Serving healthy, fresh, made from scratch, local meals in school cafeterias
Improving student nutrition
Providing health, nutrition and agriculture education
Enhancing local economies by supporting local farmers
Instilling a sense of community citizenship in students
Started in 2007 by a committee of concerned parents and community members, GVF2S has grown to become a collaboration between many diverse organizations, such as parent councils of various schools, Bozeman School District Food Service, Montana State University, and the FoodCorps program. GVF2S is a Bozeman-based non-profit whose primary source of income is private donations.
As a parent, nutrition professional and a longtime member of the Bozeman community, Sam is deeply committed to Gallatin Valley Farm to School, which brings together all of her passions. “It’s preventative health, food system reform and community economic development – all in one tidy package,” she says.
Sam is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and holds a B.S. from the University of Montana in Resource Conservation and an M.S. from Montana State University in Sustainable Food Systems. Her background includes various forays in small-scale agricultural production, youth service and non-profit organizational development.
Erin moved to Bozeman in August 2012 to serve with FoodCorps at Hyalite Elementary School where she spent two years integrating farm to school learning into the curriculum. She holds a degree in Integrated Biological Sciences and Nutrition and Food Sciences from the University of Vermont and is pursuing a Masters in Education from Montana State University.
She has a strong passion for helping kids build lifelong relationships to healthy food and the soil in which it grows. When Erin’s not growing, eating or teaching kids about vegetables, she enjoys adventuring in the great outdoors of Montana.
Jenn remembers eating her very first green salad. She was a teenageer. It was filled with lettuces plucked from her family’s inaugural vegetable garden. This was a defining moment of her growing up. Gardening, buying from farmers and preserving seasonal foods has been part of her life since. For the past ten years she worked to produce a local and sustainable consumer guide in Portland called Chinook Book. During this tenure she worked with countless businesses and organizations to strengthen her community’s sustainable systems, like agriculture. She served as board co-chair for a farmed based education organized called Sauvie Island Center. She and her family moved to Bozeman in the spring of 2016. She promptly planted her first garden in the Northern Rockies, with a broccoli start from BOB, and is looking forward to deepening her connection to our community.
Abby Sophir is GVF2S’s newest FoodCorps Service Member! Abby received a degree in Documentary Production from Ithaca College with a focus in Environmental Studies. Prior to serving with FoodCorps, Abby worked as an outdoor educator, leading wilderness adventure trips for teenagers across the country. Since moving to the Bozeman area, Abby has worked at the Bozeman Food Co-op and on the vegetable farm at Amaltheia Organic Dairy. She is thrilled to be bringing hands-on, healthy food learning into classrooms this school year!
Ali Thornton graduated from the Sustainable Foods & Bioenergy Systems program at Montana State University. She is passionate about educating those in the Gallatin Valley about our local food system and all of the wonderful opportunities it brings to our community. Prior to joining GVF2S, Ali worked in the Cropland Weed Ecology and Management lab at MSU with professors and graduate students on developing sustainable farming practices for Montana producers.
Beth Williams is joining GVF2S as the Procurement Program Manager. She spent the last two years serving with FoodCorps in Red Lodge, helping to make garden and cooking education a lasting program in the community. She is passionate about serving local food in school cafeterias and connecting students to farms and ranches in their area. Beth has a bachelor’s degree in Humanities for Teaching from Seattle University.
Kasey Hutchinson hails from the Great Lakes state of Michigan and has a passion for improving the health of society through nutrition education. Kasey is a Registered Dietitian,a graduate of MSU’s Dietetics program and will be piloting Harvest of the Month lessons at Ophir Elementary School in Big Sky.
Leah is a recent graduate of the Sustainable Foods Master’s Program at MSU and is classically trained in culinary arts. Her main priority is to ensure that all those around her are eating as well as possible. She is dedicated to bridging the gap between agriculture, “health foods”, and craveable meals. Since moving to Bozeman, Leah has had the opportunity to become a culinary instructor for all ages, immerse herself in the local farm to fork food system, participate in community based outreach, and even write a cookbook. Leah is absolutely ready to prove that seasonal and nutritious food is also delicious, and delicious food doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Cheryl holds a B.S. in Horticulture and an M.S. in Plant Sciences from Montana State University, where she retired as the Montana State Extension Horticulturist in 2008. She currently works as the technical editor for Rocky Mountain Gardening magazine and Adjunct Assistant Professor in horticulture at MSU, where she teaches Vegetable Production.
Cheryl has been gardening and growing vegetables in the Gallatin Valley for over 30 years. “Working closely with college students in the classroom and in the fields has taught me the absolute necessity of instructing our young people at a very young age not only where their food comes from, but how to grow and prepare it,” she says. “The mission of Gallatin Valley Farm to School closely aligns with my personal philosophy for educating our children.”
