Dear HDFFA Community,
In 2008, my first food systems project while working at Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council was to partner with the regional farmer’s market managers to improve access to local food by purchasing SNAP (food stamp) machines.
It was during this time that I met three incredible women: Dana Martin (OSU Extension), Holly Hutton (NeighborImpact) and Debbe Chadwick (Wy’East RC&D) – the co-founders of HDFFA.
Together, we conducted the first Central Oregon Food Assessment (2010) with the support of an Americorps member. This snowballed into the creation of the Central Oregon Food Policy Council in 2012, which became HDFFA in 2014.
As a co-founder and Executive Director, I have spent 13 years dedicating myself to improving our Central Oregon food system. I am incredibly proud that HDFFA went from a community-driven concept to a flourishing organization benefiting tens of thousands of people and supporting 60+ local, family farmers and ranchers.
This organization has been built on trust and relationships. I personally try to connect with every organization, farmer and rancher that we work with. I know the land and what it can produce. I know that it takes many relationships to build an organization from the ground up with trust and integrity.
I am INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL to everyone who has been involved in this journey with me and the HDFFA team.
This was and continues to be my dream job. It doesn’t feel hard for me to dedicate myself to this work and the people. That said, it is time for the next chapter – both for me and the organization. I am retiring from HDFFA as of May 1st, 2023.
I am going to spend quality time with my family, reconnect to my purpose, dig in the dirt, grow food, and use my voice, determination and passion to make a difference in our community. I am not leaving Central Oregon, and you will still see me around. I will continue work within food systems both at the local and state level. Perhaps one day you will see me in a political position.
I want to extend my gratitude to all the people who have supported HDFFA. This includes every staff and board member, every farmer who tirelessly worked with me to build this organization, and all the donors, volunteers and community members.
Much love, health and happiness to everyone.
Please consider reading this blog about the history of HDFFA