Staff and Board

Sprout City Farms Staff

meg

Meg Caley, Director of Farming Operations and Education, Denver Green School Community Farm Manager, and Co-Founder

Meg has a passion for bringing people together in the field and around the table, growing food and community simultaneously. She has been working on a variety of farms since graduating college in 2005, has experience as a classroom and outdoor educator, and loves helping children and adults alike discover their new favorite vegetable. She moved to Denver in 2008 from Cherry Grove Farm, a grassfed meat and dairy farm in central New Jersey, where she spent two years as head cheesemaker getting their cheese products going.  Meg has enjoyed her work in Colorado so far on various agriculture projects including Produce Denver, DeLaney Community Farm, Berry Patch Farms, Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, and ever the cheese nerd, as a cheesemonger and teacher of cheese-making classes at The Truffle Cheese Shop and Denver Botanic Gardens. She also sits on the advisory boards of CSU’s Building Farmers Program and DBG’s Front Range Beginning Farmers Conference, and is on the leadership committee of the Mile-High Farmers, a co-chapter of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and National Young Farmers Coalition. Meg is thrilled to be developing Sprout City Farms to work towards a thriving local food system in the Denver area: sprouting city farms, rooting city farmers, and reconnecting folks to the land and food that sustain them.

As “founder and farmer-in-chief,” Meg manages all aspects of the operations and programs at the Denver Green School Community Farm and oversees staff at the Mountair Park Community Farm and the Dahlia Campus Community Farm. She can be reached at meg@sproutcityfarms.org

Katie Huszcza, Mountair Park Community Farm Manager

Katie grew up in Littleton, Colorado where she first discovered her passion for the outdoors. She pursued that passion at James Madison University in Virginia where she received a bachelors degree in environmental biology. After college, Katie moved to a farm and living community, Innisfree Village, that served adults with intellectual disabilities. It was at Innisfree where she found a passion for farming and for cultivating thriving communities. After two years at Innisfree, Katie spent three months WWOOFing in Ecuador where she improved her Spanish and expanded her crop knowledge. When Katie returned to the United States, she moved to Carbondale, Colorado where she worked at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School as the garden assistant. As the garden assistant, Katie helped run the one acre, high production garden that fed the students and staff of the boarding school. She also had the opportunity to work with the students in the garden. In 2014, Katie moved back to Denver to be close to family and for an internship through Denver Botanic Gardens and Craig Hospital. Throughout this internship, Katie got to hone her greenhouse management skills as well as work with patients with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. In 2015, Katie ran her own small market garden and sold produce at a local farmers market while managing Blue Truck Farms in Lakewood. Katie is incredibly grateful to work for Sprout City Farms as the Mountair Park Community Farm Manager and for the opportunity to follow her passion by growing food and cultivating community. She can be reached at katie@sproutcityfarms.org

 lauraLaura Lavid, Executive Director  

Laura holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University.  After college, Laura served 2 years in AmeriCorps; one with the National Civilian Community Corps in the Southeast Region, and one with Denver Urban Gardens in Denver, Colorado.  Working with community gardens, she realized her passion of connecting food and community.  She went on to work full time for Denver Urban Gardens as their Programs Coordinator.  In 2010, Laura spent the year traveling, learning Spanish and WWOOFing (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) throughout South America.  Upon returning to the US, Laura joined the staff of the American Community Gardening Association as their Programs Manager.  Laura worked at Florida Organic Growers as the Education & Outreach Program Director, overseeing their Education & Outreach programs including Fresh Access Bucks, Farmer Workshops, EBT Farmers Market Program, Internships, Development and others.  Additionally, she is a reviewer of Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development and is a Board Member of Resilient Futures International.  Laura is excited to return to Denver to join SCF as their Executive Director and looks forward to developing a thriving, just, sustainable and local food system based in community.  Laura can be contacted at laura@sproutcityfarms.org

DSC03068Renee Marcoux, Dahlia Campus Community Farm Manager  

Renee hails from Upstate New York, an agricultural paradise, but if you had told her then that her future was in farming she would have thought you were joking! After graduating from Boston University with a bachelors degree in psychology she moved to Denver to serve a year with AmeriCorps. She worked in a Head Start classroom through Catholic Charities in the Curtis Park neighborhood. Following the completion of her service year she was hired as a Head Start teacher and during those six years she developed a strong passion for social justice and sustainable food systems. Renee helped implement two school gardens and sat on the company’s food committee but as she expanded her own garden and homesteading skills, she realized she wanted to make a radical career change and become a food producer. In 2014 Renee interned with Sprout City Farms at MAP and the following year she became MAP’s apprentice. Now SCF’s own home-grown farmer will take the skills and knowledge she has learned to the Dahlia Campus Community Farm. Renee is so excited to build lasting relationships and create an accessible food system within the Park Hill community.  She can be reached at renee@sproutcityfarms.org

Sprout City Farms Board of Directors

Jessica George, President

Moving to Colorado in 2007 from San Francisco, Jessica slowly began a switch from her 10-year career as a Technical Writer to local food and farming. She served 4 years as CSA Regional Sales Manager for Grant Family Farms, selling a weekly portion of the farm’s organic harvest to residents throughout Denver and Boulder. Since that time, Jessica has worked for a number of local non-profit and social impact companies, serving as Ambassador of The Local Food Shift, Program Director for Veterans to Farmers, Account Manager for Waste Farmers, and Communication Co-Chair on the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council. After reaching her 6-year term limit as founding board member for Revision, a non-profit whose mission is to develop resident leaders, cultivate community food systems, and grow self-sufficient economies, she is thrilled to bring her experience and strong community connections to serve Sprout City Farms.

