14220-B Ostlund Trail North
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
Hilary comes to MFA with a passion for local food and an extensive background in nonprofit and education management. Originally from Oklahoma, she spent 13 years in Boston where she earned an MBA in Public and Nonprofit Management before moving to Minnesota in 2010. Whether in social services or education, Hilary’s entire career has been focused on supporting and creating opportunities for people facing various challenges. She is passionate about strengthening and spreading sustainable agriculture and is excited to work with the community, farmers and staff at Big River Farms to build a more sustainable food system.
Kabo Yang is principal consultant of Legend Consulting Services, a practice she founded with an emphasis on management and leadership. She has worked with nonprofit organizations on projects including strategic planning, leadership development, community engagement, fundraising, training and development, and team effectiveness.
With over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Kabo has held various paid and unpaid positions at various levels of Twin Cities nonprofit organizations. In addition, Kabo is active on nonprofit boards, currently serving on the Boards of CAPI USA, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and MN Hmong Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on advisory committees such as the Asian Women Business Fellowship for the Asian Economic Development Association, Volunteer Leadership Program for Neighbors, Inc. and the Coalition for Asian American Leaders. Kabo recently joined St. Mary's University as an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Program.
Kabo has a B.S. in Business Administration from Metropolitan State University, a M.A. in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University, a M.A. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. Her research interests are on immigrants, women and leadership.
Phone: 651-433-3676, Ext. 17
Born and raised in Minnesota, Katie returned to live in the Midwest in December of 2009. She graduated from Hope College in 2001 with a degree in theology and an interest in farming. She chose to pursue her interest in farming by interning on organic farms. In 2006, she started a market garden at a resort and retreat center to provide the produce for the restaurant on the property. With a strong interest in other cultures, Katie has spent time traveling in Central America, as well as Ghana and Argentina. Along with working at MFA, she also works part time at her family’s farm in Delano, Cramer Organics. Katie joined the Minnesota Food Association Staff as the Training Coordinator in April 2010.
Laura May Hedeen joined the team at MFA in spring of 2014, with a passion for connecting social justice issues with sustainable food systems. She comes with a background in nonprofit program coordination and communications, and has previously worked with organizations such as Second Harvest Heartland, Habitat for Humanity Guatemala, and FCUSD Family Support Services. Her interest in agriculture stems from growing up working at her family's garden center in western Wisconsin. Laura is excited to work for an organization that both engages her passions and utilizes her skills.
With over 17 years of organic farming experience, Joel has a passion for sustainable agriculture and teaching new farmers. Joining the organization in January of 2015, he is so excited about the opportunity to empower farmers and assist the overall mission of the MFA. Growing farmers and growing food isn't just an idea, it's a way of life. Everyone deserves to know where their food comes from.
May Lee is a certified organic Hmong farmer and a graduate of Minnesota Food Association's farmer training program. Along with her daughter, Mhonpaj, she runs her own farming operation, Mhonpaj's Garden. May farmed in Laos and has been farming in Minnesota for many years. She wholesales produce, has operated a small CSA, and also sells at St. Paul Farmers Market, Mill City Farmers' Market, and White Bear Lake Farmers' Market.
Hana’s interest in agriculture started while interviewing farmers and food personnel involved in the La Crosse County Farm2School Project. She quickly realized the importance of learning about multiple stakeholders’ perspectives in order to understand the complexities of local food systems. Her leadership development with the nonprofit Grand Aspirations, based in Minneapolis, has expanded her skills in working with grassroots movements to benefit the green economy. She is passionate about economic justice and encourages the growth of sustainable transformation.
Susan is a Twin Cities native and recent graduate of St. Olaf College with majors in Sociology/Anthropology and Asian Studies, and concentrations in China Studies and Management. She hopes to build and connect sustainable and ethical supply chains, and is pursuing that career by interning at Big River Farms and working at Peace Coffee as a barista. She speaks Mandarin and Spanish and has taught both languages at Concordia Language Villages and her school. Her farm experience includes volunteering at SEEDS Farm in Northfield and working on an organic coffee cooperative in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Her dream job is at the intersection of anthropology and sustainable development. In her spare time she works with and rescues dogs.
Born and raised in Iowa, Ethan found his way to Minnesota for graduate school after having lived in Wisconsin and New Hampshire. His interest in local sustainable agriculture began in 2007 while volunteering with Central Rivers Farmshed in Stevens Point, WI. Since then he has held a wide variety of positions on Community Supported Agriculture farms, in formal and non-formal education institutions and working with diverse peoples. He is excited to be joining Minnesota Food Association as a Minnesota Green Corps Member to work on developing alternative markets, Youth and Family Education programming and whatever else is thrown his way. He looks forward to being able to build, use, and refine his skills while focusing his career on the sustainable agriculture field.