press release - New Farm Manager and Agriculture Instructor

Public Relations | Press Releases


Release date 08-07-13


KVCC hires Farm Manager and Sustainable Agriculture Instructor


Hinckley, ME – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) has hired a farm manager and a sustainable agriculture instructor to lead its innovative new agricultural programs at the Harold Alfond Campus.

Daniel MacPhee of Palermo, Maine has been selected as KVCC’s farm manager. Jacob Holzberg-Pill of Nevada City, California, has been hired as KVCC’s sustainable agriculture instructor.

These two new employees bring impressive academic credentials and experience to the College, and are joining KVCC at a critical time in the development of the College.

The recently acquired 600-acre Harold Alfond Campus on Route 201 in Hinckley, ME, is the ideal environment for KVCC’s innovative farm-to-table education programs focused on sustainable agriculture, food processing and technology, culinary arts, renewable energy, and entrepreneurship. MacPhee and Holzberg-Pill will play key roles in revitalizing the 120-acre farm on the campus that has lain fallow for over a decade.

“The entire KVCC community and our advisory board for Farm-to-Table Innovation are thrilled to welcome Daniel and Jacob to the College,” KVCC President Richard Hopper said. “They represent not only an impressive range and depth of talent in sustainable agriculture and farming, but also have a profound and palpable passion for their work. Our new colleagues are excellent teachers and practitioners who are eager to ensure that Maine offers the best education in sustainable agriculture while embracing deep engagement with the community. KVCC is about teamwork to develop skills for the Maine economy and these gentlemen embody that ethos.” 

MacPhee will be responsible for managing the KVCC farm and farm-related operations on the Alfond Campus. He will work closely with the KVCC president and senior management to develop a clear vision and strategy for the farm and agricultural programs.

MacPhee will also be responsible for supervising farm workers, instructing students in agricultural programs, maintaining and monitoring land use and crop yield, protecting the environment and biodiversity of the property, and managing facility maintenance and repair.

A native of California, MacPhee has seven years of experience farming in a variety of locations and contexts around New England. He currently owns and operates Blackbird Rise, an 80-acre organic farm in Palermo, producing grafted fruit trees, seeds, perennials, wholesale vegetables and wool fiber with his wife and two children.

MacPhee served as farm manager and educator at Yale University from 2009-2012, where he was responsible for management, planning, development, education, marketing, and operations of a one-acre, four-season urban organic market garden and orchard. In that role he also managed a year-round farmers’ market, supervised numerous employees and volunteers, developed and taught courses, and coordinated community and institutional engagement.

MacPhee lived in South Africa for a year as a Fulbright Scholar doing geological mapping and environmental education. He holds a M.S. in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University. He is an accredited Organic Land Care Professional certified by the Northeast Organic Farmers Association.

Holzberg-Pill will be the primary instructor for KVCC’s new Sustainable Agriculture program which begins classes Aug. 26. He will also be responsible for curriculum development, academic advising, and will work closely with the farm manager.

Holzberg-Pill has been teaching agroecology for the last 11 years in California, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Israel, Honduras, and Nicaragua. He holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an M.F. in Forest Ecosystem Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work as a teacher has centered on sustainable agriculture, community resource stewardship and landscape management.

A native of Massachusetts, Holzberg-Pill has worked since 2010 as an environmental science teacher, sustainability manager, and intern coordinator at the Woolman Semester School in Nevada City, CA.

Holzberg-Pill earned his B.A. in Ecology and Community from Brandeis University in Massachusetts in 2002.

Students are still being accepted into KVCC’s program in Sustainable Agriculture for the fall semester. The program will be the first of its kind in Maine, and the first academic program to be based at the College’s new Alfond campus.

To register for the Sustainable Agriculture program or any other fall program at KVCC, call 453-5119 or 453-5134. Current information is also posted on the KVCC web site at:

Anyone wishing to speak with a KVCC advisor or with questions about the admission process may contact the Advising Center at 453-5082 or the Admissions Office at 453-5035.

Kennebec Valley Community College is one of seven community colleges in Maine. KVCC prepares full-time and part-time students to enter the job market, to transfer to colleges and universities, and to achieve their professional and personal goals.  Programs and services support the economic growth of the community in response to changing needs.

In 2011 and again in 2012, KVCC was named one of the top community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, placing in the top 10 percent of two-year colleges based on student success rates.

To learn more about KVCC, go to



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