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Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown M.Ed. 

Title: Agricultural learning Center & Student Farm Director

Amanda Brown is a Senior Lecturer within the Stockbridge School of Agriculture faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Early in her professional career, she focused on sustainable farming practices for vegetable and specialty crops as a researcher and educator with UMass Extension's Agriculture & Landscape Program. 

During that time, she co-founded the UMass Student Farming Enterprise.  For over a decade, Amanda has focused solely on the Student Farming Enterprise and has developed a year-long educational experience for students which touches on all aspects of managing a small farm.  The success of this program was recently recognized with a fifth-in-the-US ranking among most sustainable college-run farms.  

Amanda received her academic degrees from the University of Massachusetts including an AS in Horticulture, BS in Plant Soil and Insect Science, and a master’s degree in Education.   In addition to teaching and farming Amanda also serves as Director of the UMass Agricultural Learning Center. She has published several scientific articles related to sustainable agriculture technologies and presented her work to many growers, industry professionals, and colleagues. 

Amanda can be reached at @email


Nikki Burton

Name: Nikki Burton M.S.

Position: Lecturer and Livestock Director

Nikki has over twenty years of farming experience with a focus on organic livestock and vegetable production. Since completing her master’s degree in Sustainability Science, Nikki has focused solely on the development of innovative, science-based, sustainable animal husbandry curriculum at UMass. 

Currently her experiential learning programming includes poultry and sheep rotations, organic vegetable production, carbon farming systems and on farm slaughter.  Nicole serves on several faculty committees and is an active member of the Sustainability Curriculum Initiative at the University.  

Along with educating and advising the next generation of small farmers she continues to run a small family farm at her home in Wendell, MA.   She teaches Small Farm Husbandry: Pigs & Poultry and Small Farm Husbandry: Goats, Sheep and Beef online.

Nikki can be reached at @email




Jason Dragon

Name: Jason Dragon

Position: Student Farm Manager

Jason Dragon joined the Student Farm in March of 2019. Since then he’s become an integral part to the farm and the development of the students in the program. His background in sustainable agriculture, education and diversified vegetable production has aided in further advancing the program.

Jason graduated from Emmanuel College with his BFA and soon after pursued primary education and education based in agriculture. Jason worked as a resident teacher in K-8 bilingual schools through AmeriCorps in Boston, Massachusetts. Soon after he began at Seeds of Solidary and then as an assistant manager at Riverland Farm. Sustainable agriculture is at the forefront of his focus and career path. He later served as an assistant director at the Hampshire College Farm where he supervised students and independent studies related to farm activities.

At the Student Farm, Jason oversees and manages production, harvest, tillage, cultivation and training students in vegetable farm production.

Jason can be reached at @email.