Alison Kosakowski Conant Talks Captain Phillips, Farming & Motherhood | Story & Podcast

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Alison Kosakowski Conant

How a Captain’s Capture and Rescue Changed the Trajectory of Alison Kosakowski Conant’s Life

Alison Kosakowski Conant was in crisis communications mode when she first arrived in Vermont.

While working for Maersk, a global shipping company, she rushed from New Jersey to Vermont in April 2009. The Maersk Alabama cargo ship was hijacked by four Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. The ship’s captain, Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vermont, was taken hostage.

As the crisis unfolded, Alison was dispatched to the captain’s home to manage the intense media spotlight on the Phillips family.

“I quickly hurried to Vermont to get on the scene and handle all of the media chaos that was raining down on this family…that was in the middle of their own epic crisis because someone they loved was in grave danger,” she says. “Things ended very well for him. He was rescued, as you know if you’ve seen the movie. So there was a great homecoming for him.”

The experience also changed the trajectory of Alison’s life. She met Ransom Conant, a farmer living and working at his family’s sixth generation dairy farm in Richmond. Alison eventually left her corporate job at Maersk and relocated to Vermont. She and Ransom married in 2012 and are now raising their two children, Catherine Claire (CC) and Merritt, on the thousand-acre Conant’s Riverside Farm.

“I thought I knew about farming a little bit in the sense that I knew people who kept a few sheep or had some horses or grew vegetables,” she says. “But it’s a different thing when you’re farming for a living. It’s not a hobby farm, it’s a lifestyle and it’s all on the line.”

Her advice for someone moving to Vermont?

“Find something you love in every season,” she says.

You can learn more about Conant’s Riverside Farm at

Happy Vermont Podcast

In this Happy Vermont podcast episode, Alison Kosakowski Conant talks about her experience with Captain Phillips, as well as her decision to eventually move to Vermont and create a life for herself as a mother, communications professional, and farmer.

You can find this podcast on SpotifyAmazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.

If you have story ideas, comments, or feedback, please let me know. You can send me an email at [email protected].

Agriculture, Chittenden County, Farms, Richmond, Vermont Podcast

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