PATRICK ALFORD, Production Manager
Patrick began his work with MSTFP in August of 2015, shortly after receiving his degree in Environmental Science from Fordham University. Throughout his youth, he had an interest in the natural world, eventually leading him to become involved in conservation, environmental education, and outdoor leadership. Before beginning college, he interned as an environmental educator at a nature center in his hometown. While attending college, Patrick developed a background in researching the evolutionary genetics and ecological habitats of various fish and crocodile species. He further pursued his love for nature by organizing and leading outdoor backpacking, climbing, and hiking trips through the Outdoors Club at his university. During a service project in Puebla, Mexico, Patrick discovered a strong passion for sustainable agriculture and food justice by developing an ecological center with local farmers and families. He aims to encourage both healthy, sustainable lifestyles and environmental conservation through education and experience.
Maryssa Schlough, Serve Colorado AmeriCorps Member
Maryssa joined the Montezuma School to Farm Project in August 2016 as an AmeriCorps Service member at Kemper Elementary School. She recently moved to the Southwest from the Cheesehead State, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s in Global Studies and a focus on Food Security. Maryssa has a background in digging in the dirt and teaching kids about the importance of growing food in Milwaukee with the organization Victory Garden Initiative. She loves travelling and lived extensively in Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Though she loves to experience new cultures, food and communities, Maryssa is excited to spread her roots in the Montezuma Area this coming year. She is also excited to get creative with experiential education and open kids' minds to whole foods from local gardens.Maryssa joined the Montezuma School to Farm Project in August 2016 as an AmeriCorps Service member at Kemper Elementary. Maryssa moved to Dolores from Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s in Global Studies with a focus on Food Security. She has a background in digging in the dirt and teaching kids about the importance of growing food in the urban environment of Milwaukee with the organization, Victory Garden Initiative. She also loves travelling and has extensively lived in Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Though she loves to travel and experience new cultures, food and communities she is excited to spread her roots in the Montezuma County area for the next year. She is also excited to get creative with experiential education but more specifically opening kids’ minds about whole foods from a source close to home.
Drew Watson, SERVE COLORADO AMERICORPS MEMBER
Drew started serving MSTFP as an AmeriCorps service member in August of 2017, the fall after graduating from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Sociology. Although he loved university classes, Drew felt stymied by an inability to take action on what he had learned. This led him to MSTFP, where he felt he could make the greatest impact in the most positive way. That desire to serve in a rural, agricultural community stems from his work on a small-scale organic farm, Bittersweet Farm, in Heuvelton, New York, where he worked for a year while finishing his degree. He also lived in an intentional living community at St. Lawrence, The Green House, where members worked on a local farm to pay off CSA shares, and then used the produce to feed 90 students each week and educate them on local food issues. His aim while serving at Montezuma School to Farm Project is to move children in the direction of self-sufficiency, a better understanding of food systems, and a love and appreciation for local vegetables and fruits.
Zoe Freedman Coleman, SERVE COLORADO AMERICORPS MEMBER
Zoe came to MSTFP from Massachusetts in August 2017 after studying English and Spanish at Skidmore College. From a young age, Zoe spent much of her time outside— building forts from branches, catching frogs in her hands, and jumping into rivers any time of the year. As a child, Zoe attended an elementary school that integrated communal gardening, animal care, field conservation, and natural observation into the academic curriculum, solidifying her love of the natural world as a space to explore and learn. In high school and college, Zoe worked as a field crew member on a local organic farm, and continued her love of experiential education by working as a Farm Camp counselor, teacher’s assistant at an outdoor kindergarten, and a wilderness trip leader, in order to provide others with educational experiences in nature. Whether poking holes in the soil to plant seeds, feeling the warmth of active compost, acting out the life stages of plants or cooking apples over a fire, Zoe embraces the intrinsic power of outdoor education to inspire curiosity and facilitate engaged learning in both herself and her students. As an Americorps, Zoe strongly believes in MSTFP’s commitment to empowering students in the outdoor classroom, helping families to access healthy, fresh, delicious food, and connecting students to the natural world.
Ellen Underwood, SERVE COLORADO AMERICORPS MEMBER
Ellen came to us from Eastern Pennsylvania where she had been inspired by a deep agricultural heritage and burgeoning local foods movement. Her interest in sustainable agriculture stems from a deep belief in its ability to heal many of the social, cultural, and environmental issues we face as humans today. This led her to study philosophy and environmental studies at Albright College where she sought to deeply explore the factors that create our worldviews and examine the interdisciplinary nature of how we view and use the environment. During this time, she worked for various local food producers including a mushroom farm, a raw juice business, and several organic vegetable farmers to gain hands on experience on how to successfully build a sustainable food community. She also ran the Community Permaculture Garden at Albright and managed the Sustainability House to grow as an environmental steward and develop a stronger environmental culture on campus. Upon graduating, she wanted to transform the theoretical and experiential knowledge she gained into meaningful work that would inspire others. When Montezuma School to Farm Project became a prospect, she was hooked. She felt it would be the perfect way for her to accomplish her goals and fulfill her ethics by working with student to encourage deeper inquiry, inspire environmental connection, and build a more sustainable community. She loves working here and believes the work we do has beautiful, tangible effects on students, families, and the community. She encourages everyone to join in this inspiring work through volunteering at the garden sites!
Dave Glenn, Director
Dave hails from Michigan having worked for Michigan State University for 28 years as a researcher/wheat breeder and also working as a County Extension Director in Presque Isle County overseeing 4H, Community and Economic Development, Family Nutrition Programs and serving as the regional Ag Agent. Dave is a 5th generation farmer from Michigan. He and his wife, Michelle, have worked their 80 acre farm producing vegetables intensively and organically on 2+ acres, have started and run farmers markets, and offered CSA shares and also raised various livestock - but mostly love raising sheep. Michelle and Dave also owned and operated their Farm to Table café - Chicory Café - focusing on local foods, flavor, and organic products. Other work for Dave have included international policy and capacity building, having specialized in conflict area work – having served in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, as well as many other countries. Dave has one daughter and 2 grandchildren back in Michigan. He is passionate at farming, food/health and participating in shaping the future for our youth in understanding and appreciating links between food and health and changing patterns that impact their future. Dave started with MSTFP in September of 2017 as Director.
Sarah Syverson, development consultant
Sarah served as the Director of MSTFP from 2011 - early 2016, and stepped back in as the Interim Director from December 2016 - September 2017. She has experience in non-profit organization as well as a farming/agricultural background. She has worked with Volunteers of America, the Women's Resource Center of Durango, the Durango Arts Center, Merely-Players Durango and KSJD Dryland Radio Station in Cortez. Syverson served as a farm apprentice at Green Gulch Farms in Marin County, CA, developed new production areas at Ojito Farm in northern New Mexico, and began her own farming operation in 2009 in the Mancos Valley. She also worked as a Cultural Director and Instructor for national and international students living and working on the Hopi and Navajo Reservations, on Sapelo Island, GA with the Gullah tribe and in the Dominican Republic. Sarah has a B.A. in Psychology from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and is a certified Master Gardener through the CSU Extension program. She currently serves on the board of the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project and is host of KSJD Dryland Radio's Big Fat Farm Show. She is passionate about farming, education and giving people access to healthy, fresh food on a daily basis.
Learn more about the Mancos Conservation District Board, which oversees and supports MSTFP.
If you own land within the Mancos River Watershed, you are eligible to be on the board.
Contact us for more information!