastures as well as oversees the landscape maintenance.
market & KITCHEN
The Market and Kitchen allows us to sell on-site what we grow and raise right from our beautiful farm, support our neighboring farmers, and be a positive force to improve the local agricultural economy of Vermont’s Champlain Valley. Learn more about our Market, including when you can visit, here.
The Market Garden is the certified organic vegetable, flower, herb and fruit production center of the farm. We have two acres in production growing everything from arugula to zucchini, all of which goes into the market and processing facility.
Meet The Managers
Market General Manager
Jamie’s passion for hospitality and food were cultivated during her childhood growing up in Northern Vermont. Jamie comes from a large family that was often brought together for huge gatherings centered around meals and it wasn’t uncommon for neighbors, friends, and community members to pop in to both her parents and grandparents home, always greeted with great food, coffee, and conversation. Her family’s hospitality shaped her approach to connecting with each other and the community. Jamie has moved around the country during her career working in the hospitality industry. Most recently Jamie was working as a Senior General Manager for Shake Shack overseeing multiple restaurants and opening several new locations for the growing concept in Boston and Los Angeles. Eager to move to back to Vermont and live a more balanced life she took the leap of faith almost a year ago and couldn’t be happier. In her free time she’s recently taken up spinning, loves spending time with her fiancé Joe and their French Bulldog Frankie, collects cookbooks and vintage kitchen dishes, and is grateful to now be 20 miles from her family instead of 3000.
Meg began working in professional kitchens in high school, but chose to dedicate her life to food at a much earlier age. She has since worked in several bakeries and restaurants in New York, Vermont, and her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. She strives to keep her baking as simple and natural as possible, highlighting the amazing products from the farm and surrounding area. Meg has a degree in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. When not on the farm, she enjoys birdwatching, yoga, reading on her porch, and trying to get her adopted cat, Puck, to play with her.
Market Garden Manager
Jane comes to us with over 12 years of farm experience. From Alpine orchards in Italy to educational gardens in Chicago, she has explored many facets of the international growing community. Jane grew up in Evanston, IL and is a graduate of Green Mountain College with a degree in Organic Agriculture and Sustainable Community Development. Prior to joining the Philo Ridge Farm team, Jane owned and operated Sweet Roots Farm, a diversified vegetable production in the foothills of Maine. When not on the farm, Jane can be found spending time in the mountains with her husband Dan and their dog Daisy. She enjoys hiking, skiing, preserving the harvest, and spending time with her ever-growing family all across the country.
Andrew fell in love with food and cooking as a young boy. His grandmother showed him the way with artichokes, lamb chops and tongue. He has been a chef and business owner while living in NYC for the past 20 years. Andrew cooks food that is straightforward and simple, favoring recipes with no more than 3 ingredients so that the natural taste of each ingredient is highlighted. Andrew recently moved to Vermont with his wife Francine and two children, Prue and Marco. Outside of the kitchen Andrew enjoys spending quality time at home with his family, exploring his new home state, and bodyweight exercise.
Assistant Livestock Manager
Ian’s always been fascinated with animals in their natural habitat. While studying ecology at the University of Vermont (UVM), Ian became inspired by biological regeneration and agriculture’s potential to feed the soil, the encompassing ecosystem, and the human community. Following graduation, Ian enrolled in UVM’s Farmer Training Program to learn the necessary farming tools to regenerate the planet and live off of the land. After the program he decided to work closely with animals, knowing that they would be a vital part of a thriving farm ecosystem. He then began at Farm and Wilderness, where he helped manage pasture and marginal lands using multiple species, each in habitats suited to their nutritional and behavioral needs. At Farm and Wilderness, Ian also had the opportunity to lead small groups of kids and councilors in farm tasks. Now at Philo Ridge Farm, Ian helps manage the livestock program and continues his love of working with animals.
Ed is our Farm Manager who moved to Vermont when he started at Philo Ridge Farm in 2016. Prior to joining the Philo Ridge team, Ed managed six reservations for a land trust in Massachusetts, which included a diverse working farm, a Fredrick Law Olmstead designed park, numerous grasslands, woodlands, hiking trails, and waterfronts. Ed grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Political Science. He started his career in legislative affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. After leaving the Hill, Ed spent summers living in a tent monitoring ground nesting birds on Nashawena Island, counted by-catch on commercial fishing vessels in the Atlantic Ocean, managed an ocean research grant program before finding his passion of sustainable agriculture at Weir River Farm in Hingham, MA. Ed spent the last decade building a diversified livestock operation and 150 member CSA program in a community focused educational farm. When not on the farm, Ed can be found spending time outside with his wife Lynn and children Abbey and Sam along with their two dogs Parker and Otter. He loves cows, enjoys fly-fishing, skiing, and time in the mountains and on the lake.
Sean joins the Market kitchen with almost two decades in food and hospitality. A native Vermonter, Sean has traveled all over the world working as a chef in kitchens including New Zealand, Tennessee, Colorado and as the personal chef for touring bands. Sean learned to work with local farms and producers as a chef at Blackberry Farm and Knox Mason, and was profoundly influenced by the growing seasons. He is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and is particularly obsessed with the diverse produce here at Philo Ridge Farm. When not pickling veggies or recipe testing the perfect fried chicken, Sean can be found adventuring with his dog Otis or catching up on history podcasts.
Food & Farm Director
Francine has a deep environmental ethos that has shaped her professional life, her personal values and her parenting. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Francine spent the last 15 years of her professional life creating businesses including the restaurant Franny’s and the retail food store, Bklyn Larder, that have been showcases of environmentally stewardship, deeply rooted in and part of the fabric of their community, and pioneer businesses that helped to shape the revival of the Brooklyn food movement. Additionally, Francine has co-authored the cookbook, Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian (2013). In 2017, Francine moved to Vermont with her husband, Andrew, and her two children, Prue and Marco. After years of city living, she is excited to be closer to nature and be a part of a productive and working landscape that can help to revitalize Vermont’s agricultural community.