Stuart hails from the suburban jungle surrounding Washington DC. Following a strong desire the escape the rat race, Stuart moved to Southern Oregon in 1995 to complete a BS in Geology at Southern Oregon University.
Stuart’s passion for environmental and social justice led him to work as a community organizer on numerous campaigns for over a decade. His introduction to agriculture came in 2004 when he took an opportunity to work at Boone’s Farm/Siskiyou Crest Goat Dairy. There he learned first hand the opportunities and challenges of running a small scale, socially responsible agricultural operation.
In his free time, Stuart is most likely tinkering in the garden, jogging in the hills surrounding Ashland, cooking up something in the kitchen, cruising the valley on his bicycle, or exploring the depths of love with his daughter Sadie Luna and partner Kat.
Megan grew up in the heartland and earned her undergraduate degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin before heading West. After exploring several aspects of community organizing, sustainability, and education, Megan earned a Masters Degree at Portland State University, focusing on Community Food Systems and Agroecology.
The last several years, Megan has lived in the Little Applegate Valley on an organic vegetable and seed farm, working as a statewide advocate and educator for socially responsible agriculture. Over time, the training, educating and assisting of the next generation of farmers has became a major focus, and working with Rogue Farm Corps is a perfect fit. She is now living and working on an 86-acre ranch with her brothers as they establish their farm business and creamery.
Megan is currently serving on the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Steering Council and was a 2013 Toyota Together Green Fellow. When not at work, Megan likes to dig in the dirt, walk in the woods, visit the city, take in some music, and spend time with family and friends.
south willamette chapter coordinator
Taylor grew up in Pleasant Hill, Oregon on a grass seed farm. He spent a couple years after college in the Peace Corps, serving as an agroforestry extension agent in northwestern Zambia before returning to Oregon where he worked on coastal community food systems and began making plans with his brothers to start a farm of their own.
Taylor and his family now run a mid-sized orchard and ranch where they raise organic hazelnuts, apples, bison and pigs. Taylor has supported his farming habit the last few years by working with the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, Oregon State University Extension Service and several school districts on implementing Farm to School programs throughout the southern Willamette Valley. He currently serves as board president of the Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council and works seasonally for the Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District.
Taylor believes in the power of food and farming systems to shape the world we live in and is passionate about imbuing aspiring land stewards with the skills and networks they’ll need to thrive as future farmers. When he finds the time, Taylor enjoys lazy river floats and getting somewhat lost in the wilderness.
Portland chapter coordinator
Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Matt grew up helping his parents in the vegetable garden and has always had an affinity for soil. After a four-year stint at Oberlin College in Ohio for an Environmental Studies degree, Matt returned to the familiar Willamette Valley but this time at its north end in Portland. He worked as a garden and environmental educator for many local organizations including Growing Gardens and Tryon Life Community Farm. In 2008 Matt shifted focus and devoted his time to organic annual vegetable production, working with Meriwether’s Restaurant on their Skyline Farm and then on his own farm business: the urban CSA Cully Neighborhood Farm. Matt loves discovering delicious and vigorous vegetable varieties and sharing them with excited eaters. He is a member of the Portland Area CSA Coalition and the budding urban farm community in the Cully neighborhood of NE Portland.
Matt is excited to join his love of farming with his love of hands-on education to help Rogue Farm Corps expand in the Portland area. Matt lives in Portland with his wife, daughter, and small chicken flock. He enjoys playing African music on guitar, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and getting out of the city.
Central Oregon Chapter Coordinator
Gia Matzinger was born in Central California and moved to the PNW in 2000. She attended Whitman College and acquired her degree in Geology and Environmental Studies. Gia moved to Oregon in 2009 and began her love of farming interning on farms with Rogue Farm Corps shortly thereafter. She continued her farming education by completing the Ecological Horticulture program at UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, where she studied and gained interest in critical issues affecting our food system.
She has managed diversified farms in the Central Coast of California and in Central Oregon, specializing in flower production. She currently lives in Sisters, Oregon where she enjoys skiing and biking the Cascades, floating Oregon rivers, cooking up meals with friends, and long summer days.
Rogue Valley CHAPTER Coordinator
Elizabeth was raised on a small farm outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent her days learning and growing alongside her family’s goats, chickens, ducks, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees. As she left home she continued exploring her love of the land, food, people, and the ways in which they connect. She spent several years traveling and WWOOFing around the world, working in the backcountry of Alaska, and studying permaculture, natural building, intentional communities, and yoga. She eventually completed a degree in Sustainable Community Development through Prescott College, with a focus on Mentoring Future Generations.
During a visit to the Rogue Valley in 2011 she fell in love with the land and the people and decided to stay. In 2012 she founded Squawking Hawk Acres: a permaculture homestead and demonstration site, community gathering place, and venue for creative and educational events.
In 2013 Elizabeth completed the Class Series with RFC. She then served on the Board of Directors for 4 years before transitioning to staff as the Rogue Valley Chapter Coordinator. She also works for Rogue Valley Farm to School as a School Garden Educator, getting kids in the dirt growing food and eating things.
She enjoys being outside, hiking and camping, experimenting with bioregional food, working in the gardening, making things with her hands, writing, talking, laughing, and playing the banjo.
farm preservation program director
A fifth-generation Oregonian, Nellie grew up part time on her family’s hazelnut farm in Gaston. She continues to work there in her spare time and her dad is training her to eventually take over. In addition to working on her family’s farm, Nellie has WWOOFed on farms and ranches from New Zealand to Nepal to France, and worked for two seasons at Dancing Roots Farm, a diversified vegetable farm in Portland.
Nellie is also an attorney licensed in Oregon. She received a certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland.
As RFC’s Farm Preservation Program Director, Nellie is gathering and sharing information on farmland affordability, farm succession, and permanent farmland protection in Oregon, and is researching strategies to help address challenges within these areas.
Abigail has been engaged in environmental and social justice work since 1998, where she has gained a depth of experience in community organizing, coalition work and group facilitation. She has worked on issues of environmental justice, immigrant rights and food justice with a variety of local and national organizations such as Rising Tide North America, Rainforest Action Network, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Sisters Of The Road. In recent years, her focus has shifted from organizing actions and coordinating campaigns to strategic planning and development work. Abigail has lived on two farms, in North Carolina and Oregon, and is passionate about building a more just and sustainable food system.
Abigail is also a trained herbalist and medicine maker; she runs a small herbal medicine business, sees clients for one-on-one health consultations, and co-organizes a free monthly holistic health clinic in Portland. She loves hiking, backpacking, gardening, and spending time in the wild.
manager of communication arts
Duane is of the high-mountain desert of the San Luis Valley in rural, southern Colorado. He moved to the West Coast in 2006.
Duane is an activist and artist. He currently lives San Francisco, though maintains strong ties to his community in the Rogue Valley. While living in Oregon, he volunteered on working farms in the valley and for regional land-use and environmental conservation organizations.
Duane puts his creative mind to work for RFC as a web developer and graphic designer as well as offering general editorial and communications support for the organization.
jared pruch - board chair
Jessica Klinke - board treasurer
Maria Kelly - Board Secretary