Grow the Coast Conference

Farms, Food & Community



Lauren Gwin, Associate Director, OSU Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems
Lauren Gwin is the Associate Director of the Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems, Extension Food Systems Specialist, and an Assistant Professor at OSU. Her extension and research focus on policy and regulations, small-scale processing, and distribution and marketing within local and regional food systems. She also leads the national Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network.

Teresa Retzlaff, 46 North Farm and North Coast Food Web
An opportunity to pursue her passion for organic farming led Teresa to the Oregon Coast in 2003, where she and her husband Packy Coleman joined an emerging community of small farms and local food enthusiasts.  After farming on leased land in Seaside for six years, she and Packy purchased land near Astoria and began 46 North Farm, selling edible plant starts, produce and flowers to the north coast community.

Dirk Rohne, Clatsop County Commissioner and Dairy Farmer
Dirk and Amanda Rohne own and operate Brownsmead Island Farm in the community of Brownsmead along the Columbia River. Besides completing studies at OSU he worked in internship opportunities in Pennsylvania, Germany, and New Zealand. In 2001 he returned to purchase the family dairy farm. He has served on Clatsop Community College Board and is currently serving his 2nd term as a Clatsop County Commissioner.

Laura Swanson, Manzanita Farmers Market Manager
Manager of Manzanita Farmers Market for six years.  Master Gardener for over 10 years, involved with variety of food and agriculture groups and oganizations; school and community gardens; over 25 years in public relations/advertising/marketing; freelance writer for local, regional and national publications.


Sam Angima, Regional Administrator, OSU Extension, North Coast Region
Dr. Angima provides leadership support for county operations and supports off-campus faculty and their programs in Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook and Lincoln Counties.  Dr. Angima is an agronomist by profession and understands small farm processes and issues that hinder growth.  In his current role as an administrator, Dr. Angima creatively works with faculty and staff, community groups and businesses on several fronts.  His success stems from his deep and compassionate understanding of group dynamics as they relate to the people and existing local settings.

Marc Bates, Bates Consulting LLC
Marc has been associated with Washington State University Creamery for 44 years. He has delivered cheesemaking workshops for universities and community colleges over the last 30 years in the states of WA, ID, OR and CA. Recently he spent 2 years helping OSU develop and produce Beaver Classic cheese.

Mary Blake, Sunny Pool Manager
Mary Blake, community leader, organizer and activist.  Mary retired two years ago after serving as General Manager of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District for 28 years.  During her public service, she helped start the two community gardens in Seaside and helped with the formation of the Friends of Clatsop Community Gardens.  She is currently the Sunny Pool manager, on the board of the Friends of Clatsop Community Gardens and a board member of the South County Food Bank, coordinating the capital and operational campaign “Imagine our community without Hunger”.

Chip Bubl, OSU Extension Columbia County Agriculture & Livestock
Chip Bubl has been an agricultural Extension agent with Oregon State University for over 30 years. He is housed in Columbia County and does work in the Coast and Metro regions as well. His areas of interest include crops, landscape, and invasive weed management, vegetable production, productive forage and livestock management, and vertebrate pest management.

Melissa Fery, OSU Extension Small Farms
Melissa is with the OSU Extension Service, Small Farms Program and works with farmers primarily in Benton, Lane and Linn counties. She has coordinated two statewide agritourism summits to bring together farmers, policy makers and other stakeholders interested in helping make agritourism a viable opportunity in Oregon. Melissa is currently a member of the Statewide Agritourism Work Group convened by Travel Oregon.

Jared Gardner, Nehalem River Ranch
Jared is a policy consultant with a focus on access to capital issues. He has coordinated grant funded research and organized legislative briefings on financing issues facing new and small farmers and has drafted economic development legislation in a handful of states.

Matt Gordon, Portland Chapter Coordinator, Rogue Farm Corps
Matt coordinates the Rogue Farm Corps’ Portland-area FarmsNext internship program, a full season of hands-on training and skill-based education in sustainable agriculture for aspiring farmers and ranchers.  He also operates an urban direct-market produce farm in NE Portland.

Rima Green, Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation
Rima Green is the Operations Manager for Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation. Lettuce Grow delivers gardening educations to inmates in 12 State Correctional Institutions and one youth facility across the state of  Oregon. Along with providing various gardening/horticulture classes Lettuce Grow Volunteers work with inmates in the correctional institution’s gardens. Rima Green retired from the high tech industry, and  is also an active member of the  the Oregon Master Gardener program and works as a independent consultant focused on Native American Issues.

