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Board Members

Hank Stuart  

Hank has had a highly successful career in finance and investments but locally he is at least as well known for the extensive work he does with non-profits, foundations and charities.  He brings that focus as well as his background in leadership to the Board, where he serves as Vice-President.

Jeff Apfel

Jeff has always been drawn to history and to a sense of place, both of which the farm has in abundance. After he retired from a career in education and finance, he decided to finally take a closer look at what was happening around the corner, at Cracker Box Palace and Alasa Farms. That was it - he was hooked, joining the Board in 2020.  He currently serves as Treasurer of the Board.



Sonia Cliffel

As a successful executive in the equipment leasing industry, Sonia recognizes the need to give back to the community.  Sonia grew up on a working farm and has always loved farm animals.  You can see her around the farm visiting all our resident friends, especially Piggie Smalls, or giving tours to the countless children that visit our farm.  Sonia joined the board in 2022 and her passion is preserving the farm for future generations. Sonia is the Secretary to the Board

Barb DeRoo

Barb has been an animal care volunteer with us since 2009 and joined the board in 2022. She is a member of our Volunteer Committee and loves introducing new volunteers to Cracker Box Palace. Barb also enjoys engaging the public in discovering the vision and mission of our organization at community booths and as a farm tour guide. She brings 25 years of administrative service experience to the board.


Sara Buys - Farm Director

Sara has fond memories of toddling around Alasa Farms with her grandparents as a young child. Her love of nature and the outdoors grew with every hour spent on the farm and exploring Second and Third creeks. She trained her first horse at the age of twelve. With over twenty years of experience training and handling horses, plus her desire to be in the great outdoors, she found her way back to the farm to work as our Farm Director. You will usually find her around the horses, in a barn, checking pastures, or working in the office. 

Our amazing team of staff members include barn managers, animal care specialists, veterinarians, farriers, vet technicians, and office staff. 

Join our Volunteer Teams 

Volunteer Opportunities 

  • Animal Care

  • Development

  • Events & Fundraising

  • Gardening & Grounds

  • Volunteer Coordination

  • Grants Writing

  • Historic Preservation

  • Trails & Conservation

  • Agriculture

  • Facility Maintenance 

  • Farm Tours

  • Community Outreach

  • Youth Programs

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