Bonnie is CFAC’s co-founder and Executive Director. She has over 20 years experience with food security and hunger reduction issues as Program Operations Manager of Missoula Food Bank and Director of Women’s Opportunity & Resource Development.
Throughout CFAC’s history, she has held primary responsibility for facilitating CFAC, ensuring that the work of the organization moves forward, and carrying out the fiscal and administrative oversight. Bonnie served on the steering committee of the original Community Food Assessment (2002-2004). She organized subsequent community meetings leading to the formation of CFAC in 2005 and worked to get a joint resolution passed by the City and County government sanctioning the formation of CFAC, as well as funding to start the coalition.
She has led CFAC through its strategic growth and the creation of new programs and initiatives since its inception. Bonnie initiated the Farmers Market EBT Food Stamp program in Missoula and actively participates in several state-wide coalitions associated with food security and non-profit organization and collaboration. A social worker by training, Bonnie has considerable experience with community development, strategic planning, Community-based Participatory Research, and group facilitation. She received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Montana in 2007.
Jenny serves as our Communications and Development Director. She is here to tell the story of CFAC, analyze the impact of our work past, present and future, and connect CFAC with our community of supporters in new and exciting ways.
Jenny comes from a background in leadership, development and fundraising, communication and outreach, financial and strategic planning in both the non-profit conservation sector and for-profit corporate world. Most recently, she was the Executive Director at Five Valleys Land Trust and before that, Development and Outreach Director at the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. She has an M.B.A. in Green Business and Non-Profit Management from Antioch University of New England.
Jenny has a long history of living and working in local agriculture. She grew up on a dairy farm in Western New York where her father leased conserved agricultural lands for his dairy operation. She went on to work at a community vegetable farm during graduate school, was a Board member of a county food pantry and hot meals program, The Community Kitchen, in Keene, New Hampshire and worked to protect farmland in New England as Development Director for the Monadnock Conservancy, a local land trust, serving 35 towns in Southwest NH.
In her free time, she loves to garden, hike, bike, fish, and kayak with her two pups, Lily and Andy, and her partner Billy. She is known for her campsite huckleberry pancakes, love of weeding, and dedication to multiple community causes.
Mary serves as the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program Manager at CFAC. Mary oversees all aspects of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program, including managing the Farm Link Montana site, providing one-on-one technical assistance to beginning farmers, and organizing and leading classes and workshops across the state.
Her work in food systems first began when she helped revitalize student gardens and a compost system on her college campus. This experience motivated her to move West after graduation to work on a small farm in the mountains of Washington. She then spent two years serving with AmeriCorps and FoodCorps managing small high school farms in Oregon and helping farmers sell their produce to local schools, while also working part time on a local organic farm.
Interest in deepening her knowledge of sustainable farming and food systems brought Mary to the University of Montana, where she graduated with her master’s in Environmental Studies. Her master’s research focused on programs that help producers conserve wild spaces and species, while also growing food for their communities. She is excited to bring her 8 years of experience with farming and education to CFAC and looks forward to supporting local farmers through CFAC’s new and established programs.
Ian’s work at CFAC focuses on both the Beginning Farmer and Rancher (BFR) and Food Access (FA) programs. For the BFR program, Ian supports the planning, delivery, and evaluation of BFR events and Farm Link Montana services. On the Food Access side, Ian assists regional farmer’s markets and retail stores with implementing the Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) program, which provides a dollar for dollar match for SNAP participants when purchasing locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ian has worked to increase the sustainability and equity of Montana’s food system since moving to Missoula in 2006. After graduating from the Environmental Studies program at the University of Montana, Ian worked on farms across the northwest before directing the UM Farm to College Program, an agricultural economic development initiative building local food supply chains and educational gardens. Ian then worked as the chef at Buttercup Market & Cafe, building his knowledge of kitchen processes necessary to work with local farms. He is dedicated to using his skills from farm to table to build a better food system with CFAC.
