Melina is the Director of the Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network. Melina has been active in the farm to school and school garden movement for many years. She helped to found Rogue Valley Farm to School in southern Oregon where she served as Program Director for 12 years. Melina holds a MS in Environmental Education and lives on a small homestead in southern Oregon with her husband and two children. She enjoys hiking, gardening, pottery and cooking with her family.
Wren is the Operations Manager of the Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network. After 10 years working within the insurance industry, she began her farm to school journey working at the Oregon Dept of Education helping to administer the Oregon Farm to School grants. She has loved every step since. Wren studied musical theater in New York City, and now enjoys annoying her children by belting out broadway soliloquies. She also enjoys baking, gardening, and board games with her family.
Nell collaborates with other advisory committee members and staff to support fundraising efforts of the OFSSGN, including identifying prospects, reviewing grant proposals, and supporting alignment between available funding and strategy.
As the Finance Chair, Kelso provides financial oversight for the OFSSGN, in coordination with OFSSGN staff and the Finance Committee. She drafts the budget, approves expenses, time sheets and reconciliations, and provides support to the Operations Manager as they maintain sound financial practices.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Working Group
Bailey is the OFSSGN's Equity Advisor and serves as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Working group.
Bailey studied Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability at Ohio State University and is passionate about dismantling systematic racism that has led to the wealth and resource disparities in latinx communities and hopes to continue to work for change.
Nadia coordinates social media, the quarterly newsletter, website updates and other communications.
She was the FoodCorps service member for the Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network from 2020-2022.
Jamie is the CNP Manager for Lincoln County School District. She has worn many hats at LCSD and has used her institutional knowledge to create connections and relationships between district programs to better support the physical and emotional health of LCSD students. She works closely with the district's Food Service Management Company to create a sustainable plan to bring school garden grown produce into the lunch lines. This work has created K-12 student stakeholders by inviting children into the process of growing and nurturing gardens. She helps the schools navigate the process of grant management, working with administrators, facilities supervisors and teachers to get gardens built and fresh local foods into school meals.
In addition, she supports the larger school district family by building strong community partnerships, managing the district food pantry, and working closely with the district's homeless advocacy. She believes there is no reason for any of our students to go hungry and works hard to ensure ALL students have access to food.
Jamie is proud to call the beautiful Central Oregon Coast her home with her husband and three children. In her free time, she enjoys her own garden, tending her vegetables and herbs, foraging in the surrounding forest, reading, or sitting by a campfire and enjoying good friends.
Suzanne has served as the Grants Manager for EMSWCD for over seven years. She oversees grants for restoration, urban gardening, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and environmental education. She served on the EMSWCD’s Equity Team for four years and has led changes toward more equitable grantmaking. Her Masters Degree is in Wildland Resource Science from U.C. Berkeley. A resident of Northeast Portland, Suzanne loves to garden, hike and read.
Michelle (She/Her) is the current Executive Director at Grow Portland, a role she's held for three years. A fifth-generation Oregonian, Michelle holds a degree in International Studies, and has over two decades of nonprofit experience. Michelle spent the initial years of her career at numerous Pacific Northwest camps and retreat centers supporting outdoor education, youth and family programming, fundraising events, and retreat center management. Since 2008, Michelle has served throughout the Portland community, primarily in social services and refugee resettlement including roles in volunteer coordination, program management and staff support, community outreach, development, and grant writing and oversight.
Michelle serves as the Board President for the Rose City Rollers, empowering youth and adults through sport and community building. Michelle is a passionate urban gardener, coach, outdoors person, and prides herself on being the world’s greatest aunt.
Kelso is currently a graduate student studying domestic policy, with a focus on inclusive urban policy. Before that, she worked for FoodCorps for 8 years, both on the Finance team and as an AmeriCorps service member in Arkansas, connecting kids to food in schools. She has experience both working directly with kids as a food educator, and on nonprofit management (budgets, audits, financial management, grants, strategy). She is happiest in the PNW mountains, swimming in alpine lakes and hiking along ridgelines.
Rebecca has been working with Rogue Valley Farm to School for most of its life as an organization (over a decade) and it has been exciting and amazing to watch it evolve.
I love working together as a small team to be creative and find the best way to connect kids with food, gardens, and farms. Being outside with students and watching them make a connection or find a peaceful contented moment is what makes this work meaningful for me.
As Program Officer for Gray Family Foundation, Nell is committed to increasing access to resources and opportunities that unify youth and communities in their efforts to be strong stewards of their environments, their health, and each other. She has worked as a garden-based educator, program manager, evaluator, and grant manager in schools, youth-serving organizations, local government, and at a national child health nonprofit. Nell has a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy from Portland State University, with focus on food justice and place-based education and proudly serves on the Think Tank (formerly known as the Board of Directors) for Growing Gardens. She lives in Northeast Portland with her family and loves to grow veggies in her garden, play on her basketball team, and hang out in the forest with her kid.
You can often find Aaron canning and fermenting whatever comes across his kitchen counter, exploring new trails across the state, or looking for a new book to read (preferable in a hammock). When he’s not outside or in the kitchen, Aaron works with communities around the state to place emerging AmeriCorps leaders in schools, where they support young folks in building a healthy relationship with their food. It’s an honor to serve on the Network Steering Committee, as we continue to build our farm to school community across Oregon.
Michelle is a mom on a mission to make it easy to raise happy, healthy kids and help our farmers prosper. For over 25 years she has gotten her hands dirty on farms 4-4,000 acres in size, taught in school gardens, researched ways to make it easier to get local foods on our tables, and then advocated for policies that do just that. Michelle helped craft the first farm to school and school garden legislation in Oregon, establish the Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network, and shape the farm to school program at the Oregon Department of Education. She served as the first Western Regional Lead to the National Farm to School Network, directed FoodCorps in Oregon, and served as the Farm to School Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Ecotrust. Michelle also helped launch a national school food company, and founded the country’s first farm to school edutainment production company to close the gap between nutrition education in the cafeteria, classroom and community. She lives in the heart of the Willamette Valley with her two growing boys. Michelle’s favorite vegetable to grow is eggplant.
Karen has spent two decades working to expand access, availability and affordability of fresh local farm products in Eastern Oregon. Her work began as a founder and developer of regional farmers’ markets, and director of the OR Farmers’ Markets Association, leading to work with the regional food bank conducting community food assessments, and feasibility studies for food system infrastructure and expansion. Working now to raise awareness of and participation in the local food system with school administration, teachers and students, providing experiential education in the garden, classrooms and the kitchen!