Staff

Mike Wenrick, Executive Director

Mike WenrickMike believes all people have the right to access the bounty of our region, and is committed to collaborative, community-based approaches that address health and equity issues. Mike is excited to use his background in international relief-aid as a director at Medical Teams International, organizational management and community development to further Zenger Farm’s mission. Mike enjoys cooking, operates a small commercial winery and has been known to rescue a chicken that crossed the road.mike@zengerfarm.org

 

Bryan Allan, Farmer

KrAzy KaRrOtsBryan grew up in a Chicago suburb and moved to Portland to escape the sprawl and join an environmentally conscious community.With a B.A. in Biology from Purdue and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark College, Bryan has taken an interesting path to Zenger farm. He discovered his passion when he wasn’t looking for it: in spending his spare time gardening, raising chickens, cooking and living sustainability. Bryan has transformed his city lot into a cornucopia of food while showing that a purely edible garden is as beautiful as one created for ornamental reasons. Bryan joined Zenger Farm in 2010 as an intern, spent his first winter managing the farm’s expansion onto the Furey Property, has taught hundreds of farmers how to accept SNAP Payment (formerly food stamps), and pioneered our prescription vegetable CSA program at Multnomah county Mid County Health Center. bryan@zengerfarm.org

 

Rob Cato, operations & finance manager

babychicsRob grew up enjoying the coastal outdoors surfing, fishing and camping in Central Florida. After graduating with a degree in Economics from the University of Florida, he held positions in both corporate finance and restaurant management. Unable to escape his true passions for food and social justice, Rob joined us as a Program Assistant and within a year was promoted to Operations & Finance Manager. In addition to his work on the farm, Rob currently serves on the board for the local non-profit Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon helping to ensure equal access to nutritious,culturally appropriate foods. rob@zengerfarm.org

 

Laura Cerny, School Programs Manager

_mg_2078Laura grew up in southern California and is fascinated with the natural world and its interdependence. While completing her B.S. in Conservation & Resource studies at U.C. Berkeley she discovered her love for plants and animals, and the role humans play in our ecosystem. As an AmeriCorps member with the StreamTeam,Laura realized her knack for educating youth about the outdoors. Laura believes kids can make the world a better place when they have a strong connection to their surroundings. Her passion for growing food and healthy eating steered her toward Zenger Farm where she facilitates outdoor experiences. Laura enjoys making ice cream, eating colorful produce and jumping in rivers on hot days. laura@zengerfarm.org

Maya Edelstein, Development and Communications Manager

Maya HeadshotMaya believes that building relationships, preferably over a shared meal, strengthens community and changes the world. While studying history at Reed College, she spent six semesters as a student caller for the school’s development office. After a stint at a child and adolescent health clinic, she returned to her roots in development, carrying out fundraising campaigns, planning events, and stewarding donors for Clackamas Women’s Services.  Maya is the Development and Communications Manager at Zenger Farm, partnering with supporters to help provide access to good food for all.  After hours, you can find her making dinner for friends, volunteering for organizations focused on immigrants’ rights,  checking out books at Midland Library, or strolling along the Springwater Corridor with her pit bull, Wendy. She feels fortunate to live and work in East Portland. maya@zengerfarm.org

Prairie Hale, Community Programs Manager

priaire_2Prairie grew up in a ranching family in Northeast Oregon. After broadening her horizons with a degree in Peace and Global Studies & Ecology, she began working on family farms across the country. Eventually she found herself in the Utah desert, growing okra taller than she was and working as a nutrition educator. Missing her family, she returned to Oregon in 2007 and began working at Zenger Farm. She loves connecting people to the farm, engaging volunteers and organizing community workshops. She is passionate about making good food accessible to everyone. Prairie and her housemates urban homestead, growing 1500 square feet of produce and caring for a flock of hens. She makes it back to eastern Oregon to herd cows a few times a year. prairie@zengerfarm.org

 

Andrew Hogan, volunteer manager

Andrew HoganAndrew Hogan heralds from the dairy lands of upstate New York.As a child, he helped his parents with their backyard garden, and at the age of eight, grew the largest broccoli plant his parents had ever seen. Since moving to Portland, he has been involved with non-profit and advocacy organizations such as Basic Rights Oregon,Samantha Swaim Fundraising and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. When not hanging out with volunteers at the farm, you will find Andrew tending his herb garden,enjoying a microbrew with friends, cooking, or spending time at home with his partner, Jimmy, and their cat, Petunia. andrew@zengerfarm.org

 