Chris Hansen, Mosaic Farms
Chris Hansen owns Mosaic Farms; a pasture-based hog operation and Non-GMO livestock feed mill in Philomath, OR. Mosaic Farms is inspired by animal ethics and has found that: Low stress, Clean conditions, and Quality feed lead to tasty pork every time. Chris has been milling his own feed since day one and has developed Non-GMO poultry and hog formulas based on locally available ingredients. He likes to share his experience related to feeds and raising hogs so that others might also find the joy of raising happy pigs.

Suzanne Hayes, Farm Loan Officer, Farm Service Agency
BS in Agricultural Resource Economics (Farm Business Management) from OSU.
Farm Loan Officer with USDA – Farm Service Agency since 1990.
Processes microloans, as well as, traditional operating loans and farm ownership loans.

James Hermes, OSU Extension Poultry Specialist
Jim Hermes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences at Oregon State University. Dr. Hermes holds BS and MS degrees in Avian Science and a PhD in Genetics (Avian Development) from UC Davis. Starting as a District Poultry Extension Agent in 1987, he has been Extension Poultry Specialist since 1993 with periods as Extension Staff Chair in three counties, Yamhill, Lincoln, and Polk. His current research interests include, avian incubation and the identification and use of locally grown alternative feed ingredients for poultry.

Scottie Jones, Leaping Lamb Farm
Scottie Jones raises locker lamb in the Coast Range community of Alsea and owns Leaping Lamb Farm with her husband. She has hosted a farm stay at Leaping Lamb since 2006 as a way to diversify income on the farm…and give urbanites a farm experience in the country. In 2010 she founded Farm Stay U.S. (aka the U.S. Farm Stay Association), a website and organization with a dual purpose: to help travelers find farm stay opportunities around the country, and to help farmers and ranchers set up and market their lodging.

Chris Konieczka, Clackamas Community College
Chris is the ‘Urban Agriculture’ faculty instructor for the Clackamas Community College Horticulture department. He has small farm vegetable production experience, as well as experience working in University Extension as a Small Farms educator. He is interested in increasing the amount of food produced and consumed close to home.

Carolina Lees, Corvus Landing Farm
Carolina Lees has been farming in the Oregon Coast Range since 2003.  She started by working on farms ranging from 3 to 180 acres, and moved to Neskowin in 2008 to start her own operation.  With her husband Mike, she operates one-acre Corvus Landing Farm, in its fifth year growing vegetables for direct market sales.  Her favorite part of farming is trying to make all the puzzle pieces fit together in spite of constantly changing conditions.  She’s excited to try her hand at the puzzle of the new, larger acreage they purchased last spring.

Tonia Lordy, Home Orchard Society
Tonia has been cultivating her relationship with plants for the last 15 years. She is a graduate of Clackamas Community College’s Horticulture program where she found her niche with fruiting plants. As manager for the Home Orchard Society’s 1.6 acre demonstration orchard in Oregon City she cares for an amazing collection of over 500 fruiting trees, shrubs, and vines with many antique and heirloom varieties. The arboretum serves as a learning laboratory for budding fruit enthusiasts and Tonia is there to help empower them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to become successful fruit growers. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, hunting for wild mushrooms and experimenting in the kitchen.

Karen Matthews, Alder Creek Farm, Lower Nehalem Community Trust
Karen Matthews is the Garden Coordinator for Lower Nehalem Community Trust. As a lifelong gardener and a “forever learner” her focus is on teaching people how to grow food organically in our coastal climate while learning as much from her gardeners as she teaches each week. The Community Garden at LNCT just finished the 8th year of operation and has grown to over 30 members.

John Medeiros, PT, PhD, Professor, Pacific University
Dr. Medeiros taught at Stanford University (1978-1985), ran his own physical therapy clinic (1985-1989), headed the Stanford Motion Analysis Lab (1978-1989), designed zero gravity exercise equipment for NASA, and for the past 25 years has been a Distinguished Professor of Physical Therapy at Pacific University. Dr. Medeiros teaches clinical biomechanics and ethics at Pacific University. In addition, he has designed a cold cuff for patients with shoulder pain which can be worn while working.

