The COFPC is a 13 member board of directors representing the tri-county region of Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties in the following sectors: Farmers and Ranchers; Food Business; Hunger Relief; Public Health; Land Use; Local Government; University; and Community At-Large for each county. The COFPC is organized as an Oregon nonprofit corporation and recognized as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code.
If you are interested in becoming a Board of Directors, please email us at centraloregonfoodpolicy(at)gmail.com
Co-Chairs: Karen Swirsky and Katrina (Katy)Van Dis
Secretary: Holly Hutton
Treasurer: Jane Sabin-Davis
Membership Director: OPEN
Board of Director Bios
OPEN: Crook County Representative
Beth Ann Beamer – Hunger Relief & Public Health, Mtn View Hospital – Jefferson County, (Jan ’15)
Beth Ann currently serves as the Director of Mountain View Hospital’s Community Health Improvement Partnership or CHIP. Food policy that addresses the determinants of health for those affected by health disparity, especially where the twin challenges of hunger and obesity are concerned are the primary reasons for her participation on the food policy council. Community garden development and promotion, as well as a variety of community and school-based nutrition and exercise programs and research projects are current CHIP focuses. Beth Ann and her family live on a ranch and have a small grass-fed cow-calf operation. Marketing, processing, and distribution systems for small-scale local producers is another area of interest for her.
Chelsea Schneider – Community At-Large, Bend Parks & Rec. Landscape Architect – Deschutes County (Jan ’14)
Chelsea is a landscape architect with over 10 years experience envisioning, designing and developing sustainable places the Intermountain West. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon and a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver. Currently, she works for Bend Parks and Recreation District. Her professional interests include green infrastructure, greenways and food systems. She also contributes to the community as a Board Member of Bend Area Habitat for Humanity and as an active member of the High Desert Section of Oregon American Society of Landscape Architects.
Dana Martin – University, OSU Extension Service – tri-county (Jan ’14)
Dana is an assistant professor with Oregon State University Extension Service and is responsible for the Small Farms program in Central Oregon. Through educational programs such as “Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management” and “Living on a Few Acres”, she helps farmers and rural land owners become more informed about land management, production practices, marketing and farm business planning. Dana was reared on a small family farm in Southeast Oregon. Prior to working for OSU Extension, Dana traveled the country as a freelance feature writer, contracting with various agricultural publications and rural magazines.
Doug Maragas – Farmer, Maragas Winery – Deschutes/Jefferson County (Jan ’14)
Doug founded Maragas Winery in Terrebonne, Oregon in 1999 and is a retired lawyer. Greatly inspired by his Grandmother in the Agricultural trade and his mother, Joanne Lattavo, in the arts, Doug found a home for his dream. His family history in the wine/grape business goes back several generations to Southern Europe, then the United States in 1941. Maragas is the first winery and vineyard combination, and the oldest winery in Central Oregon growing merlot, cabernet, pinot noir, zinfinadel, riesling, muscat, chardonnay, pinot gris grapes. With all of the magic associated with growing a berry and making it into making wine, the creative world is the place for Doug. With homage to two of the most important mentors in his life, he practices the wine and agricultural skills he learned from his Grandmother and adorns the Maragas wine bottles with his mother’s caricature art dating back to 1959.
Gary Bishop – Farmer, Bishop Farms & Agri Development – Deschutes County (Jan ’15)
Gary is the owner of Bishop Farms and Agri Development LLC established in 2004 and located east of the Cascade Mountains in Bend, Oregon. A 5th generation farmer and entrepreneur, Gary has been farming in central Oregon since 1984. As a method of diversified and sustainable farming techniques, our farming practices mirror historical farming principles such as Jeffersonian & permaculture agronomy techniques. The operation of our farm, promotes both heritage and modern hybrid, NON-GMO cultivars capable of growing in Oregon’s high desert. Over the past six years we have grown over 1100 crop varieties ranging from pastoral crops to culinary field crops and bio energy feed stocks. In addition Bishop Farms promotes heritage livestock in Hereford Hogs, and Soay sheep. Gary has designed systems and tool’s dedicated to sustainability and diversity in farming practices. These include innovative farming calculators for cost benefit analysis, farm design, value added market development, and locally grown product promotion.
