Sylvester Manor ushers in a new era.

Sylvester Manor Educational Farm announces a change in leadership that brings two seasoned professionals to the organization. Stephen Searl takes over from Jo-Ann Robotti as Executive Director and Tracy McCarthy joins the staff in the newly created position of Director of Operations.

Speaking about the new team, Benjamin Dyett, Sylvester Manor’s President of the Board of Directors, states, “Their arrival at the Manor marks a smooth transition of leadership and the next step toward the Manor’s future. Stephen’s more than 15 years’ experience in land management and farming, coupled with Tracy’s deep history in business operations and marketing, is a great leap forward in moving the Manor to the next level.”

As the Manor moves into this exciting next phase, the team brings renewed energy to continue to advance our mission to cultivate, preserve and share the history of Sylvester Manor. To ensure that food, culture and art remain connected to community and the land plans are underway including:

  • Making the property more accessible to the public
  • Expanding outreach and marketing efforts to increase visitorship
  • Growing the education program, including working with local schools and enhancing a farm apprentice curriculum
  • Increasing the financial sustainability of the organization
  • Expanding collaborations with other local, regional and national organizations
  • Undergoing the next critical strategic planning process
  • Preserving and restoring the historic property

Sylvester Manor Educational Farm: Once a Native American hunting and fishing ground, Sylvester Manor has since 1652 been home to eleven generations of its original European settler family. Over time, the place has been transformed from a slaveholding provisioning plantation to an Enlightenment-era farm, then to a pioneering food industrialist’s estate and today to an organic educational farm responsive to, and supported by, our neighbors and friends worldwide. In light of this history, we envision a farm, a community, and a world where people celebrate food, arts, and inventiveness in the everyday, with a spirit of fairness and joy. For more information, visit