James McSweeney

Residence: Cambridge, MA

Mailing Address: PO Box 1124 Hardwick, VT 05843

E-mail: ourecology (AT)

Phone: 802-224-6888



Provide consulting services to support sustainable business, community, and green infrastructure development. 



Prescott College of the Liberal Arts and Environment, Prescott, Arizona – BA, 2005

Major: Agricultural Ecology

Minor: Community Health and Sustainability



Senior Compost Specialist

Highfields Center for Composting, Hardwick Vermont – 2009-Present 

• Provide compost systems technical support to over 30 farms and to several municipalities, commercial compost sites, schools, and colleges.

• Developed the State of Vermont’s Compost Operator Certification Program Curriculum and serve as project manager and lead presenter for the training programs.

• Serve as lead designer of Highfields’ Compost Research and Education facility. Designed and permitted the 4 acre compost site, which includes an aerated static pile composting systems, 2 acres of turned windrow pads, and a worm parlor with a continuous flow vermicomposting bed. This high profile site hosts more than a thousand visitors a year from around the                                                  world.

• Serve as Project Manager providing account and contract development, grant management, budgets, work planning, and project oversight.

• Give public presentations for composting industry, farming and academic communities.


Farm Development Consultant

SOS Farms, Kilauea Hawaii – 2009

  • Developed farm’s design concept and planned business start up and management strategies.
  • Designed and installed low pressure Japanese sprinkler irrigation system.


 Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

Sustainable Design, LLC. , Kilauea Hawaii – 2007–2009 

  • Developed and implemented soil restoration research program, targeting tropical soil microbial health, and organic matter/ nutrient management.
  • Designed, planted, and provided stewardship of one acre permaculture orchard and research plots.
  • Cover cropped and amended two acres for vegetable production and research plots.
  • Designed and planted 2 acres of nitrogen fixing alley crops for use in compost production and soil remediation research.
  • Developed farm’s compost systems.
  • Provided organic and biological pest controls.
  • Designed and installed overhead and drip irrigation.


Adjunct Plant Propagation Instructor 

Prescott College, Prescott Arizona – 2006

  • Instructor for advanced college credit course teaching techniques such as grafting and greenhouse propagation methods.


Landscape/Permaculture Installer 

Millison Ecological, LLC / Merkin Vineyards, Prescott/Jerome, Arizona – 2003-2006

  • Provided permaculture site evaluation and consultation.
  • Installed Ecological landscaping, edible and xeriscape garden plantings, stone design and terracing, rainwater catchment, and irrigation systems.
  • Developed Merkin Vineyards in Jerome Arizona.



Compost Systems & Planning: Site Sizing and Layout • Systems Design • Needs Assessments • Feasibility & Strategic Planning • Permitting Management Plans • Operator Training • Process & Quality Control

Integrated Design: Farm & Permaculture Design •  Irrigation Design & Installation • Storm Water Catchment & Treatment

Computer: Microsoft Office • Trimble SketchUp Pro & Layout • Salesforce Filemaker Pro • Work • Photoshop • WordPress

Other: Public Speaking • Carpentry • Tractor/Loader Operation • Dry Stack Stone Building


Developed & Presented – Extreme Home Composting Webinar – 2013-2014. On-line crash course in residential composting options and best practices.

Developed & Presented – “Hacking the Heat”, Vermont Organics Recycling Summit, Biocycle Conference, and Highfields Weekend Intensive – 2013. Presentations on Compost Heat Recovery Technology, highlighting several of my recent design projects as well as Highfields’ ongoing research and development in that area.

Developed & Presented – Rot Star Bootcamp – 2013. Full day training introducing community composting philosophies, tools, and implementation strategies.

Developed & Presented – Vermont Compost Operator Certification Training – 2011-2013. Full day training certifying permitted food-scrap compost site operators.

Presented – On-Farm Composting 101 – 2011. Full Day training focusing on planning and implementing composting systems into farming operations.



“Permaculture Beyond Borders”, The Permaculture Activist, May, 2005 Issue #56. Article based on senior independent study travel to investigate perennial agriculture systems in Central America. Co-authored with Max Kamen. Edited by Dave Jacke.



Compost Technical Certificate 

Maine Compost School, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Augusta, Maine – 2010

Permaculture and Advanced Permaculture Design Certificates

•  Prescott, Arizona – 72 Hour, 2002.

•  Petrolia, California – 130 Hour, 2002.


References available upon request.