About The New Ag School

In today’s increasingly urbanized society, many individuals aren’t exposed to the meaningful work of simple gardening, farming, raising animals, or other agri-business activities. In fact, a substantial portion of young Americans are not being “handed down” the traditions of an agriculture based economy, which are vital to our economy.

The New Ag School (NAS) is working to change that in Loudoun County. NAS is an innovative hands-on program dedicated to raising up leaders who understand, appreciate and can do the work needed to support agribusiness today and into the future here.

NAS provides exposure to authentic farm industry, as well as an introduction of what it takes to run a business – whether a winery, bed and breakfast, or farm.

Education through Mentoring

A mentor farmer employs and trains our future agribusiness leaders. Working side-by-side with their mentor, mentees come away with a greater appreciation for all that farmers and rural business owners accomplish for themselves, their businesses, and the larger community. With dedicated first-hand training and insight, mentees acquire a wealth of knowledge and an invaluable skill set that can be applied to many different agricultural settings.

Through NAS, they truly have the opportunity to be the future agribusiness leaders of Loudoun County.

Our Mission

The New Ag School (NAS) seeks to develop a workforce that can meet the needs of the shared economy of Loudoun County. Specifically, NAS Focuses on agribusiness education particularly in the areas of farming, value added process and hospitality.

NAS recognizes and celebrates the following advantages to an agriculture-based economy:

  • exposure to locally grown food
  • reconnection to nature
  • preservation of open space for others to enjoy
  • exposure to how agribusiness, farms and agri-tourism provide value to Loudoun County

NAS is dedicated to training individuals to be equipped, skilled and passionate about working the land and relating with consumers as a career.

We are also committed to the continuous training of our trainers.

Program participants become competent stewards who embody the culture of sustainability through their experience in the learning program.

Board Members

Kellie Hinkle

Agricultural Development Officer

Loudoun County, Virginia Economic Development

Kellie Hinkle serves as the agricultural development officer and interim assistant director for Loudoun Economic Development. She manages the team responsible for promoting the sustainable economic growth and vitality of Loudoun’s rural economy. Her professional career includes 10 years of state and local experience in implementation and development of new and existing businesses and promotional programs assisting specialty food producers and agribusiness groups. Hinkle works with the Loudoun Winery Association, Blue Ridge Cattleman’s Association, Loudoun Christmas Tree Growers, Loudoun Sheep Producers and the newly organized Loudoun Equine Alliance. She is managing the implementation of Loudoun’s rural economy business development strategy and organizes the annual Forum for Rural Innovation.

Nancy Dull Gallagher

Financial Advisor

Capitol Financial Partners

Nancy has been a board member with the New Ag School since 2014. As the boards financial manager, Nancy coordinates the books, budgets and tax returns for the organization. Nancy also is a financial advisor by trade; mentoring families in sowing the seeds of their current resources toward the goal of a harvest of financial abundance at various stages of life. Nancy grew up on a small farm outside of Philadelphia, PA (Lansdale), and still grows hops to this day in her backyard in Sterling, VA

Beth Sastre

Commercial Horticulturist

Loudoun County, Virginia Cooperative Extension Office

Beth was born in Mexico City and grew up in Hidalgo State. She holds a B.S degree in Agronomy with a minor in Horticulture from the Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro-Torreon Coahuila, Mexico. After graduating, Beth pursued her Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Postharvest Physiology at the Food and Development Research Center (CIAD) in Hermosillo, Son. Mexico. Her work experience includes horticulture research and extension. Beth joined the VCE-Loudoun County Office in 2013 and she continues supporting research and providing extension advice and bilingual training for farmers, beginner farmers, and agricultural workers on every area of horticulture in Loudoun.

Doug Fabbioli

Winemaker & Owner

Fabbioli Cellars

Doug Fabbioli has been a great asset to the rural economy of Loudoun County and has passed his influence on throughout the Mid-Atlantic Wine Region. Since moving to Northern Virginia 20 years ago, Doug has continuously demonstrated leadership and excellence in the viticulture industry; establishing a successful vineyard and farm winery with the help of his wife. Since 2003, Doug has also spent tremendous effort working alongside the Loudoun County Rural Economic Development Council. As the director and architect of Loudoun’s Rural Economic Business Development Strategy, Doug has effectively laid a ground floor operational plan that helps start new businesses and influence the attitudes of local legislature. This plan will be used as a model for nearby regions to develop their own productive farms and jumpstart rural businesses. Doug’s passion for agriculture also leads him to mentor youth interested in the rural economy, as he holds a deep belief that, “We want the youth of today to sustain the lands that we all work so hard to earn a living off of as well as protect for the future.”

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