Sylvester Manor Educational Farm announced late last week that Cristina Cosentino will take the role of Director of Farm Operations for the Shelter Island nonprofit.
In this newly created position, Ms. Cosentino will be responsible for supervising all aspects of operations on the 4-plus acres of the farm including produce, small fruit, livestock, a 125-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and education of seasonal farm apprentices and volunteers.
Ms. Cosentino, also known as “Tino,” began her passion for farming as an apprentice at Sylvester Manor in 2015 where she spent a year farming and learning tractor and machinery maintenance. Since that apprenticeship, she has worked on various vegetable and livestock farms in the northeast including The H.O.G. Farm, an 18-acre CSA and vegetable farm in Brookhaven. In 2018, Ms. Cosentino managed production, operations, and sales for Acabonac Farms, a pasture-finishing beef producer that coincidentally leased 60 acres of back pasture land from Sylvester Manor. Most recently, she managed a vegetable market garden in Smithfield, Rhode Island providing fresh produce for Fidelity Investments’ cafeteria.
“I think farming is a field of mentorship and find it to be the most rewarding part of the job,” Ms. Cosentino said. “My apprenticeship at Sylvester Manor changed my life. At this point I’m not only interested in cultivating the land, but also the next generation of farmers.”
According to the farm’s Executive Director Stephen Searl, Ms. Cosentino will be instrumental to the long-term expansion of the farm.
“The organization was founded 10 years ago as a community farm; today, we’re looking to rapidly grow this part of our mission and it’s our team that will ultimately determine the success of that growth,” Mr. Searl said. “We’re so excited to have Tino re-join the Manor as Farm Director. With her help we will increase production across the board, including vegetables, fruit and livestock, and continue to provide the community with fresh, Island-grown food.”