Lauren Lubowicki, CSA Partnerships for Health Program Manager

LaurenHeadshot EditedLauren comes to Zenger by way of a path that only makes sense by looking backwards.  She has a Master of Social Work degree with a focus on Community Development and Non-profit Management, but found her true classroom in organic gardens and genuine relationships with individuals from all walks of life.  She has learned that, just like a garden, we only need the right nourishment and care in order to live up to our full potential. lauren@zengerfarm.org

Andy McGee, Camp Manager

Andy McGeeAndy was raised in the forests of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California where she began a lifelong love for the natural world. She began teaching children about gardening in 2001 as she grew a passion of connecting children to their food as well as improving food access. She graduated from the Evergreen State College in 2009 with a degree focused on outdoor education and agriculture. She has volunteered and worked for several schools and organizations as a gardening educator including the Seattle Tilth, GRuB (in Olympia) and our local SUN school program before joining the Zenger Farm education team. Andy loves to explore the farm and wetlands with every age group, playing games, teaching science, eating amazing fresh food and singing about it all with her ukulele. In her spare time, Andy loves to go camping and fishing and garden at home with her two cats. andy@zengerfarm.org

 

David “D-Rod” Rodriquez, Lead Educator

David "D-Rod" RodriquezD-Rod grew up in Arlington, Virginia, running around in the woods. His passion for environmental educations started at the age of 12 when his camp counselor helped him ‘sneak up’ on a deadly mushroom, and identify it. D-Rod’s favorite veggies are beets, and his favorite thing about Zenger Farm is discovering new things with kids. D-Rod also enjoys throwing pizza dough, and driving the school bus. When not teaching the thousands of kiddos who visit Zenger Farm annually, you’ll most likely find D-Rod birding. DRod@zengerfarm.org

Kate Sams, Grants Manager

KateHeadShot1x1-5102Curiosity killed the cat, but Kate O’Neil Sams is not a cat.  She is an adventurer who has left her footprints on six continents, much to the chagrin of Antarctica.  She has traveled deep jungle rivers and active volcanoes and snowcapped peaks and remote tropical islands.  She has braved ocean depths and introduced herself to sharks and manta rays and monk seals and sea turtles.  She is a lover of elephants and birds and bugs and the secret lives of plants.  She is happiest when her hands are dirty and when she is part of a community full of love and nature and culture.  She enjoys being a member of the CSA here at the farm, meeting and seeing neighbors, and trying out new recipes with new veggies. She has been a student and a teacher, in the forest and in the classroom.  She is a mother and a wife and a daughter and a sister and a friend, and she wears each hat equally well.  She also wears her heart on her sleeve and it is always open. Just don’t ask her to do anything at Home Depot. kate@zengerfarm.org

Gareth Stacke, Farmer

Gareth StackeGareth grew up near Santa Cruz, CA. He never learned to surf, but does love the ocean. He moved to Portland in 2008 to attend Lewis & Clark College where he studied American History and the Civil Rights Movement. After school, Gareth started farming as an intern at Zenger Farm in 2013. After graduating from the program,and gaining experience working at Sauvie Island Organics, Our Table Cooperative and Portland Fruit Tree Project, Gareth is thrilled to be back at Zenger Farm. When not growing veggies, you can often find Gareth hiking in the gorge or riding around Portland on his bicycle. gareth@zengerfarm.org

Thao Tran, Bilingual Community Health Educator

Thao was born in Hanoi, Vietnam and as a child she witnessed the city’s massive, almost uncoordinated growth. Even then she saw the effects of social and environmental injustices at work to undermine the progress of development – the destitution and inequalities in Hanoi left very deep impressions. Thao immigrated to California when she was 9 years old, but eventually found her way to Portland, Oregon to be with the rain and the pines. In rediscovering her love for nature after growing up in tree-less suburbs and cities, and in establishing connections with many communities of intentional and diverse peoples, Thao found that her role in the world is in healing and building community around resilience and respect for people, nature, and the living world. Thao holds a degree in Economics from PSU. She hopes to continue learning and growing as an activist each day, but when she is not doing that she is probably playing with food, writing poetry, spacin’ out, and lounging with her kitty. 

Krysta Williams, Community Engagement Manager

Krysta WilliamsKrysta grew up throughout California exploring the outdoors and experimenting with food as much as possible. Some of her earliest memories are working in the garden with her dad. Her passion for food justice really took shape when she started teaching in a migrant farming town and seeing how the food and farming system so negatively impacted her students and their families. Krysta’s favorite thing about Zenger Farm is the way it uses food to bring together people from so many different walks of life and cultures.When not learning with kids and families about the ins and outs of holistic eating, Krysta also spends time organizing with community groups around issues of access and equity through her work with PARCEO – a community-based research center. krysta@zengerfarm.org