Ryan oversees all day to day operations of the business. In middle school Ryan started a seasonal Christmas tree business, starting his first entrepreneurial adventure. In high school, he also worked at Davis Farmland, one of the largest agricultural tourism destinations in the country. From there he attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst for Agricultural Business and went on to start Lilac Hedge Farm. The business started as a hobby farm on many leased parcels of land in the town of Berlin where Ryan grew up. It has now grown into a 400 acre livestock operation in Holden purchased in 2015, Rutland purchased in 2020 and one of the leading livestock producers in the state. Ryan is actively involved in the industry serving as Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation Vice President, former Young Farmers & Ranchers Chair, and has served on the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation State Board of Directors for over 10 years.
Jimmy came to work for Lilac Hedge in the fall of 2018 with a lifetime of experience in animal agriculture managing his family's dairy farm.
Jimmy has a dynamic role on our farm, overseeing crop production, animal health and breeding, equipment maintenance, construction projects and more.
Jimmy attended SUNY Cobleskill for Agricultural Business, and plays an active role in his town Conservation District, and serves on various farm and dairy boards.
He and his wife Heidi enjoy raising their three young children while both working full time on the farm. Fondly called "Jim Dad" by many of the younger staff, he's a valuable resource and leader for our farm team.
Ashley was a welcomed new addition to our staff when she joined Lilac Hedge Farm in September, 2018. Agriculture has always been a part of Ashley's life as she grew up on a farm and was always involved in 4-H. For Lilac Hedge Farm, she is in charge of the sales for farmer’s markets, retail and wholesale accounts and day-to-day operations. This often requires juggling several factors at once to keep everyone on schedule. Ashley has a solid knowledge of our meat products based on her previous experience working for Adams Slaughterhouse. She is married, mother to two busy teenagers and manages her own extensive collection of pets at home.
Heidi didn't grow up in agriculture but after spending years in corporate offices in management roles she decided to branch out and join the farming community. Now with nearly 15 years of agricultural experience in vegetables, meat, and dairy, she brings her team management, marketing, and customer service experience to our management team.
She and her husband James, our Farm Manager, have three children (ages 9, 7, and 5) that join us on the farm frequently. She is deeply involved in Farm Bureau, our states and nations largest grassroots farming organization. At the state level she leads as Worcester County President and holds a seat on the national Promotion & Education Committee. She is on her town's Agricultural Commission, local Lion's Club board, and PTO board.
Heidi has a passion for local food of all types and enjoys both growing and cooking. She is our go-to for recipes and food preparation insight. Her favorite part of her job is how it constantly evolves as the business grows and how she can help shape our farm's future.
Erin joined the team in 2021. Before joining LHF, she was an Early Childhood teacher for many years. Erin and her husband also ran a disc golf course and pro shop. She is a very passionate disc golf player and has competed in and helped run many disc golf tournaments in the area and throughout the country. 2023 marks 25 years that she has played the sport (She is also trying to convince Ryan to build a course on our property one of these days too). Her favorite part time job in her younger years was working on a farm where she was actually Ryan's assistant manager at his first job when he was just in middle school! Her main job at the farm now is to manage both the packing house and delivery teams that package and deliver all of our orders. She processes all payments and then make sure every customer's order gets added to a delivery route for each day. She also manages the customer service side of things through emails and by answering the packing house phone most days. Erin is also in charge of making sure all orders get packed and delivered safely to your doorstep.
Very much a city boy, but no less dear to us, Josh was brought on in the fall of 2021 to develop a culinary program at the farm.
Josh brings with him over a decade of food service experience, most of those years spent as a chef. He now oversees production of our prepared foods and made-to-order items in our beer garden, as well as creating menus for various events around the Rutland property.
A visit to the beer garden is likely to include his smiling face greeting customers, expediting orders, and keeping his team on pace.
Sue joined Lilac Hedge Farm after retiring from 36 years of teaching Fitness and Wellness and brings her passion for health education to the job. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and later earned her Master's Degree in Public Health from Worcester State College.
After many years of bringing Lilac Hedge Farm products to farmers markets across the state, Sue’s role in sales has become focused on one location, the Farm Stand at our Overlook Farm. She continues to be involved with the farmers market application, preparation and packing process, creates much of the signage and promotional materials, dabbled with reviving the farm flower gardens and is basically willing to do any special project.
Ann’s full time job is owner of Research Concepts LLC. As founder of Research Concepts, Ann is responsible for building and overseeing the company’s business development, client services and day-to-day operations. She has worked on both the end user and supplier side of the research business, giving her an extensive background in on-line surveys, panel functionality, management, data analysis, reporting and promoting best practices. Prior to founding Research Concepts in 1993, Ann was Director of Research at Network World, Inc., an IDG company where she was responsible for all of the advertising, editorial and custom research projects. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. With Lilac Hedge Farm Ann is responsible for bookkeeping, payroll, accounting and taxes.
Farmer Tyler came to us with a diverse background in construction and agricultural work. As a graduate from the House Carpentry program at Assabet Valley, with over ten years experience working with livestock animals, Tyler joined the Lilac Hedge Farm team originally as a Jack-of-all-trades in May of 2021.
His passion for the health and welfare of the animals was supported by his previous farm experience and attention to detail, resulting in a recent transition to the position of our Livestock Manager.
On your next trip to the farm, you are likely to catch glimpses of Tyler running around, feeding the herds, preforming husbandry and medical checks, and maintaining the properties.