TO GIVE TO THE BILL DUESING FUND, please CLICK HERE to give online. To give in Bill's honor by check, please mail your gift payable to CT NOFA at 126 Derby Avenue, Derby, CT 06418. Thank you kindly for your generosity.


The Friends of Bill Duesing Fund:
In honor of his life and his work

Bill founded CT NOFA: The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, Inc. in 1982 and when he announced that he's facing the last moments of his life, he said, “I trust my colleagues in this mission will continue their efforts to realize a sustainable and joyful future for all”.

Unfortunately, Bill moved on to greener pastures on July 12, 2018. While he lived a long and wonderful life with his family, we feel that he simply left us too soon!

"My sole real regret is that I leave this Earth having only partially completed the transition to a solar-powered society grounded in organic agriculture.”  Bill Duesing, May 10, 2018

In his honor, Bill's many friends have joined with CT NOFA to carry on his legacy through the creation of “The Friends of Bill Duesing Fund” and "The Bill Duesing Organic Living on the Earth Award". The fund will support CT NOFA as they continue his organic legacy and the award will be given annually to an organic farmer, landscaper, advocate, or organization who is devoted to Bill's goals of loving and treating the earth in a natural way.

Bill's passion for conservation, organic farming and land care, activism and advocacy, and education can be seen throughout Connecticut in his life's work. From the expansion of organic farms and landscapers to the founding of CT NOFA and Common Ground High School to the legislative efforts that led to tangible results on the environment, we would like to honor Bill by continuing unfinished work through education and advocacy made possible by The Friends of Bill Duesing Fund.


About Memorial Services for Bill:
We are pleased to announce the memorial celebration plans for our friend, Bill. Please join his wife Suzanne and their family to celebrate his amazing life on Sept. 8 at 4:00 PM at the Common Ground High School in New Haven, CT
The gathering begins at 4 pm and the memorial begins soon thereafter. This is a Bill-inspired, NOFA-style event so please come ready for a late summer, harvest potluck picnic following the memorial services. For the Potluck, please bring:

  • a potluck dish to share (with a list of ingredients noting: gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, etc)
  • your place settings (plate & bowl), cups, cutlery etc.
  • Please BYOB of any kind is welcome

While RSVPs are not required, they much appreciated to CT NOFA by phone or email. Questions? Please contact CT NOFA any day of the week at: ctnofa@ctnofa.org or leave a voicemail at 203-308-2584.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE FOR BILL AND HIS LIFE'S WORK ~ WE HOPE TO SEE YOU SEPT. 8.


More about Bill Duesing:

A pioneer in organic agriculture in New England, Bill Duesing has been as an environmental educator, writer, artist, and lecturer for over four decades. After graduating from Yale University (1964), Duesing worked as a Cooperative Extension agent before turning to organic principles in the early 1970s, and from 1979 to 1983, he served as Extension Energy Agent for New Haven County, working with the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service.

Working toward a socially just and environmentally sound future, Duesing has long emphasized sustainability and greater local food sufficiency. He has been instrumental in developing organic standards for gardening and land care and served as both founding president and later executive director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association Connecticut and president of the NOFA Interstate Council. He has also been a notable proponent of using simple solar technologies to address problems ranging from health care to pollution and has been involved in education to put theory into practice.  Between 1983 and 1987, Duesing developed an innovative series of hands-on courses in food, energy, and agriculture for schools in New Haven and Bridgeport as part of the University of Connecticut High School in the Community curriculum development project.

During the 1990s, Duesing produced two radio shows, "Living on the Earth" (WSHU) and "The Politics of Food" (WPKN), and he is the author of Living on the Earth: Eclectic Essays for a Sustainable and Joyful Future (1993). His collection of essays Living on the Earth was published by Long River Press in 1993, and he has been a regular contributor to the Low Tech Page for plain: The Magazine of Life, Land, and Spirit. For many years, Bill and his wife Suzanne operated Old Solar Farm in Oxford, Connecticut.

Links related to Bill:


The Formal Obituary, written by Bill and family:

William Norton Duesing, known to all as Bill, died at 75 on July 12, 2018 at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Connecticut.   Bill was born on August 19,1942 in Detroit, Michigan and was predeceased by his parents, Howard Ernest Duesing and Charlotte Morehouse Duesing.

