Who We Are
John Lebeaux – Chair/Commissioner, MDAR
Grandson of a farmer and son of a nursery owner, John Lebeaux was sworn in as the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner by Governor Charlie Baker on February 6, 2015. After working at Shrewsbury Nurseries, his family’s nursery/garden center/landscaping business, while a student, John then worked for four years as an Urban Horticulturist in New York City. Upon rejoining the family business, he served as its Chief Operating Officer for twenty-six years. John was very active serving in a variety of green industry affairs positions, including two terms as President of the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association. He has been a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist since 1983. Though his grandfather milked cows for decades, first in Rutland, and later in Shrewsbury, John admits the cows were long gone before he was born. He looks to the Promotion Board members, the MDPB/MDAR team, and all the Commonwealth’s dairy farmers for their guidance and insight.
Ashley Sears Randle – Chair Designee/Deputy Commissioner, MDAR
Ashley Sears Randle was appointed Deputy Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) in September of 2018. In this role, Ashley oversees policy and legislative affairs, food safety programming, and outreach efforts with agricultural constituents. Prior to joining the MDAR team, Ashley worked for the Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) and served as Member Services Director, engaging in public policy work for the dairy industry and building relationships among industry members. Ashley was born and raised on a fourth-generation dairy farm in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, where her passion for agriculture and advocacy was first sparked. Ashley obtained her B.S. in Applied Economics & Management and Animal Science from Cornell University and her Juris Doctorate from Western New England University School of Law. She is a licensed Massachusetts attorney.
David Hanson – Vice-Chair/Hanson Farm -- Brookfield
David and Margaret Hanson own the Hanson Farm in Central Massachusetts. They have 220 acres, 60 Jersey cows, and some 45 young stocks. The farm has been in the Hanson family for five generations, since 1912. David was raised on the farm and has been milking cows since his early teens. Margaret married into dairy farming, and she loves it to her core. Their three children have all helped with chores, learned responsibility early on, and developed a lasting love for the environment. Hanson Farm is an Agri-Mark/Cabot Cooperative Member.
Melissa Griffin—Secretary/ Clessons River Farm – Buckland
Melissa grew up in Buckland on Clessons River Farm. Today, she is a fifth generation farmer, working full-time along with her father. They milk approximately 60 registered Holsteins, Red and White Holsteins, and a few Brown Swiss. Their Holstein herd was recently honored with the Progressive Breeders Registry Award for the first time from the Holstein Association USA. Melissa has shown cows much of her life, starting in 4-H and continuing to show at local and county fairs today. She had judged many local youth shows throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island. In addition to her MDPB position, Melissa serves as the secretary for Agri-Mark's Young Cooperator program, secretary of the Massachusetts Holstein Association, and vice-president of the Hampshire-Franklin Holstein Club. Melissa is also an active trumpet player and in her spare time performs across the region.
Darryl Williams – Treasurer/Luther Belden Farm – Hatfield
Darryl and Lucinda Williams are 12th generation dairy farmers managing 200 acres along the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts. The farm began in 1661 growing vegetable crops. In 1964 the farm became a dedicated dairy farm, today home to approximately 100 Holsteins cows and 90 young stocks. It's a family affair on the farm. Their three children help with many of the daily farm responsibilities. Luther Belden Farm is an Agri-Mark/Cabot Cooperative Member.
Lynne Bohan – Board Member/HP Hood LLC
Lynne Bohan currently serves as Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs for HP Hood LLC. Lynne is responsible for overseeing the company’s public relations, corporate communications and crisis communications efforts as well as government, community, and consumer affairs. She has been with Hood for 20 years. Lynne was appointed by the United State Department of Agriculture secretary to serve on the Milk Processors Education Program Board (MilkPep) and recently served as Vice Chair. She was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to serve on the Massachusetts Dairy Farm Revitalization Task Force and currently serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board. She is an active member of the International Dairy Foods Association and Dairy Management Inc., the Northeast Dairy Foods Association and the Government Affairs Committee of the Massachusetts Food Association. Lynne is the President of the Charles H. Hood Fund. Lynne is a Simmons University graduate and currently resides in Swampscott, Massachusetts with her family.
Jessica Dizek– Board Member/Mapleline Farm -- Hadley
Jessica is part of the fifth generation of her family to be operating Mapleline Farm in Hadley. Mapleline raises registered Jersey cows, known for its rich and nutrient-dense milk, and bottles it, right on the farm premises. Milk is distributed throughout Massachusetts in plastic and glass returnable bottles to restaurants, food service operations and stores and produces flavored milks that have become customer favorites and family traditions. Jessica works alongside her parents, sister and husband, as well as her sons and niece and nephew. Mapleline Farm is part of the Massachusetts Association for Dairy Farmers, MA Cooperative Milk Producers Federation, Community Involved in Supporting Agriculture, MA Farm Bureau and active members of the American Jersey Cattle Association.
Kathy Herrick – Board Member/Herrick Farm – Rowley
Kathy and Sam Herrick own Herrick Dairy Farm on the North Shore. The land has been farmed for over 300 years. The dairy farm has been in the Herrick family for at least five generations. They have 140 acres and 225 Holsteins cows, milking 90. All four of their children work on the farm, and their daughter also farms seven acres of vegetables for their 100 member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The Herrick Dairy Farm is an Agri-Mark/Cabot Cooperative Member.
Katie Rozenas– Mass Dairy Promotion Board Coordinator
Katie has worked for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) as the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board Coordinator, the Agricultural Markets Outreach Coordinator, and the Agricultural Events Coordinator since January 2019. Prior to joining the MDAR team, Katie worked as the Regional Marketing Coordinator for Discover Central Massachusetts and as the School Gardens Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA for the Regional Environmental Council. Coming from a family of multi-generational fruit and vegetable farmers (Rozenas’ Farm in Dudley, MA & Shivick’s Farm in Oxford, MA), Katie was raised working on her maternal grandparent’s vegetable farm as a farm hand and farmers market associate during the summer months. It was there that her passion for agriculture and education was first cultivated and she decided to pursue a career in agriculture marketing. Katie received her B.S. in Geography/Environmental & Global Studies from Worcester State University and her M.S. in Professional Communications from Clark University.