Stephanie has been working in farm to school initiatives for the past 10 years— working in the soil, the classroom, and the office. She has managed educational gardens ranging from public school plots to a 2-acre Kids Farm & Living Playground, teaching food education in classrooms and on farms. With a degree in Food Systems from the University of Vermont, she brings experience in outreach with farmers, schools, and community organizations. Stephanie envisions Maine food-serving institutions incorporating educational, therapeutic, and edible gardens outside their buildings; and Maine-grown whole foods being served inside. She is most motivated by cross-sector and transdisciplinary partnerships, and brings a collaborative network approach to food system initiatives.
Jason has been a Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) employee for 17 years with the last 5 as the department’s Food Service Administrator (FSA). In his role as the FSA he has worked to expand on the local food purchasing successes he enjoyed when overseeing the food service at Mountain View Correctional Facility. While MDOC is already very close to purchasing 20% of their foods locally, MEFTI has opened his eyes to the greater potential that exists. He is excited to not only connect the correctional facilities with more purchasing opportunities, but also to help the farmers and other institutions make that connection as well. MDOC sees many benefits in providing healthier food options and education to their population.
Jason is a lifelong Mainer who loves everything outdoors and can often be found at my multi-use property in Sangerville running a tractor or tending his sawmill.
Shelley Goraj, MS, RD/LD is the Director of Food and Nutrition Services at MaineGeneral. Shelley received both her BS and MS degrees from the University of Maine at Orono and she has been a Registered Dietitian for the past 22 years. Her healthcare career has spanned from clinical, outpatient, to operations. She has been in the MaineGeneral system since 1997. She is a member of the Farms To Institution New England Network Advisory Council and is a member of the HCWH New England Food Processors Collective. She is on the Culinary Advisory Board at KVCC and precepts Dietetic Interns from the UMO system. She facilitates a high energy team that has achieved outstanding patient satisfaction scores as well as offers healthcare cafeterias that offer tasty healthy options that draw in the local public.
Andrew is currently the MOFGA Community Engagement Coordinator. Andrew grew up in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and attended Kimberton Waldorf School from pre-school through 12th grade. In 2004, Andrew's family moved to Vermont, where he attended the University of Vermont, graduating with a BS in Community & International Development. Andrew then spent two years doing AmeriCorps service: one year doing hurricane recovery work on the Gulf Coast with the National Civilian Community Corps, and one year with AmeriCorps VISTA doing poverty remediation work in Vermont. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 2011, and lived at an urban farm co-op prior to moving to Keene, New Hampshire to attend Antioch University, where he earned an MS in Environmental Studies. Andrew loves to cook and do all things related to food, including growing and processing it. He identifies as a Quaker, and believes that each of us has a human duty to be an ally to people who are suffering, and to speak up on behalf of people who are disenfranchised. His values include localism and communal resource-sharing. He currently lives in a cabin in Unity, Maine, which is close enough to MOFGA that he can bike or ski to work.
Emily began her role as Program Manager with MaineHealth in the Center for Health Improvement in 2012 and works with Let’s Go! Coordinators based at MaineHealth member hospitals. Additionally, Emily leads the initiative to increase access to healthy foods and beverages across the MaineHealth system. She is passionate about healthy eating, active living and ensuring that both kids and adults have access to health-promoting opportunities, and she loves that her job reflects this and incorporates all of these interests. Contact Emily by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristina is passionate about working at the intersections of social change, sustainable food systems, and collective healing. She currently serves as the Markets Manager for the Somali Bantu Community Association, Outreach & Research Administrator for the Cumberland County Food Security Council, and is on the Steering Committee of Maine Food Strategy and the Leadership Team of Food Fuels Learning. Previously, she engaged with her love for local food as the Production Manager and Head Chocolatier for Ambrosia of Nantucket, where she grew and wild-harvested botanicals to create artisanal products. Kristina has also interacted with food systems through her roles as a fishmonger, rural and urban farmer, cafeteria worker, and farm to table caterer. She received her B.A. in Anthropology, Sociology, and International Studies from Elmira College, her M.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, and participated in Food Solutions New England’s Network Leadership Institute.