 

Neysa Bermingham, Vice President

Neysa Bermingham joins the Board bringing experience in health care transformation and a passion for the underserved. She spent the first part of her career in nonprofit development. Over the past ten years in her role at Kaiser Permanente, she’s been advocating and challenging the current health care system to provide better population based, public health interventions. Neysa recently served as the leader of the company’s strategy to invest in health care advancement for the underserved.
She is recognized for a number of public health strategic moves on behalf of Kaiser Permanente, including a five-year, investment strategy to address health care workforce shortages in El Paso, Teller, and Pueblo counties and increasing access to health care services for low-income Coloradans. Neysa enjoys the beautiful splendor of Colorado by chasing after her toddler and two dogs on hiking trails and experiencing the culinary arts created by her husband, a renowned Colorado chef.

 

ryanRyan Kaszycki, Treasurer

Ryan grew up in Denver and is currently a neighbor of the Green School farm. He along with his wife and son have been CSA members since 2012. He has a B.A. in Psychology and was exposed to issues around social and environmental justice through completing the INVST Community Leadership Program at CU Boulder. He is a CFP and works in personal finance with TIAA CREF.  Ryan is excited about the work Sprout City Farms does and is looking forward to helping it grow!

 

Jordan Macknick, Secretary

Jordan has a long history of working with the agricultural community on multiple angles of sustainability. In the past he worked in the Netherlands to develop joint venture partnerships among sustainable farmers, logistics companies, food processors, and retail establishments. In Minnesota, he worked for Windustry, an organization that facilitates education and discussions for farmers interested in wind energy. In his current role with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, he is working with farmers throughout the country to integrate solar energy into agricultural operations. Jordan has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Environmental Science from Hamline University and a master’s degree in Environmental Science from Yale University.

 

laurel

Laurel Mattrey

Laurel Mattrey is a Sustainability Planner with Denver Public Schools. Laurel has worked for over 10 years in the environmental nonprofit and consulting field in environmental planning, program development, grant procurement and administration, community outreach and energy education and training. Her diverse community network and strength in multi-faceted program management are evidenced by her past experiences coordinating federal policy outreach, energy efficiency education programs, community-based Superfund site organizing and county-wide land use planning processes.

 

Jeni Lamb Rogers

Jeni is an attorney with Holland & Hart, LLP in Denver. Her passion is food and agricultural law, in all its many aspects. She holds a Master of Science in Agricultural & Applied Economics, and brings a variety of experience in food and agriculture to the to help her legal clients navigate complex federal, state, and local regulatory frameworks and help their food businesses to thrive. Prior to attending law school, Jennifer worked for the food hub, Appalachian Sustainable Development, to help conventional and organic produce growers and small processed food businesses market their products to restaurant and wholesale buyers, manage risk, and practice food safety. She also started a non-profit soy processing business for farmers living with HIV in western Kenya and has worked on conservation agriculture research projects in Kenya, Uganda, and Lesotho. While working in agricultural policy,  she focused on food safety and trade issues with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and the American Seed Trade Association. During law school, Jennifer gained experience as clerk with the Environmental Protection Agency and for the Honorable John L. Kane of the District of Colorado and in creating legal toolkits to support Farm to School Programs and zoning for urban agriculture in Atlanta, Georgia.  Jennifer is trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and is a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) for Human Food. Jeni grew up in Longmont, Colorado and is excited about applying her sustainable agriculture and regulatory experience to assist Sprout City Farms!

 

Thank you to past board members and staff!
  • Milan Doshi
  • Ronda Belen
  • Gloria Rubio-Cortes
  • Jack Yeh
  • Joe Sammen
  • Nick Roberts
  • Annie Huggins
  • Jordan Gorrell (2014-2015 Farm Manager)
  • Alison Hatch (2013-2015 Director of Development and Outreach)
  • Elizabeth Poole
  • Sarah Roth
  • Daisha Versaw
  • James Hale (2011 Development and Planning Coordinator, Board Member, and Co-Founder)
  • Dan Goldhamer
  • Frank Afflitto (2014 Community Outreach Coordinator)
  • Haley Sammen
  • Jim Dunn
  • Donna Baker-Breningstall
  • Chad Hagedorn (2011 Farm Manager and Co-Founder)
  • Sandra Jalufka
  • Elaine Granata
  • Tim Noe
  • Matt de Caussin
  • Jeff Buck
  • Tori Ford
  • Jill Litt
  • Lindsay Smith