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Staff

Erin Close - Mobile Market Director

Erin Close is Arcadia's Mobile Market Director. She joined Arcadia full-time in 2017 after a 2016 season as Mobile Market Operator. She was promoted to manager in 2017, and has now taken the reins of the Mobile Market program which has sold more than $600,000 in farm-fresh, local food in low-food access neighborhoods since 2012, including a record season of sales in 2017 of $237,000. After earning a BFA in Printmaking, Erin has sought to bridge creative expression with a love of sharing food with others. As a printmaker, the inherent community-driven nature of the studio taught her the necessity of collaboration for success. While managing a small neighborhood grocer, she found herself at the point between producer and consumer. The potential and opportunity found in that work drew Erin to Arcadia’s Mobile Market, where she hopes to foster a space for shared learning, support, and encouragement as well as high-quality, local food at affordable prices. She is looking forward to making this season of Arcadia’s Mobile Market the brightest yet!

Katherine Collins - Production Farm Manager 

Katherine is spearheading Arcadia’s new vegetable production operation on the historic Woodlawn property. She first became interested in vegetable production as an urban gardener and environmental educator. After spending a year learning about agricultural systems from subsistence farmers in Ecuador as a Fulbright grant recipient, she returned to the US to complete an ecological certificate course at UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). For the two following seasons, she applied this knowledge as an employee at Potomac Vegetable Farms where she learned a lot about mid-Atlantic growing from the farmers there. Now, she is excited to be a part of the work that Arcadia is doing to bring delicious, nourishing food to all parts of Washington, DC.

Emily Forch - Nutrition Coordinator: Live, Eat, Grow Bailey's Crossroads

Born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, Emily grew up in a very active health and wellness community. Charlottesville is where her life-long passion for running and cooking began. She would spend time on the road and then experiment in the kitchen with her mom, developing healthy and nutritionally dense recipes. For the past two years, she and her fiancé have been building a coldpressed juice company, where they work with and support small farmers in the Dominican Republic. These experiences are what fueled Emily's desire to go back to school. She is now working on a second degree in nutrition and pursuing a career in dietetics. Emily is thrilled to have the opportunity to educate our up and coming generation on what healthy actually means!

Pamela Hess - Executive Director

Executive Director Pamela Hess has been with Arcadia since March 2013.  She came to Arcadia from journalism. A career national security journalist, Pam covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Pentagon and CIA with the Associated Press and United Press International. After a brief foray into national politics as a communications director on Capitol Hill, Pam returned to her first love: food and sustainable farms. In 2011, she took the helm of a local food and wine magazine that celebrated sustainable food and farming in the Capitol Foodshed, and in the course of it, met and fell in love with Arcadia. She brings to Arcadia a deep commitment to its mission, a large and expanding network of farmers and food advocates, and a great reputation within the sustainable food community.

Julie Miller - Garden Coordinator: Live, Eat, Grow Bailey's Crossroads

Julie has spent the last 6 years with Fairfax County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services implementing breakfast in the classroom, salad bars, and fresh fruit and vegetable programs in elementary schools across the county. Julie is originally from agriculture rich northern California and grew up raising 4-H livestock and playing in the orchard trees. She took her knowledge and passion for agriculture and developed a large teaching garden in her community. Julie is also pursuing her masters in nutrition at George Mason University. She brings her passions for gardening, food, and teaching children together on the Bailey's project. She has been excited to see the Bailey's School and Community garden grow from the ground up. In two years, over 1,000 square feet of edible garden space, a container garden, a new shed, a student teaching area, and a pollinator garden have been added to the garden!

Ivy Mitchell - Farm Education Manager

Ivy Mitchell is Arcadia’s Farm Education Manager. She came to Arcadia in 2017 as the Farm Camp Manager and did such a tremendous job Arcadia wouldn't let her go. Ivy became interested in foodways while obtaining a degree in anthropology and African and African American studies at the University of Arkansas. Later, she attended culinary school in Austin, TX, studying plant-based diets. While there, she began introducing children to healthy foods and their local food scene. Next she moved to Orlando, FL, where she spent three years in different roles in the local restaurant and food scene – from working as a culinary intern to managing and coordinating a SNAP program at a farmers’ market. Ivy realized she wanted to leave food service and work on food access and education full time. Ivy is so proud of her role as a farm educator, and has fallen in love with NOVA and the DMV area.

Matt Mulder - Director of Operations

Matt is responsible for organizational development and operations, strategic partnerships, and outreach and communication for Arcadia’s programs.  Matt has spent the last 17 years actively working on environmental and agricultural programs in the DC nonprofit community.  His experience as the founding Director of the Accokeek Foundation’s Center for Agricultural and Environmental Stewardship provides a great understanding of the issues at the heart of Arcadia’s mission.  His academic experience includes a Master’s degree in Biology, with scientific research in the fields of Ecology, Pollination Ecology, Ornithology, and Herpetology.  Matt loves to garden and eat good food, and is excited to have a job that incorporates both of those loves.

LaRon Murrell - Market Garden Manager

LaRon Murrell is Arcadia's Hilltop Farmer, responsible for our demonstration and learning space that also produces food for the Mobile Markets, FIeld Trips, and Farm Camp. LaRon spent 11 years in the U.S. Army, including two combat tours to Iraq. He joined Arcadia in 2015 as the first Veteran Farm Fellow and was hired as a member of the full-time staff in 2016. He discovered agriculture when he happened upon a greenhouse at Pitt Community College in Greenville, NC, and experienced a sense of peace and purpose, and knew this was his calling. LaRon grew up on his family's ancestral land in Fort Barnwell, NC, where he plans to launch a farm in the future. 

Terri Siggins - Project Manager: Live, Eat, Grow Bailey's Crossroads

In addition to working on the Bailey's project, Terri also serves as Project Coordinator for the Fairfax Food Council (FFC) in which Arcadia is an active organization on the steering committee. She holds a M.Ed and Ph.D in Education specializing in curriculum development and instructional practices. Building on her interest in how nutrition impacts the health and learning of students, she completed a M.S. in Nutrition from George Mason University. She is currently focused on food equity in the context of food access, nutrition, and education. Terri has been active with the Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax, assisting with the FFC Community Food Assessment which laid the foundation for the Bailey’s project. Terri is excited to be working on a project that has the potential to make a system wide change in the way communities think about food and health.

 

From the Arcadia Blog

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    The most spectacular dinner you'll ever have.For the best cause we know.Honoring our Veteran Farmers.Brought to you by the best chefs we know.Hear.Them.Roar.l to r, top: Rosenfelt, Holbrook, Dysart; mid: Brandwein, Afram, Hillman; bottom: Hellrigl, Troncoso, BirdPlease joinChef Marcelle AframBluejacketandChef...

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    My name is Nick Wood, and I have been working as one of Arcadia’s two Veteran Farm Fellows for six months now. One of the things I have so far found the most satisfying about my work at the farm...

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