Erin Maidlow graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Natural Resources and a minor in Geology, where she focused on sustainable agriculture and soils. As an internship project, she worked with a community garden at the Boys & Girls Club in Muncie, Indiana. There, she taught youth about soil, growing food, and provided them with produce baskets to take home to their families. That project was what sparked a passion for school garden work and providing hands-on education to youth. In 2013, Erin accepted an AmeriCorps volunteer position as the “Think Local Horticulturalist” at Phoenix Charter School in Roseburg, which is what brought her to the Umpqua Valley. It was through that position that she began working with farmers throughout the region and grew produce for the school meal program and farmers’ market. In March of 2020, the opportunity arose to take on a role at Thriving Waters and continue its mission in a new direction by incorporating gardening. This has blossomed into Umpqua Valley Farm to School, where Erin is proud to support her community. She is also the Farm to School and School Garden Procurement and Education Coordinator for Douglas County.
Erin is a busy mama to three children who are often seen at gardens and farms with her, as she sees the importance of teaching them where their food comes from and to play in the dirt. They share a love of gardening, even if that may just be digging and throwing soil at each other. She also loves hiking, swimming, paddling, and exploring hidden gems of the Umpqua Valley and beyond.
Sarah Cline Pytalski has more than a decade of experience in rural community advocacy with a strong background in research and writing, project management, evaluation and strategic communications. She works at Burness, where she supports the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and its rural, data, and community power-building initiatives. Sarah previously served as Policy Research & Evaluation Manager at the National Congress of American Indians and as Policy Program Manager for Rural Dynamics, Inc. She has a Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University.
AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator
Julia Anselmo is serving as a member for United Communities AmeriCorps in Roseburg, OR. Her position with Umpqua Valley Farm to School as the Farm to School Coordinator will be working with several schools throughout Douglas County, teaching school garden curriculum as well as assisting in creating on-farm experiences.
Helping children learn at a young age the importance of healthy living and where their food comes from is essential to inheriting an appreciation for the environment. Julia studied environmental and sustainability at Keene State College in New Hampshire and is very excited to incorporate her passion into her service as well as acquire new skills.
Board Member at Large
My name is Lucy Valadez and along with my husband and 5 children, I own Valadez Organic Produce. We have been Certified Organic for 6 years now and feel strongly about producing the healthiest produce possible. We have been doing farmers markets and wholesaling for just as long. I won’t say that I have been farming my whole life, farming was never something I was remotely interested in until I met my husband 10 yrs ago. Now, it’s our way of life. We love being able to provide local, organic produce to our community. We learn new things everyday and watching my kids grow up teaching their peers about what it takes to make our food grow is the icing on the cake.
Micki Hall is a retired teacher with over 35 years of experience in education. She recognizes the impact that poverty has on students and dedicated her career to listening to students and understanding that “before becoming a leader, we must first become servants.”
Hall moved to Roseburg in 1977 from Indiana and started volunteering at Fullerton IV Elementary School when her daughter entered first grade. She became so involved in, and passionate about, education that she decided to obtain certification from Southern Oregon University to teach high school English and social studies, she said. She then taught at Roseburg High School for 29 years.
Micki hopes to build a strong partnership between school districts and UVF2S and looks forward to serving in the role as treasurer.
Kate Comiskey is a Senior Immigration Specialist at Oregon State University. She has a daughter in the Roseburg school system, and lives on a farm in Douglas County. She grew up in the woods and farmlands of Oregon and feels strongly about the importance of the connection between our children and the natural environment and farms around them.
Brandy Stewart Osborn serves as the Principal of Phoenix Charter School in Roseburg, Oregon and the Principal for Phoenix School of Roseburg. Brandy has earned a Bachelor’s in Business Management, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Administration and Supervision, and is continuing her education as a doctoral learner in Transformative Educational Leadership. She was born and raised in Douglas County and is a fifth-generation resident and a descendent of the founder of Drain, Oregon. She is passionate about the well-being of youth and families in our County and sees food security as a critical means to improving both local health and the economy.
736 SE Cass Ave.Roseburg, Oregon 97470Tax ID: 27-2043279