Jennifer Hashley is the Trisha Pérez Kennealy and Michael Kennealy Director for New Entry. Prior to becoming Director in 2006, Jennifer was the New Entry Project Coordinator for five years. Jennifer is a leader in local food systems work focusing on beginning farmer development. Her role at New Entry includes building community partnerships, developing new programs and services, mentoring and supporting project staff, securing sustainable resources for all program operations, writing grants, strategic planning, and overseeing incubator training farm site infrastructure and a multi-year sustainable agriculture training curriculum in specialty crops and livestock production for limited resource farmers. Jennifer's managerial strengths have helped transform New Entry into a nationally recognized farmer training program with multiple components — training and technical assistance, marketing, finding land and resources, hands-on learning at training farms, accessing government programs and resources, and conducting training for other incubator farm and community food security projects across the US. Jennifer also excels in working side by side with farmers in the field, at markets, and in the classroom.
As part of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Agriculture Food and the Environment program, Jennifer is also an Agricultural Science and Policy lab instructor, helping to bridge the gap between graduate students' classroom learning and practical, farm-based education.
Jennifer's background in agriculture helps keep the project's training programs cutting-edge. Jennifer is an avid market gardener, specializing in cut flowers, fruit, herbs, and unique vegetable varieties. In partnership with her husband, she also launched a diversified pasture based livestock operation, Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds, which transitioned to Codman Community Farm in 2016. She is also an agricultural business planning course instructor for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Jennifer was one of two Massachusetts representatives selected to attend a 3-week advanced training for extension professionals on organic crop production, certification, organic pest management, weed control, and soil quality, sponsored by the Northeast Organic Network/SARE Professional Development Organization and she participated in a six-year Poultry Extension Specialist training also supported by SARE and University of Maine. She is the first female Trustee of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture (dating back to 1792), and serves on the board of the Urban Farming Institute of Boston. She also served on the board of the Carrot Project, a small-farm financing nonprofit for 10 years. Jennifer is also an advisor and consultant to many state and regional food systems projects addressing agricultural policy issues. Jennifer has spent many years visiting diverse farm operations, attending scores of agricultural and food systems conferences and workshops, and completing an intensive hands-on apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Prior to this, she served as a Hillside Agriculture Extensionist in Honduras with the US Peace Corps. In their native Spanish language, she trained rural subsistence farmers in sustainable agricultural practices, designed irrigation systems, and initiated a community-based sugar-cane processing enterprise. Jennifer has earned numerous leadership awards for her food systems work, was selected as an Environmental Leadership Fellow, and an Eisenhower Agriculture Fellow, and holds a Master's degree in Public Policy with a focus on Agricultural Policy from Tufts University, a Certificate in Management of Community Organizations from Tufts University, a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from UC, Santa Cruz, and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Indiana University.