Our Team (2019)

 
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Phyllis Miller

Born and raised on an Elkhart County farm, Phyllis learned to appreciate the importance of a healthy environment and the role food systems play in creating a strong community.  She has been committed to the work of the Elkhart County Food Council since its inception as the Elkhart County Foodshed Initiative. Email Phyllis at phyllismillerrn@gmail.com to learn more about the work the Food Council is doing and how you can participate.

 
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Jon Zirkle

Jon is now farm managing at Southgate Crossing in Elkhart, though recently worked for six years at Goshen College's Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center as farm manager and an instructor in the Agroecology Summer Intensive, supervising student interns on the farm. This fall he is beginning seminary studies as well and hopes to combine his love for food, farming, and pastoral care. Jon has been a core member of the Elkhart County Food Council beginning with its roots in the Elkhart County Foodshed Initiative. Jon leads in the area of food production and the economical impact food systems have for local farmers, gardeners, and consumers.

 
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Kelby Rose

Kelby is the Deputy Director of Interpretive Services for Elkhart County Parks where every day he and his team work to create meaningful connections to local history, nature, and culture. Originally from Minnesota, Kelby earned his PhD in anthropology at Texas A&M University where he studied nautical archaeology and taught courses that explored the close interaction between food, culture, and world history. He believes that food and cooking can create transformative relationships between people, history, and environment.

 
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Melanie Sizemore

Melanie has spent the majority of her career working with families and children.  Her passion has been ensuring children have the nutrition needed to build a foundation of health and school readiness.  Her hope is that she can help to lower the number of food deserts and limited and low-access areas in Elkhart.  Currently, Melanie manages the Maternal Child Health programs for the Elkhart County Health Department.

 
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Amanda Eckelbarger

Amanda is the Senior Creative Design Manager for the Elkhart County, IN CVB which promotes tourism and quality of place for Elkhart County. Local produce, farm stands, farmers markets and a unique food experience is something that both residents and visitors appreciate. Amanda is thrilled to work alongside the dedicated people she has met through various Food Council initiatives, working to put more South Bend - Elkhart region food on more local plates.

 
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Sherry Wenger

Sherry has been a nursing educator for many years with an interest in the relationship between food and health, especially food quality, quantity, and access.  With farmers in her family, she formed a deep appreciation for fresh local food and also loves to garden and cook.