This is Lauren Johnson, the new Member Services Coordinator of OCFSN. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with some of you in the past, and I’m so excited to be back in Oregon as OCFSN’s RARE Americorps.
Some of you may remember me from the conversations I led with several of the working groups last year. We talked about how public policy could help them further their goals as a working group. I also attended this past year’s Convening to share some of what I learned during those conversations.
Here’s a some more about me: I got a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, but my heart was always with food and farming, so I often explored those themes in my research. After college, I spent the winter farming in Costa Rica, and then came to Oregon for a RARE (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments) Americorps service position in Wallowa County in 2014. My job was to engage with different facets of the County’s local food system, from health care to farmers markets to schools to community gardening programs. I loved it. During that year, I had the opportunity to attend OCFSN’s first annual convening. I remember feeling so energized being surrounded by all of these incredible people and organizations working at the forefront of community food systems development. Not only were they implementing what was then fairly new and innovative programming to support community food systems, but they were also engaged in a difficult conversation about how to make that work more impactful. After another year of traveling in India, Nepal, the Netherlands, and Spain, I earned my graduate degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana and focused on food systems policy.
I chose to come back to Oregon to take the Member Services Coordinator position because I love interacting with this group of people. You do incredible work, and I’m so excited to support you.
Have a very happy fall,
OCFSN Member Services Coordinator