Welcome to Our New Hires

Deb Heleba, Master Gardener Coordinator, UVM Extension

Debra HelebaDeb is the new Extension Master Gardener coordinator and officially starts in this role on January 4, 2022. She has worked in UVM Extension agriculture for over 30 years starting with the Apple Team in Plant and Soil Sciences, the Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Women’s Ag Network, Land Link Vermont, the Northwest Crops and Soils Team and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE). Deb brings in-depth experience in online educational programs for adults, public communications, social media, program evaluation and web management. She will be a wonderful addition to the popular statewide Master Gardener program.

Whitney Hull, Dairy Management Educator, UVM Extension

Whitney is the new Dairy Management Educator in the newly formed Dairy Business Innovation Center (DBIC). She will be working with Extension Farm Business Educator Tony Kitsos and collaborating with other service providers, to deliver outreach education to Vermont’s dairy farms.

Whitney is based in the Morrisville Extension office, and will work statewide helping Vermonts dairy producers solve management problems and bring new technology to this important agricultural sector. She comes to UVM Extension with a wealth of field experience in dairy nutrition, breeding, and all aspects of cow dairy herd management.

Chris Skinner, ARS Research Project Manager, UVM Food Systems Research Center

Chris Skinner Chris Skinner recently joined our team as ARS Research Project Manager for the new Food Systems Research Center at UVM. Chris holds a PhD in Animal and Food Science with an emphasis in Human Nutrition, as well as a MS in Exercise Physiology from West Virginia University. His research background focuses on repurposing food waste as a nutritional aid to combat disease and improve sustainability. Chris will be active in the oversight and implementation of ARS projects, as well as communicating our work to a wide audience. Prior to UVM, Chris was an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, AR. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his fiance, Bekah, who is a postdoc in the Larner College of Medicine, hiking, attending concerts, playing guitar, staying active, and cooking.

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