We are pleased to welcome Lauren Johnson as the new Member Services Coordinator for the Oregon Community Food Systems Network. Lauren is a RARE/AmeriCorps volunteer and will be based out of the OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems for her year of service with OCFSN.
In her own words:
“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.
“During that year, I had the opportunity to attend the Oregon Community Food System Network’s first annual convening. I remember feeling so energized being surrounded by all 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.
“During my graduate degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana, I interned with OCFSN’s Policy and Advocacy Working Group because I believe in what they’re doing so strongly. Now, I’m so excited to be working full time with these 53 organizations, spread throughout Oregon and engaged with every facet of this state’s food system. It’s pretty incredible to get the bird’s eye view of community food systems in my daily work.”
Thanks, Lauren, and welcome.