Bill is survived by his wife, Suzanne Mann Skorpen Duesing and his children:  Daniel Ethan Duesing and his wife, Kassie Murphy of Simsbury, Connecticut and Kira Suzanne Skorpen Spinner and her husband James of Middlebury, Connecticut.  He will be sorely missed by his six grandchildren: Nicholas, Brian and Charlie Spinner and Zoe, Charlotte and Kingston Duesing.

He also leaves his sister Alice Duesing Sloan and her husband Paul of Alvin, Texas and their children and grandchildren, as well as his brother John Duesing and his wife Pam Clark of West Des Moines, Iowa.

Bill was most at home outdoors in the natural environment.  He enjoyed spending time on the Old Solar Farm in his gardens, walking in the woods, and tent camping throughout his life.

After graduating from Yale College with a B.A. in Fine Arts, he briefly attended the Yale School of Architecture.  As a member of the artists’ group Pulsa, he created large-scale environmental art between 1967 and 1972 in museums and public spaces in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Halifax.  Documents from that work were displayed recently at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.  His art work with Pulsa is archived at:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=pulsa+group.  He also created environmental art installations in Lincoln Center, Central Park, and the New Haven Green during the 1970s and 1980s.  Bill continued his interest in architecture by teaching solar design at Paier College of Art and the Milden Institute. 

For 45 years, as an organic farmer, author, artist and environmental activist, Bill promoted organic agriculture, solar energy, and greater local food sufficiency in Connecticut and the Northeast through lectures, writings, media and community work.  With his wife, Suzanne, he grew vegetables, fruits and flowers on their farm, while tirelessly advocating for a local and organic food system.

Bill was the founding president of Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) in 1982 and served for 12 years as the Executive Director.  For many years, Bill served on the NOFA Interstate Council, including a decade as President.  The Council awarded Bill the first “Bill Duesing Lifetime Achievement Award” at its 2015 Summer Conference.  In his later years, he worked as the CT NOFA Organic Advocate, and as a consultant, mentoring new farmers. Bill shared personal reflections on his nearly four decades of involvement in the organic food movement with CT NOFA in his report about the 41st NOFA Summer Conference, which is available at: http://ctnofa1982.blogspot.com.

For three years, Bill chaired the board of the Community Farm of Simsbury which trains farmers, educates urban and suburban students, and provides certified organic food to the needy. He was especially proud of his work with Once Upon a Farm in Bethany, Connecticut where he was recently honored by having his name grace the Learning and Education Center there. Bill was awarded the Bronze Medal by the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut in 2010 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from PACE (People's Action for Clean Energy) in 2014.  He was a founding board member and past president of of the Connecticut Farmland Trust.  He also served on the steering committee of the Connecticut Working Lands Alliance.  Bill is the author of Living on the Earth: Eclectic Essays for a Sustainable and Joyful Future.  These essays, written decades ago, are still relevant today. 

Bill’s passion for educating youth was evident in his work as founding chair of the New Haven Ecology project and the establishment of one of the first charter schools in the state.  The Common Ground High School continues to successfully educate young people on its farm located in New Haven.  In addition, Bill gardened for years with Suzanne and her elementary students in Bridgeport. 

For 10 years, Bill wrote and delivered a weekly environmental essay on public radio from Fairfield, CT.  Until recently, he could be heard every other week on WPKN radio on the Organic Farm Stand with Guy Beardsley and Richard Hill.  Richard has created a legacy piece on Bill’s life which is now available as a podcast on WPKN.  The University of Massachusetts library has archived five years of his weekly "Living on the Earth" radio essays and recordings of 14 "Politics of Food" radio shows on this page: http://scua.library.umass.edu/digital/duesing.

A memorial to celebrate Bill’s amazing life will be held at the Common Ground High School in New Haven sometime in September, 2018.

Those who wish to continue Bill’s life’s work can join his many friends and CT NOFA to carry on his legacy. Each year at CT NOFA’s Winter Conference, “The Bill Duesing Organic Living On The Earth Award” will be given to a deserving farmer, organic landscaper, advocate or an organization which demonstrates devotion to Bill’s goals of loving and treating the earth respectfully. 

If you are inspired by his dedication, his grace and his strength, you can support this award by donating in his honor to Bill Duesing Fund at CT NOFA: The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut at: bit.ly/billduesingfund.


TO GIVE TO THE BILL DUESING FUND, please CLICK HERE to give online. To give in Bill's honor by check, please mail your gift payable to CT NOFA at 126 Derby Avenue, Derby, CT 06418. Thank you kindly for your generosity.