Published in the April 2013 NOFA/Mass e-newsletter http://www.nofamass.org
written by Julie Rawson
NOFA/Mass Executive Director & Education Director
Three years ago we decided to institute
a practice of honoring one of our
outstanding NOFA/Mass members. 2011’s NOFA/
Mass Person of the Year Award went to Lynda Simkins,
president of NOFA/Mass and Executive Director of
Natick Community Organic Farm. 2012’s honoree was
Ed Stockman – long time NOFA member, one time
NOFA/Mass extension director (now known as the
education director), and presently the most avid and
articulate of the anti-GMO activists in the state.
Sharon Gensler was our Person of the Year for 2013.
Like Lynda and Ed, Sharon has been around NOFA/
Mass since the 1980’s. She served many years on the
board of directors and is presently on staff as our
Outreach Coordinator, a role she has held for close to a
When considering which of our five main constituencies
Sharon belongs in, there is no question that she is a
homesteader. Besides raising almost all of her own food
with partner Pru Smith in the wilds of Wendell, she is
a competent electrician and massage therapist. Sharon
is a long-time activist in her town politics and has been
training apprentices for years. She and Pru have recently
upgraded their educational activities to include several
on-homestead workshops per year.
In NOFA Sharon has always been the voice of reason
and balance. She talks softly but with authority, and
everyone listens because they know she is fair-minded
and even-handed. She lives the NOFA mission every day
in her treatment of all living beings and her solar house
and composting toilet.
Sharon is an excellent listener, which is one of the
reasons why she is such an excellent collaborator and
team member. She is also unbeatable in the realm of
NOFA outreach. If you walk by her table at an event,
you are likely to rush home and fill out the membership
form. She makes obvious for people the connection
between their desire to live more sustainable lives and
becoming a member of the NOFA family.
We are very lucky to have Sharon in our midst and
bestow this honor on her with the greatest gratitude in
our hearts for who she is and how she acts in our world.