Gorge Grown Staff
Gorge Grown Staff
Gorge Grown Food Network is managed and operated by our dedicated year round staff and our wonderful volunteers.
As former Executive Director of both Hawaii SEED and The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, Sarah has extensive experience in movement-building, organizational management and agricultural policy. She directed the award‐winning school-garden program at Abernethy Elementary in Portland, and trains teachers in garden-based education as an adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark College. She is a trained Permaculture designer and has dabbled in plant breeding and seed saving. Sarah believes in the power and practice of collaborative leadership.
Communications and Outreach Manager
Hood River Farmers Market Manager
WSFMA Regional Lead- Columbia Gorge
Hannah joined Gorge Grown as the 2014-2015 a JVC Northwest AmeriCorps Volunteer and became part of the year round staff after her year of service. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she attended Marquette University and studied International Affairs, Peace Studies and Spanish. Hannah moved to the Gorge in 2013 and has since worked in areas of youth development, Latino outreach and food access. Her work with Gorge Grown is fueled by her passion for local agriculture, entrepreneurship, food access, politics, justice and wellness. Hannah loves the great outdoors and is happiest when hiking, camping, swimming and making.
Food Security Coalition Coordinator
Born and raised in the Hood River Valley, Jordan developed a deep appreciation for the locally grown food in this area- she believe that there is truly nothing better than a sun-warmed apple picked from the tree on a September day. Jordan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and has dedicated her professional career to working in the areas of community food systems, food justice and local food procurement; specifically working within school meals programs, farm to school initiatives, and food access and agriculture projects with refugee and new immigrant populations. She holds a graduate degree in Human Nutrition from West Virginia University, where she conducted research on childhood obesity risk factors in rural Appalachia. Jordan looks forward to contributing to the continued growth of a just, dignified and equitable food system in the mid-Columbia area as Coordinator of the Gorge Food Security Coalition.
Food Access Coordinator
Kiara, an Oregon gal born and raised, moved to the Gorge in 2017 as a RARE (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments) AmeriCorps member to work with the Oregon State University Extension Service of Wasco County. She attended the University of Oregon where she studied Planning, Public Policy & Management and Food Studies. Kiara has spent her collegiate and professional career working to ensure that good food is accessible to all and that the means of its production are just: work she is grateful to continue in her role with Gorge Grown. Kiara resides in The Dalles, where she’s happily soaking up the sunshine and soft colors of the “dry side” of the Gorge.
Farmers Market Assistant Manager
Audra, a Parkale native, graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Environmental Science with a focus in Food-Systems Studies. She grew up on an orchard and enjoys working in the dirt! Since college, she has worked on an organic coffee and microgreen farm in Hawaii, was a program coordinator at Cascade Mountain School, and returned to work on her family’s farm. Audra feels very connected to the land and the people of the Gorge and is looking forward to rerooting back in her hometown.
Latino Outreach Manager
Joel helps engage the Latino community in Gorge Grown programs including the Mercado del Valle (Odell Farmers Market). He serves of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Food Security Coalition. Joel has been a Community Health Worker for more than 20 years. He is co-founder of Raíces Cooperative Farm, and co-chair of the Community Advisory Committee of the regional Columbia Gorge Health Council. Joel co-facilitates trainings in diversity, equity and inclusion through The Next Door Inc.
Mercado del Valle Ambassador
Yelitza (Yeli) Boots, plays two roles in our community one as the Bilingual Outreach Specialist for the Hood River County Library and has now joined our team to help support Mercado del Valle. Yeli has a great love for her culture and ethnic background as her mother migrated from Mexico and began working in the cherry orchards in Yakima, WA. Yeli has built her career working with and supporting children and families from diverse backgrounds for over 12 years in the Oregon region. She believes in the process of building communities and community partnerships. Yeli loves spending her free time with her 3 children, husband, family & friends.
Veggie Rx Program Coordinator
A New Yorker by birth, Patty adopted the Columbia River Gorge as her home in 1996 to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Northwest Service Academy. She studied American History and Cultural Studies at SUNY Buffalo and loves looking upstream of systems that impact the quality of our lives and community. For the last 16 years, Patty worked at a local behavioral health agency. When not spending time with her family, Patty can be found in the woods hiking, biking and foraging. She’s also an avid gardener – particularly fond of turning lawns into edible gardens, fledgling landscape designer, and local food fan. She learned to stop saying “Or-e-gone” pretty soon after moving to beautiful Oregon.
White Salmon Farmers Market Manager
Kaya was born and raised in Oregon and returns to the Pacific Northwest for the summer season from Montana, where she has lived for almost a decade. She holds a B.S. in Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems from Montana State University. Kaya has worked with the Bozeman food bank’s Summer Lunch Program, Towne’s Harvest student organic farm, and as the Trips Manager for the Outdoor Recreation Program, working towards equal access in the outdoors for all. She believes in the power of community centered change to strengthen food systems and in a future where there is food and land access justice and equity. During the winter Kaya is a ski instructor, spending free time backcountry skiing and ice climbing, and during the rest of the year she can be found running, biking, and climbing with her dog, Iris, and fiance, Nate.
Mobile Farmers Market Assistant
Hood River Farmers Market Assistant
Steven landed, and has been growing food, in the Gorge for the past 5 years. Whether growing vegetables for subsistence or market, he’s driven by the relationships people have with plants and animals, and how they become food. With experience cooking publicly, catering and exploring nose to tail cooking, much of his time is spent learning about the food ways of our ancestors. He’s excited to be bringing food to the people with the mobile market and exploring ways to bring food to the table for all.