Our Team (2018)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the work the Food Council is doing and how you can participate.
Jon Zirkle is the farm manager and a sustainable food systems educator working for Goshen College's Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center.
He 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.
Josh Yoder is the produce manager at Maple City Market Natural Foods CO-OP in Goshen, Indiana. He works with large produce distributors as well as small local farms to source fresh and vibrant fruits and vegetables for the store's customers to enjoy. In addition, Josh has been involved in the development and evolution of two urban community gardens in Goshen, and has a passion for improving the efficiency and ecological richness of local food production and distribution systems.
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.
Born into a farming family outside Goshen, Indiana, Marlys Weaver-Stoesz grew up as involved in growing and harvesting food as in eating it. Her passion for food and farming began on that small, heritage-breed dairy farm, but it has also taken her to harvesting coffee beans on a farm in Peru and helping at natural food cooperatives and farmers markets. Marlys’ writing work focuses on food, agriculture and food systems. Learn more at marlysws.com.
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.
Morgan Short works as the coordinator for the Seed to Feed program at Church Community Services. Through this program, she strives to grow fresh, local produce for those struggling in Elkhart County. She is passionate about building a self-sustaining community, while also remaining connected to our global community. Contact Morgan via email: email@example.com.
Rick spent several decades in the retail food business before striving to improve health via the Blue Zones Project in Northern Indiana. The desire to make healthy, affordable food available to everyone who wants it keeps him involved in finding solutions through collaboration and cooperation in Elkhart County.
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.