Aly oversees the Western Spoke of our Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) program, alongside two other spoke coordinators in the Northwestern and Central/Eastern regions of Montana. Aly works closely with Ian, our Food Access Programs Manager, in training and onboarding new and existing DSD sites and serving as their support system through technical assistance as well as communication and marketing needs. Aly is passionate about supporting our project partners that make DSD work on the ground, as well as collaborating with other organizations on various food access programs.
Aly received her Bachelor’s in Strategic Communication and International Development from Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Throughout her studies, Aly grew a passion for community food access. Her International Development program led her to study for a semester in Honduras, where she served with a community garden program. Witnessing communities taking charge of their own food system caused a shift—Aly knew then she wanted to pursue a career in sustainable food systems. Upon her return, Aly worked on an urban farm, participated in a community movement to open a local food co-op, and worked in various communication roles until she found her way to CFAC, serving as our AmeriCorps VISTA. She now continues with CFAC in a food access staff role, and she couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the team!
Nicole supports the development and growth of farm and ranch businesses in Western Montana, providing resources across the state. She’s working on events and workshops, resource development, technical assistance, financial assistance, and website management.
Nicole has been a part of the Montana farming community since 1999. Starting as a PEAS Farm student at the University of Montana, she then joined the Peace Corps in Guatemala where she teamed up with farmers to organize a small cooperative that provided education and resources for organic farmers in a rural community. After the Peace Corps, she was a farm intern for two years at Clark Fork Organics, here in Missoula. In 2007, with her partner, she started and operated Ploughshare Farm, in Moiese for many years. She’s worked at farmer’s markets, served on several different board of directors, and helped establish the current CSA program at the Western Montana Grower’s Cooperative, all the while dabbling in other jobs such as being a house parent at a group home for 10 years and working for three different airlines at the Missoula County airport.
She’s excited to be able to share with new farmers and ranchers the knowledge she has gained from farming over the last two decades in Montana. Nicole has a personal interest in teaching the next generation how to farm in Montana and would welcome any questions regarding resources to help make this happen. In her spare time you will find her wandering in the mountains, taking adventures with her son or daughter, or cozied up with a book in her hands.
After working in bakeries and restaurants across the country, and owning a small batch sourdough bakery of his own, James found his way to CFAC to provide technical assistance supporting CFAC’s Beginning Farmer & Rancher and Food Access programs.
He is passionate about food justice and access, and works to empower communities to make affordable, nutritious, and sustainable decisions about what’s for dinner. After tinkering in the kitchen for so long, James is excited to get to work supporting market vendors, food producers, and SNAP beneficiaries across the state of Montana.
Originally from Indiana, James moved to Missoula to be closer to the enviable bikepacking, mountaineering, and huckleberry picking that Montana has to offer. In his free time, you’ll likely find James on his bike, in the kitchen, or petting someone else’s dog.
Alex is working with CFAC as an Americorp VISTA, working on communications and development. She focuses her efforts on communicating resources, tools, and education as they relate to food, land, farming and accessibility. She’s excited to help others navigate the food justice matrix, sustainably!
Alex has worked in the food world since highschool, from dishwashing to flavor research, and happily sees no end in sight.
Bridget is an AmeriCorps VISTA who joined the CFAC team as a Double SNAP Dollar (DSD) Special project assistant. She works closely with Ian and Aly to help increase food access and SNAP programs within Montana communities, as well as assisting with DSD communications and marketing. She will also work with the Beginning Farmer Rancher Team (BFR) to help plan and organize Farmer Field Days as well as Beginning Farmer Rancher Workshops.
Bridget received her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She became passionate about nutrition early on because food impacts all aspects of life and plays a prominent role in individual and community health. During a study abroad semester in South Africa, her interest in food access and community nutrition grew as she volunteered in the kitchen unit and community garden. Her interest heightened during her non-profit internship with Open Arms of Minnesota, where she helped prepare and deliver medically tailored meals to clients living with chronic illnesses around the Twin Cities. Witnessing firsthand how food functions as medicine drove her to learn more about sustainable practices. She has since worked on an organic farm and various community gardens. Wanting to pursue a career that incorporates non-profits and addressing food insecurity within communities, she found her way to CFAC as an AmeriCorps VISTA!