Eric attended California Culinary Academy and was part of the first farm to table restaurants in Portland, Oregon. In 2000, he and his wife Laurie moved to Montana to raise their three children and continue the quest to support local farmers and integrate local foods into the local food system by opening one of Gallatin Valley’s first farm to table restaurants.
Eric believes strongly that “our children deserve the opportunity to have access to healthy, local food on a daily basis” He supports this philosophy by educating the Bozeman community on the importance of our local food system and how important it is for schools to integrate these same practices.
Aubree serves as the Montana State Lead for the National Farm to School Network and the Montana Farm to School Coordinator with the Montana Team Nutrition Program. In these roles she helps guide schools in purchasing farm fresh foods and implementing nutrition education opportunities such as taste tests, school gardens and farm field trips.
Aubree holds an M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems from Montana State University and is passionate about farm to school. “Farm to school programs cultivate adventurous eaters, encourage inquiring minds, and connect individuals from diverse backgrounds to build vibrant communities,” says Aubree.
Barb has taught in the upper elementary grades in the Bozeman School District for 26 years. She is currently working with new and non-tenured K-8 teachers as a teacher mentor and has helped develop several school gardens in Bozeman.
Growing up in a small community in northern Montana as a wheat farmer’s daughter, Barb had the opportunity to put down roots, take ownership of her community and grow a sense of place.As a teacher, she believes students need opportunities to learn outside, connect with local farms and their community, and make healthy food choices in the cafeteria.
Raised on a family farm in rural PA, Guy has a passion for sustainable, local farming and a powerful connection, and vocational drive, to protect unique landscapes and the outdoors. Guy holds a B.A. in Political Science from Pepperdine University, an M.S. in Environmental Law & Policy and a J.D. from Vermont Law School, and is a member in good standing with the State Bar of Montana. He is public interest environmental attorney for Upper Missouri Waterkeeper working to protect clean water and community health. Guy lives in Bozeman where he enjoys kayaking, climbing, skiing, fishing and hunting Montana’s wildlands. He also serves on various City of Bozeman citizen advisory boards where he puts to action his belief in civic duty.
Karin Neff is currently the District Data Analyst for Bozeman Public Schools where she turns numbers (data) into tangible information that informs decision making and promotes conversation. She has an Associates of Art degree in Culinary Arts, a B.S. in Agroecology and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University. Her dissertation project measured the effects of organic farming methods on vegetable production in small-scale agriculture. Joining the board of GVF2S was the perfect outlet for her various skills and interest in teaching children the benefits of eating well from local sources as an excellent way to maintain the agricultural heritage that built the Gallatin Valley.
Jen was born in Pennsylvania, but spent her childhood moving around the United States and most of her adulthood moving around the world. She majored in Finance and International Business earning her B.S. at the University of Colorado and completed her MBA at the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Jen brings deep experience in both business and nonprofit work, primarily in Africa, but also in Asia and Europe. Prior to joining Eagle Mount as the Executive Director, she was the Country Director for Peace Corps Rwanda. Before that she was Chief Operating Officer for Tostan, a human rights organization working in communities across Africa.
Jen became passionate about farm to school programs after she witnessed her own children develop digestive issues when they returned to the US after 9 years in Africa. She worked with a doctor to learn it was likely the change from eating diets filled with local grains, vegetables and fruits to including more processed foods commonly found in the US.
Steffany is a graduate of Montana State University – College of Business and has been an active part of the community since arriving in the Gallatin Valley. She has been involved with the Big Brother/Big Sister program as well as a Thrive CAP mentor.
Over the years Steffany has worked in small locally owned businesses giving her a broad range of skills to get the job done.
Family, fitness and health is very important to Steffany. She takes pride in teaching her son about the importance of growing food, making healthy meals and supporting local farmers and ranchers. She is an avid obstacle course competitor and loves running, hiking and being outdoors with her family and friends.
Her passion for nutrition, athletics, and supporting kids through healthy food has been a driving force in her life since a very young age and she looks forward to continuing this with the GVFS program.
Dalton has worn various hats in the education world for the past 15 years. She has taught science to grade levels 6th-12th at schools in Connecticut, Vermont, and most recently Colorado and worked at environmental education non-profits in both Montana and Idaho. She currently splits her time between teaching and developing curriculum as a faculty member at Bozeman Field School and facilitating design thinking workshops and creating personal learning experiences as Principal of Collaboration for Fleissig Design. She holds an M.S. in Science Education from Montana State University and a B.A. in Conservation Biology from Middlebury College.
Dalton’s passion for food/food system education runs deep as an educator, a parent, and an avid backyard gardener. She believes in the power of place-based, hands on learning opportunities in order to deepen the understanding of farm to table pathways and cultivate connections and grow community.
Dalton values the balance of work and play and continues her pursuit of this equilibrium by running in the mountains whenever she can and gardening, cooking, and enjoying good food with her husband and three daughters.