various Extension programs in collage

Tolland County

The Tolland County office is located in Vernon. Several of our programs have offices in Vernon, including 4-H, and the Master Gardener Program. Soil test kits are available at the Tolland County office. The following statewide programs have offices in Tolland County: agricultural risk and management, food safety, new farms and farmers, sustainable food systems, and vegetable crops Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 

Tolland county office

24 Hyde Avenue

Vernon, CT, 06066

tolland@uconn.edu

(860) 875-3331

Faculty and Staff

Joseph Bonelli

Joseph Bonelli

Agricultural Economics Associate Extension Educator

joseph.bonelli@uconn.edu 

Joe specializes in farm business planning working with farmers across Connecticut. Since 2001, he’s been involved with the Connecticut Farm Risk Management and Crop Insurance program providing information to Connecticut farmers on important risk management topics and crop insurance. Currently, he is the Northeast SARE Connecticut State Coordinator and the Agriculture team program leader for UConn Extension.

Maryann Fusco-Rollins

Maryann Fusco-Rollins

Center Coordinator & 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator - UConn4-H

maryann.fusco@uconn.edu or 860-875-3331

 

Shuresh Ghimire

Shuresh Ghimire

Vegetable Specialist Assistant Extension Educator - CT IPM

shuresh.ghimire@uconn.edu or 860-875-3331

Shuresh obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural science from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He completed his Ph.D. in Horticulture (2015-2018) from Washington State University where he studied biodegradable plastic mulches for vegetable production. Prior to working in Washington, Shuresh was a Horticultural Development Officer for the Department of Agriculture in Nepal (2010-2015), where worked extensively with farmers conducting training and plant clinics and created extension publications. Shuresh also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Nepal. 

In addition to working as a vegetable specialist at UConn (since 2018), when hemp became a regulated agricultural crop in CT, he started working with hemp growers to create and disseminate information regarding hemp production practices and IPM.

 

John LoRusso

Oak LeafJohn LoRusso

Coordinator - Master Gardener

john.lorusso@uconn.edu

 

Lin Marino

Oak LeafLin Marino

Secretary

lin.marino@uconn.edu

 

Jiff Martin

Jiff Martin

Associate Extension Educator - Sustainable Food Systems

jiff.martin@uconn.edu 

Jiff is the Sustainable Food System Associate Educator for UConn Extension. She has worked for over 12 years on food and agriculture issues in Connecticut. Her recent work includes state supervision of FoodCorps CT with 15 service members in some of the highest need school districts of Connecticut, overseeing the development of new extension training and resources for beginner farmers, building a vibrant network of stakeholders through new CT Food System Alliance, researching community food security in Connecticut’s 169 towns, and connecting consumers to local agricultural products and experiences via the CT 10% Campaign on buyctgrown.com. Prior to joining UConn Extension, she was the State Director for American Farmland Trust (2006-2010) and the Food Policy Director at Hartford Food System (2002-2005). Jiff received her MS in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from Tufts University and an MA in Development Economics and International Trade from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy.

Indu Upadhyaya

Indu Upadhyaya

Assistant Extension Educator - Food Safety

indu.upadhyaya@uconn.edu or 860-871-0776

Indu obtained her bachelor of veterinary science and animal husbandry (equivalent to DVM) and a master’s degree in veterinary biochemistry from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research in Pondicherry. She completed her PhD from UConn in Animal Science with a focus on Food safety and Microbiology. She moved to Arkansas as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Arkansas Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, where she worked in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit. 

Before coming back to UConn as a faculty, she worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Agriculture at Tennessee Tech University for one year. She was involved with developing a research program on poultry and fresh produce safety, including writing grants and collaborating with other faculty from various disciplines. She also taught two upper-level undergraduate courses and worked on various food safety outreach and recruitment activities in Tennessee.

Indu is excited to serve as UConn’s Food Safety Extension Educator. In her spare time, she likes to read, listen to music and watch tennis. She enjoys trying different cuisines and likes to travel new places.

MacKenzie White

MacKenzie White

Program Assistant

mackenzie.white@uconn.edu