Erin Maidlow (she/her)
Umpqua Valley Farm to School (UVF2S)
Education & Procurement Regional Hub Coordinator
My passion for Farm to School began in college at Ball State University in Indiana, where I created my own internship program based on community gardens and food access. I worked with several community gardens and helped build a garden at the local Boys & Girls Club, which provided produce and veggie starts to families with barriers to food access. We provided garden lessons and cooking classes to youth ages 6-18 as well as organizing community events to grow the Urban Gardening Initiative in the region.
After graduating from college with a degree which focused on sustainable agriculture and soils, I began an AmeriCorps term in Roseburg, Oregon working at Phoenix Charter School as the ‘Think Local Horticulturist,” where we grew thousands of pounds of produce for school meals and to sell at local farmers’ markets. My work with school gardens has continued from there and I am now the Executive Director of Umpqua Valley Farm to School, serving Douglas County by providing garden-based education, farm field trips, and working with school nutrition staff to provide healthy, local products. UVF2S also works collaboratively with several organizations throughout Southwestern Oregon to build our food system network, addressing barriers to expand capacity and infrastructure of local farms, schools, markets, and institutions.
I stand strongly by the FoodCorps motto that “Food Justice is Social Justice,” and will work towards creating a more accessible food system for all, focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I’m proud to serve our community and agriculture throughout our region.