Nellie McAdams, Staff Attorney & Next Generation Program Director, Friends of Family Farmers
A fifth-generation Oregonian, Nellie McAdams grew up working on her family’s 400-acre farm in Gaston, planting hazelnuts with her parents, hoeing young trees, and operating the sweeper for harvest every fall. In addition to her work on her family’s hazelnut farm, Nellie has worked two seasons on a direct-market vegetable farm in Troutdale, and through WWOOF on farms in Wales, France, New Zealand, Hawaii and Nepal. Nellie is also an attorney licensed in Oregon who received her law degree with a certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law from Lewis & Clark Law School.

Laurie McKenzie, Organic Seed Alliance
Laurie is on the research and education team at Organic Seed Alliance (OSA). She recently earned a master’s degree in plant breeding and genetics from Oregon State University, where her research focus was on breeding for organic systems and has over 10 years of experience in the organic farming and seed world. At OSA Laurie coordinates field work for breeding and variety trial projects, writes educational guides and materials, and teaches on-farm workshops. She lives in Port Townsend, WA where she can often be found frolicking on the beach with her dog.

Tanya Murray, OSU Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems
Tanya Murray is a graduate student in Portland State University’s Master of Business Administration Program. Tanya’s focus in her graduate program is on developing the business acumen necessary to promote the economic viability of local farms and regional food systems. Her passion for supporting local, sustainable farming is rooted in nearly 15 years of work on farms in California, Connecticut, and Oregon. Tanya is also currently working as an intern with OSU’s Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems where she has been involved in a project focused on helping growers assess their marketing costs.

Cyntia Ocamb, OSU Extension Plant Pathologist
Cyntia Ocamb provides statewide leadership in developing an extension program in the diagnosis and management of diseases of field and vegetable crops. Her extension plant pathology research program assists with diseases of vegetables and field crops, based on needs in Oregon, and includes applied research on the pathogen biology and disease management of new and/or emerging problems in sweet corn (Fusarium crown and stalk node rot), grasses grown for seed (Barley yellow dwarf), and other specialty seed crops including Brassica species (Black leg, Fusarium wilt, and Light leaf spot).

Susan O’Leary, Nestucca Valley Elementary School
Susan O’Leary has been a public educator for 25 years.  Currently she is a first and second grade teacher at Nestucca Valley Elementary School and also serves as the school’s garden coordinator.  Along with a team of colleagues, parents, community volunteers, and Food Corp Service Members, she is involved in revitalizing, utilizing, and implementing a school yard garden and curriculum for grades Kindergarten through sixth.

Amy Pearl, Co-founder/CEO, Hatch Innovation
Amy Pearl founded Hatch Innovation (formerly Springboard Innovation) ten years ago to help people create enterprises that improve communities – businesses that increase the health and wealth of all. She has developed unique programs to help people become social innovators, and opened Hatch, a community innovation lab in Portland, in January 2014. Over the last four years she has been working in alternative capital strategies, exploring the limited legal means of enabling ordinary citizens to become local investors. Working with a statewide team, she recently wrote a draft rule to create the first local securities crowdfunding law to allow all Oregonians to invest in Oregon-grown businesses, including farms

Lauren Sorg, Community & Enterprise Development Coordinator, Food Roots
Lauren coordinates Food Roots’ business development, community food and market development programming. She is also the manager of Tillamook Farmers’ Market. Before coming to Oregon, Lauren was a Farmers Market Manager in Washington, D.C., and worked in sustainable agriculture extension as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay from 2007-2009.

Garry Stephenson, Director, OSU Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems
Garry Stephenson is a professor at Oregon State University and Extension Small Farms Specialist. As Director of the Center for Small Farms, he coordinates the OSU Small Farms Program. The Small Farms Program provides educational outreach and applied research emphasizing sustainable agriculture and community food systems for small scale farmers across Oregon. Programs include new and beginning farmer education, women’s agricultural networks, and organic cropping research. Stephenson’s interests span alternative approaches to farming and marketing.

Emily Triggs, Local Connector, Community Sourced Capital
Emily is a leader in community finance and local investing in Oregon, she is based out of Portland. Community Sourced Capital (CSC) provides loans to small business using funds sourced directly from their community. Businesses run campaigns on CSC’s web platform and invite local supporters to buy increments ‘Squares’ of the target loan, lenders are then paid back monthly as the loan is repaid by the business. In 2014 Emily organized Fast Pitch Portland, a business plan competition for Social Entrepreneurs and Money on a Mission, a gathering of ten Oregon community lenders.