Lauren Kaskey is the Facilities and Procurement Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care program. Healthy Food in Healthcare works with Food Service Directors nation-wide to increase local and sustainable purchasing. As the Northern New England coordinator, Lauren builds networks, facilitates programs and manages sustainable purchasing projects in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. She approaches her institutional procurement work through a food systems lens, working to find the connections between community health and wealth, equity, and food programming. Before Health Care Without Harm, Lauren managed the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 31 schools in the Boston Public School system. She holds a dual-Masters degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition and Public Health. Lauren is based in the Mad River Valley in Vermont but can be found traveling throughout New England (stopping often to take a hike). Contact Lauren by email at: email@example.com.
Dr. Julia McGuire works at the University of Maine as the Coordinator and Lecturer for Introductory Biology courses and a researcher in the Honors College Sustainable Food Systems Research Collaborative. Growing up in a home bakery in Augusta, ME, she has a bread-fueled passion for sustainable food systems, and she cares deeply about the people who work hard and contribute to them. In 2016, she earned her PhD from the University of Maine in Ecology and Environmental Sciences and a focus in Economics. In her work, she has been involved in diverse research, educational, and community projects that focus on the intersection between people and food. Julia is especially interested in working with community organizations like MEFTI, and contributing her experience with diverse qualitative and quantitative methods to support organization goals, visions, and missions.
Riley has focused much of her working life on sustainability, community organizing, food systems, and youth engagement. She was the Farm & Sea to Campus Coordinator for Farm to Institution New England (FINE) for 4 years. She served previously at both American University and Skidmore College as a Sustainability Coordinator and has helped both of those campuses start successful CSA programs with local farmers, and spent significant time at Skidmore in partnerships with students, faculty, dining services, distributors, and the Real Food Challenge to assess and analyze the local food purchases of the college and collaborate on plans to increase these purchases. Riley also worked with Center for Whole Communities and Knoll Farm in the Mad River Valley of Vermont. Riley started her own farm business, the Wily Tomato, in midcoast Maine in 2017, but is now exploring other options for sustaining her livelihood in addition to her work with MEFTI. Contact Riley by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renee Page is the Assistant Director for Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, a local public health organization that serves southern Kennebec County, where she oversees nutrition, obesity prevention, and access to local foods projects. She coordinates the Maine Farm to Institution Network and implements a local gleaning and nutrition education program in partnership with the Kennebec Sheriff’s Office. Renee approaches farm to institution work with a public health lens and sees it as a way to combat obesity and improve health through increased access to fresh, local foods and helping local communities thrive. She holds a Masters degree in Public Health and did her undergraduate work in Food Science and Human Nutrition and Business Management and Accounting. Renee is a lifelong Mainer who loves the ocean and in her free time enjoys boating, fishing, cross-country skiing, camping (the tent kind), and restoring her 1860's farmhouse with her family. Contact Renee by email at email@example.com.
Jeff is the founder and owner of Heiwa Tofu, a Rockport, ME food business that produces artisan tofu using regionally sourced organic soybeans. Jeff started Heiwa in 2008 with a mission to add value to local and regional agricultural product by wholesome and nutritious foods. Heiwa's growth has been intentionally slow and steady. It currently employees 7 and ships over 5000 pounds of delicious tofu every week to locations throughout New England. Jeff has served all roles in the company: CEO, CFO, COO, production, marketing, sales, R&D, HR, procurement and maintenance and is actively working to add names other than his own to the little boxes in Heiwa's organizational chart. Jeff's background includes a B.S. in Astrophysics from Pennsylvania State University, 3 years living and working on organic farms and 5 year's teaching high school science. He is a passionate cook, an avid vegetable gardener and forlong forager of blackberries and mushrooms. During the late summer and early fall, you'll often find him fishing for mackerel and squid at Rockport harbor with his two children, while his wife enjoys some quiet time at home not fishing for mackerel or squid.