Our team at Main Street Farms is not only committed to providing our community with high quality, organic, and sustainably raised vegetables, but we also strive to create fair wage jobs and do work in our community to educate about healthy eating. All team members on our farm love growing, cooking, and sharing food and we even eat lunch together everyday on the farm!
Allan Gandelman (He/Him)
Main Street Farms Owner, CEO
New York Hemp Oil, President
Allan began his career teaching high school social studies, and quickly realized a major obstacle for his students was a lack of fresh and nutritious food. Allan wanted to start a farm to be able to educate kids about where their food comes from and to be able to grow food for the school cafeteria. He started with Main Street farms in 2011 with his friend and business partner Bobcat, partner Adrianne, and generous assistance from friends, family and volunteers. Each year the farm has increased in size and continues to produce more organic food for the Central New York community. Today, Main Street Farms grows over 50 types of vegetables just outside of the City of Cortland. Allan is passionate about organic agriculture, providing healthy food for his CSA members and customers, and creating sustainable jobs for people in the community. Allan is also the President of the New York State Cannabis Growers and Producers Association.
Bob Cat (He/HIm)
Main Street Farms Owner, CSA Manager
Bob Cat learned about the value of good food and hard work while growing up on Long Island in an Italian family and helping his dad in the garden. Bob Cat studied Communication and Media at SUNY New Paltz, where he met his long-time friend and future partner, Allan. While traveling around the world, Bobcat discovered Wwoofing (World-wide opportunities on organic farms) where he fell in love with farming. Soon after, when his good friend Allan called to tell him he was planning on starting a farm and needed some help, and Bobcat knew this is where he wanted to be. He has held many positions on the farm, including Harvest Manager, Farm Manager, Farm Chef, Pack Shed Manager, and Educator. When Bobcat isn’t working, he can be found playing music with his band, The Local Farmers Union, cooking and eating delicious food, and hiking, traveling, or enjoying an IPA with his wife Kat. Bobcat is now a proud papa of a beautiful baby girl, Lillian Sequoia.
Adrianne Traub (she/HER)
Farmer and Certification Coordinator
Adrianne (Age) Traub, a Cortland native, started Main Street Farms with Allan and Bob Cat in 2011. On the farm, she fills many roles including manager of the organic certification process, head huntress and agro-ecosystem manager. In 2019, she started Headrow Hill, an Organic U-Pick Blueberry operation adjacent to Main Street Farms fields. Adrianne earned a Master’s of Food Studies from Syracuse University in 2019 and currently works at Seven Valley Health Coalition as a Project Coordinator working to strengthen our local food system and increase healthy food access to low-income community members. In her spare time she enjoys practicing herbalism, tanning leather, backpacking on the Finger Lakes Trail, and contemplating Marxist agrarian theory!
Bret Morris (He/Him)
Bret and his wife Stephanie have been farming in the greater Binghamton area for over 10 years. Before relocating to McGraw and starting Shared Roots Farm 5 years ago, they were living and farming in NE PA. They started growing for market in 2008. Before farming, Bret was a teacher in Nashville. He attended Temple University, where he graduated with a degree in Biology. After years of farming beside each other, we decided to join forces this year to focus on growing massive amounts of quality veggies together. Bret has a ton of knowledge and experience growing vegetables and running farms. Main Street Farms has lots of land, equipment, and awesome employees. So it was a good fit for both of us. While Bret will be overseeing all the growing of the vegetables, Steph will still be overseeing Shared Roots Farm CSA and farmers market stand at the Binghamton Farmers Market. They have 2 lovely daughters, Hazel and Sydney. In addition to farming together, Bret and Bobcat play music together as well. They co-founded the band The Local Farmers Union.
Keegan, a native of Cortland, NY, started working at the farm in 2017 as part of the farm crew and since then has been promoted to harvest manager. As harvest manager Keegan is responsible for all aspects of daily field operations including what to plant and when to harvest. Keegan has two beautiful daughters, Lucille and Lennon, who love spending time on the farm.
Nate Funke (He/Him)
Nate Funke hails from the mucklands of Montezuma, NY. He moved to Cortland in 2017 to start working as a part of the field crew. This year he was promoted to field manager and is responsible for managing pests and diseases. On the farm he spends most of his time driving a tractor and identifying and fighting pests and weeds. Nate and his partner Sam have a beautiful baby girl named Josephine!