Holly Hutton – Community At-Large, Deschutes County (Jan ’14)
Holly has worked on poverty and hunger relief issues for the past twenty years, most recently at NeighborImpact, where she held the position of the Deputy Director. At NeighborImpact she started the food recovery program, Child Care Resources, Housing Stabilization Program, Individual Development Account program among others and for the last six years implemented it’s fundraising and community relation’s activities. Holly is an herbalist growing and producing her own herbal products. In her spare time, Holly is an artist and a founding member of Artist 101. Her current projects are starting a radio program and blog on food security and sustainability.
Jane Sabin-Davis – Community At-Large, Deschutes County (Jan ’14)
Jane has been involved with local food for the past 45 years. She began gardening as a young mother interested in quality produce and her interests peaked when the family bought 25 acres of sweet cherries and managed an acre vegetable garden. Jane’s involvement with the Central Oregon Food Policy Council was a good match, given that Jane also got her Masters in Social Work specializing in non-profit management. Over the last 12 years, Jane has been the Director of Oregon Rural Action and the Blue Mountain Humane Association and served on two international non-profit board of directors.
Jason Valdez – Food Business, Whole Foods, tri-county (Jan ’15)
Jason brings more than a decade of experience in marketing and cultural savvy to the COFPC. His early years were spent cooking on the line at Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33. He has successfully launched marketing campaigns for big box brands such as Hurley International, Whole Foods Market, Billabong and Warner Bros. While working in the apparel industry he was instrumental in helping broker and supervise organic raw materials production in China. His quest for new challenges and passion for food led him to become a owner/operator at The Memphis Group (A Food and Beverage Corp), where his creative spirit and unique skill set were pivotal in helping grow the company’s stable of brands. After leaving the Memphis Group, He landed back in the food industry as Regional Marketing Coordinator for Whole Foods Market®. This position led him to his current role as Marketing and Community Relations Leader in Bend Oregon. He attended the University of California at Santa Cruz studying Philosophy and World Religions and has a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell University (Dr. T Colin Campbell).
Katrina (Katy) Van Dis, Government, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, tri-county (Jan ’14)
Katy presently works at Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council as a Program Coordinator for the Community and Economic Development Natural Resource Department. She grew up on a cherry orchard in Eastern Oregon, and as a kid, sold cherries on the side of the road to help fund her college tuition. She is on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Farmers’ Market Association and has worked extensively in Central Oregon with marketing and outreach program focused on local food.
Karen Swirsky – Land Use, Land Conservation and Development Commission, tri-county (Jan ’15)
Karen is community member, environmentalist, and a professional land use planner who works for the Department of Land Conservation and Development. Karen has a good understanding of the land use related farm issues in the Central Oregon area. She is very interested in building local resiliency, self-sufficiency, and social equity, she is also personally interested in eating fresh, healthy food! Since 1989, Karen and her husband Nils, who is a writer and photographer have made Bend their home, along with 3 cats and 2 chickens.
Nancy Klatt – Rancher, Remuda Ranch, Jefferson County (Jan ’15)
Nancy and her husband are Piedmontese cattle ranchers in Culver, OR. The raise and sell calves at weaning, along with bulls and breeding stock, and raise one or two beef each year to process and sell as Natural, Grassfed locker beef, with no hormones, antibiotics or implants. Her working life has been in Accounting, Management and Customer Service, in such diverse areas as Resorts, Grocery, Ranching, USDA, the US Census and Animal care has always been an important part of my life and I have enjoyed raising, training, breeding, showing and racing Arabian horses. She has been an Oregon Farm Bureau member since 1999, and serves as Women’s Director for Jefferson County Farm Bureau. She is also on the Madras/Jefferson County Relay For Life Committee and volunteers for the Madras Saturday Market. Serving on the Board of the Central Oregon Food Policy Council will be another way to help spread the message about healthy food and supporting local farmers and ranchers. She has three grown daughters and three wonderful grandchildren.
Nicolle Timm – Food Business, Central Oregon Locavore, tri-county (Jan ’15)
Niki is a Bend native. After earning a BS in Nursing from OHSU Nicolle moved to Denver, CO where she worked as a labor and delivery nurse in a large, high-profile hospital. It didn’t take long for her to become disillusioned with city life and she soon found herself working part-time on a raw milk dairy near Boulder and becoming reacquainted with the local food scene. Since returning to Bend, she saw a need to support the local economy and the local food movement and formed the locally-driven business Central Oregon Locavore. Nicolle is a firm believer that we have to be the change we want to see in the world and is actively trying to take steps to create a more balanced, loving, sustainable and earth-friendly society. She currently works at St Charles Medical Center in Bend & Redmond as a labor and delivery nurse.
Rick Leeper – Community-at-Large, Central Oregon (Jan ’15)