Our Mission

We envision a secure, sustainable, and inclusive food system as one in which our farms and food businesses are both ecologically and economically viable, our agricultural lands are supporting a much larger percentage of Lane County’s food needs, and all members of our community have access to locally grown and raised foods. We believe that a strong local food system contributes to the integral health of our entire community and we work to facilitate greater understanding of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of our food choices.

 

Board of Directors

Amber Friedman
President
Program Manager, FOOD For Lane County

Growing up in a small rural town in Alaska, local food was not always accessible. Except for meat from hunting and fishing, most food had to be shipped in from the “Lower 48”. The result was high prices, low quality, and lackluster variety (especially for produce). Having seen firsthand the inefficiencies and inequities of our national food systems, I believe that systemic change is necessary to move towards a sustainable and just food system. I am thrilled join the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition in supporting this important work for our communities and planet. The interconnected nature of food, poverty, health, and community both fascinates and inspires me. I bring to the board, a decade of nonprofit sector experience, a passion for poverty alleviation in all of its forms, and an appreciation for the beauty and abundance of the Willamette Valley.
Jenni Timms
Treasurer
Owner, Fair Valley Farm

Growing up in Texas, the highlight of my summer was our annual visit to family in Eugene. I remember snacking on cherries at the farmers market, picking fresh veggies and berries in my grandfather’s garden and preparing delicious meals with my grandmother. Little did I know that years later I would be farming in the same area that first sparked my love for fresh, locally grown food. I have seen firsthand the impact that WFFC makes, as it was pivotal in helping us reach local eaters when we started our small farm. I am proud and honored to be a part of an organization that does so much to help spread the local food message through our community.

 
Hayley Park
Secretary
Co-Owner at Underground Seed Co.
Technical Coordinator at the Organic Materials Review Institute

Hayley is a self-described farmer-scientist. Over the past 10 years her various jobs and studies have carried her to vegetable, flower, seed, and research farms in both Colorado and Oregon. Currently, she’s working on a Masters in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Oregon State University where her research focuses on breeding plants for organic systems, plant-microbe interactions, and farmer-participatory projects. Broadly, she hopes to contribute to larger, ongoing efforts to build a resilient, accessible, local food system. She is inspired by the work the WFFC does to achieve this goal, and is honored to be a part of an organization taking concrete steps to improve the local foodshed for all members of our community.

 

Rebecca Fallihee
Owner/Clinical Nutritionist, GUTSy Performance Nutrition
Nutrition Educator, OSU Extension Lane County

Many of my most formative memories were of food and farm life, and linked with them, an intricate understanding of all the effort it takes to get food to the table; the constant early mornings and steps it takes to get milk from the cow to the cereal bowl, the endless hours of picking green beans and gathering ground cherries, the fleeting season of raspberries and the need to pick the ripe ones before my siblings got to them, the ritual night checks during lambing season, and especially, the sheer joy of taking whatever of-the-season abundance and creating something wonderful to eat and share in the kitchen. Over the years, I explored those early lessons further through teaching agricultural science, then garden, cooking and nutrition education, and finally through assisting others as a clinical nutritionist. I see local food and farming as a connection—connecting each of us to our ecosystem, each other, and ultimately our own health and wellness. I’m honored to contribute to an organization that continues to foster these connections within our local food system. 



 
Kiya Brown

Kiya is a vegetable farmer who fell in love with farming through her ability to nourish and feed the community while watching it grow alongside the plants she is tending to. Kiya's introduction to farming began at a young age in a not for profit and community oriented setting, this opportunity is what sparked her passion not only for farming but for making local food available to everyone. As Kiya has worked her way further into the farming world she finds that these models are few and far between and thus make it very difficult for many in our local community to access the delicious and nutritious food that she sees so heavily produced in our community. Kiya is passionate about building a future where our local food system is secure and sustainable for all, one where farming is a public service and food equity is priority. Kiya is excited to join Willamette Farm and Food Coalition in bringing a sustainable and inclusive local food system that serves everyone in our community.

 

Staff

Genevieve Schaack MPA, NPM
Executive Director

When I moved to Lane County from Chicago in 2002, the only farm I’d ever visited was part of the city zoo. While dairy goats remained as much a mystery to me as zebra did into my early 20s, the city’s socio-economic landscape inspired a deep desire to support others. One of the ways that came most naturally to me was through food. While I may never shake my nostalgic fondness for iceberg lettuce, increasing access to the bountiful variety of Oregon farmland is something that I am thrilled to nurture through mutually beneficial and ecologically sustainable relationships between local producers and eaters. 

As relevant to this work as my formal experience in the nonprofit sector and education may be, so is the time I spent slinging hash in diners and for Food Not Bombs. I love taking the time to explore new foods and recipes, sharing them with friends, family, and the community at large. The last few years have made such experiences all the more precious- it is a critical time to re-connect and rebuild healthy communities everywhere. I am so excited to play a part in such efforts, bringing together my personal and professional passions and the chance to grow along with WFFC!

 

Patrick Newson
Farm to School Procurement Hub Consultant

Patrick grew up in Pleasant Hill, and there has rarely been a year in the past twenty where he wasn't doing some sort of farm or food project. After nearly a decade working in viticulture and wine distribution, Patrick now works on a fruit and nut orchard and is also pursuing berry farming and cider-making along with teaching, writing, and community organizing. As the leader of our Farm to School Procurement Hub work, he is eager to help children get better access to healthy, local food.

 

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Willamette Farm and Food Coalition
info@willamettefarmandfood.org

541-658-0715
P.O. Box 41672
Eugene, OR 97404

 
© Willamette Farm and Food Coalition 2020