Lou Pesesky (tHEY/THEM)
Originally from Spencer, NY, Lou studied Sociology at Ithaca College with a focus on social movements and community organizing. Lou has been a tutor, construction worker, mental health counselor, and even a lobster wrangler; but their heart is in organic farming. They love growing quality food and medicine for their community. As field manager Lou is responsible for plowing, direct seeding, mechanical cultivation, and training new farmers on heavy equipment operation. They have been farming for almost a decade and plan to continue for as long as their body is able.
Karlyn Fendya (She/HER)
Karlyn grew up in Homer, NY. She holds a BFA from Alfred University, and has two decades of experience in the food and beverage industry. Building on a passion for food preparation, Karlyn has spent years studying food equity and food propagation, cultivation, and preservation techniques. Using this knowledge, she expanded her own food production from small community beds in Baltimore to growing dozens of varieties of food and medicinal crops in hundreds of square feet of personal growing space here in Cortland County. From these gardens, Karlyn prepares nutritious foods at home and uses fermentation, canning, and dehydrating to preserve the harvests. Karlyn started as an MSF Crew Member in September 2020, and has since become Pack Shed Manager. In this position she oversees the safe washing, storing, and distribution of the farm’s fresh produce. In addition to continuing work with Main Street Farms, Karlyn aspires to establish and manage her own perennial food forest that would serve the greater Cortland community in the coming years. In her free time, Karlyn can be found enjoying the outdoors with her partner and their four pups, playing in the gardens or the kitchen, crafting with ceramic mud, textiles, or fibers. She loves good music, a good beer, and sharing it all with great friends and family. Photographic evidence on Instagram @piecedout
Anthony Paolini (He/Him)
Anthony was born and raised in Western New York. He joined the Main Street team in 2020 from Shared Roots Farm, where he was Assistant Farm Manager. He has an Environmental Studies degree from Binghamton University, and previously farmed on the West Coast and was the Urban Farm Manager for VINES in Binghamton. In his spare time, Anthony is likely playing or listening to music, or fermenting some veggies from the farm.
KENNY MOAT (He/ HIm)
Kenny has been farming for over a decade. Before working for Main Street Farms, he worked at the Cornell Research farm in Freeville. Kenny oversees all the equipment on the farm and is usually the one who fixes things when they inevitably break.
Alec Chapman (He/Him)
Packshed, Market, & Field Crew
Alec grew up as a military kid, but spent his teenage years in Missouri. Among entering the green house at his high school for the first time his passion for agriculture blossomed immediately. Alec, fresh out of high school, was eager to gain a plant sciences degree from Mizzou but found he rather get the experience hands-on. So after completing an associates degree, he made the move to New York to work within the hemp industry. Initially starting as a Head & Heal rep. at the Ithaca farmers market, Alec quickly found more and more opportunities with the farm, and he now works in the pack shed, in the field, the farmer’s market, as well as shipping for Head & Heal. The organic veggies side of things, was something new to Alec – Missouri is all cows and corn – but he has found it to be something he is truly passionate about. Being only 21, Alec is excited to be able to be pursuing his dreams already in life, and with the wonderful influences and leaders he is surrounded by every day, he looks forward to learning even more as time passes.
Alison Thomas (She/HER)
Market Manager, Packshed, & Field Crew
Alison Thomas joined Main Street Farms, June 2020.
Liz Stanton (She/HER)
Born and raised in Syracuse, Liz started working at the market in 2015 and never looked back. She aims to bring warmth, recipes, and a smile to the cranky folks of Syracuse every Saturday morning. Liz is a mountain climber, plant collector, tea fanatic, and morning person. If you’ve ever stopped by the Syracuse market, you know Liz!
Sarah Rosenthal (she/her)
Packshed & Market Crew
Sarah is a Texas native who moved to Cortland in May of 2021. She is pursuing her Master of Food Studies at Syracuse University. Sarah’s passions revolve around reducing food waste and supplying healthy foods to the local community. She currently works in the pack shed washing produce and packing CSAs, and at the Ithaca and CNY Regional farmers markets. In her downtime, Sarah is typically studying, playing music, cuddling with her two cats (Naya and Tiger) and dog (Opal), or hiking with her husband.
Melaney Peacock (She/her)
Mel grew up in Ithaca. She is also see works at the farmers market for Head +Heal.
Katie REAGAn (she/her)
Katie grew up in Cortland. She runs her own baking business, Kate’s Baked.
Every year for the last few years, we gets about 6 or so seasonal, migrant workers from Jamaica, through the H2A work visa program. “The Jamaican Crew” is always so much fun to work with. These guys are such hard workers and always have a smile on their face. Not only are they a tremendous help by putting in a ton of work on the farm, it is also an awesome cultural exchange. Thank you Derrick, Neilly, Brooks, Anthony, Dennis, and Richard.