Sarah Vaile – Board President
A born and bred Midwesterner, Sarah moved to the Rogue Valley in 2008 and vows never to leave. She received her BA from Indiana University in Art History and English and her JD and an Environmental Law Certificate from Pace University School of Law.
Sarah has worked as a law clerk for Klamath County Circuit Court and an indigent criminal defense attorney for Southern Oregon Public Defender, and is currently Program Director/Staff Attorney for land use organization, Rogue Advocates. She is President of Rogue Farm Corps and is also on the board of Friends of Family Farmers. Sarah enjoys long-distance running, cooking and spending time with her two favorite men – husband, Joseph and son, Jack.
Erika Giesen – Secretary
Erika was born and raised in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, in and around Eugene. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Gender Studies from Lewis and Clark College, then she fled the clouds and rain of Portland for Tucson to earn a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from the University of Arizona. Since Arizona turned out to be too dry, she returned to Oregon in 2001, but this time to the weather-perfect Rogue Valley.
Erika taught Sociology at Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College until 2010 when she was hired full-time at RCC to teach Social Science. While her passion has been teaching about inequality and justice, in the past several years this interest has shifted to more directly be focused on environmental justice and sustainability. Her current favorite class to teach is Environment & Society. She learned how to garden from a student at SOU’s community garden and now tries her best to grow food in the Talent home she shares with her partner Danielle.
Heidi Dawn – Treasurer
Heidi and her family live in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, homesteading and homeschooling on three acres that her kids call The Big Backyard. She has kept dairy goats, various poultry, gardens and a small orchard.
She discovered her love of farm work while informally interning on dozens of farms across the country in the mid 90′s. Heidi currently manages the small Franklin Teaching Farm at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center. You can folow its blog at www.franklinteachingfarm.wordpress.com.
Heidi advocates and supports other small scale farmers through working with OSU’s Small Farms Program, coordinating both the Southern Oregon League of Women Farmers and the Southern Oregon Farmer to Farmer Network.