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Nicole Waters


Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator



The coordination of the Labor Ready Project has been the primary focus of my work since joining the Small Farms Program in 2018. As the Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator, I aim to promote farm business growth and efficiency through the development of skilled and professional agricultural farm managers. Leadership, communication, and managerial skills are the building blocks for career advancement. Ultimately, I hope to create programs and pathways that lead to successful and rewarding agricultural careers.

Raised locally in Freeville, NY, I returned to the Ithaca area in 2014 with a diverse background of experiences. Post-graduation from SUNY Albany, I gained certification to teach English as a Second (ESL) in Sevilla, Spain. Upon returning to the U.S., I taught English lessons to Spanish-speaking dairy employees in Dryden, NY. During this time, I took a part-time position at a local winery.

The part-time position at the winery led me to a degree in enology and a six-year career as an assistant winemaker in the Finger Lakes region. Over the past six years, I have managed grant-funded projects and coordinated a busy admissions process for international students seeking graduate degrees in U.S. law.

I spend my free time with son, Sawyer, who shares a passion for canoeing, camping and hiking NYS forests.  You can find us searching for new swimming spots in the summer, or practicing our downhill skiing in the winter.