WFAN is a community of women in sustainable agriculture.

Our mission is to engage women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power. Read More.

Our Board

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Anna Bruen
Anna

I’m continually inspired by the commitment, conviction, and good work being facilitated by WFAN and am grateful to work alongside farmers, foodies, and women who bring their own unique perspectives to the table.

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We all have a role to play in creating an ecologically and socially just food system, and working with WFAN reminds me that by working collaboratively we can facilitate such lasting change.

I grew up in Fairfield, Iowa surrounded by farm land, but not familiar with it. I was familiar with healthy food and worms and butterflies thanks to my mother’s backyard gardening experiments; they showed me where those horrid things called tomatoes came from and where those delicious snow peas could be gleaned (I still love snow peas and have developed a delicious appreciation for heirloom tomatoes). Since those backyard adventures, I’ve wandered around Iowa and the world. I love to see new places and learn about unfamiliar things – whether close to home or far away.

Currently, I work as an Environmental Planner focusing on natural resource conservation and economic development for Pathfinders RC&D in Fairfield. My professional experience has revolved around working with municipalities, businesses, and non-profits in a variety of capacities, to find appropriate ways for the natural and built environment to healthily co-exist. I graduated from Iowa State University with a Masters in Community and Regional Planning and a M.S. in Sustainable Agriculture. 

Kari Carney
Kari Head shot June 2015 Kari is WFAN’s secretary. She has been working with nonprofit, social change organizations for 2 decades. She recently co-founded a new organization ‘Women Building Power’ whose mission is to engage and unite women to build power to achieve economic, social and political equity for women.

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Prior to founding WPB in November 2014, she worked many years at a statewide nonprofit as the membership and training director and as a community organizer working with family farmers and rural communities to address issues that impacted them. Kari consults with organizations across the country on membership, fundraising, strategy development, direct action and leadership development; and she’s part of a national training team to train young organizers. Kari and her husband Kevin live on a small farm south of Norwalk with her working border collies and a small flock of hair sheep.

Nicole Ceyalar

Nicole is a Chicana from California who has been an educator and community organizer for over 15 years. She currently works as the Community Food Systems Director at FoodLink for Tulare County and has a Bachelors Degree in English and a Masters Degree in Humanities with a focus on Chicana history and literature. She lives at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains and has a deep love for the natural world and the people of the San Joaquin Valley.

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Nicole is a certified permaculturist and loves teaching young people about environmental stewardship, food justice, gardening, and community empowerment. As a feminist, she is committed to gender equality and reproductive rights, as well as dismantling patriarchy, racism, and capitalism. Her father comes from a farm worker family and her maternal grandfather was the first Mexican American to receive government building contracts in California. She comes from a long line of hardworking, loving, compassionate ancestors, and seeks to continue living up to their legacy.

Nicole believes that the answer to our current social, political, economic, and environmental problems lie in the experience, wisdom, and leadership of women. The degradation of the planet is directly correlated to the systemic violence and genocide committed against women’s bodies, and in returning to the knowledge of our ancestors and indigenous leaders, we can create a world that is just, abundant, and beautiful for all.

Anna Johnson
Anna Jonson headshotAnna is a student Board member with WFAN.  She originally hails from Maryland and is enrolled as a graduate student at Iowa State University.

While not from a farming background, she has been interested and
involved in agriculture for over a decade.  She started reading and studying agricultural issues in college, ultimately majoring in environmental studies with a concentration in sustainable agriculture at Yale.

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After that, she spent two years working full-time on small vegetable CSA farms on the East Coast.  She then settled near home in Washington, D.C. for three years where she worked in USDA’s budget office, after which she decided to pursue dual passions for agriculture and sociology at Iowa State.  She lives in Ames, Iowa.

Ahna Kruzic
Ahna I grew up in Albia, Iowa. After completing my undergraduate degree at Iowa State University in sociology and gender studies, I went on to travel and work abroad, and later as a community organizer in Iowa.

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Now that I’m back at Iowa State, I’m working towards my MS is Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology while working with communities to understand enabling environments for the development of sustainable, just local food systems and communities. Further, I’m working to identify limitations of local foods movements and how we might create more inclusive narratives. I’m excited to serve as a student member of the WFAN board. I believe that by learning from one another, organized women can be a real force for positive change on landscapes and in communities.

Emily Miller
Emily is a graduate of Iowa State University, receiving her undergraduate majors in Agriculture & Society and Animal Science, and will be pursuing a graduate degree in Rural Sociology.
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She is interested in the linkages between rural communities and sustainable food systems; specifically as they relate to community development and wellness programs, community supported agriculture systems, and the barriers that may inhibit an individual’s movement between those systems. She is humbled to be learning from and working with the incredible women of WFAN.

Emily has worked on livestock and horticulture farms, and has been riding horses since before she has been able to walk. You will often find her judging horse shows, gardening, and running. She resides in Des Moines, IA.

Sophie Neems

Sophie Neems grew up attending summer camp on a small farm outside of Iowa City where she first learned about the magic of soil and strength of the earth. Sophie took her passion for the land to Grinnell College where studied anthropology and Spanish.

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While at Grinnell, she completed her senior thesis on women alternative farmers in Iowa, studying ten women’s identities, their motivations to farm and their knowledge sharing practices. After graduation, Sophie moved to Washington, DC to complete a service corps year at Brainfood, a youth development non-profit that teaches high school aged youth life skills through food and cooking. Sophie is now an intern at National Farmers Union where she helps to organize their women farmer conference, as well as compile a women farmer blog. Sophie is honored to serve on the WFAN Board and advocate for the voices of all women farmers in hopes of contributing to a more just and sustainable food system.

Maritza Pierre
Hailing from Haiti, Maritza is working on a double master degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University.

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Her interests include food sovereignty, food waste reduction, sustainable planning, agricultural policy, and agroforestry. While she awaits building her homestead and tree house somewhere in the tropics, Maritza is committed to deepen her knowledge on sustainable agriculture which she believes is the way the world should feed itself. She looks forward to learning from, working with, and serving the amazing women who are part of the WFAN family.

Jess Soulis
Throughout my time working in food systems and agriculture, I’ve found WFAN to be a great source of inspiration and community. I love the work WFAN does, the way that work is done, and what this community means to the many women whose lives are touched by this work.

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It’s an honor to serve on the board, working side by side with so many amazing women as we continue to widen our circles of connection to this action, inspiration, and community.

I serve as the Farm Marketing Specialist with Lutheran Services in Iowa’s Global Greens program, which helps reconnect farmers who came to the U.S. with refugee status to the land. My role at Global Greens includes supporting the farmers in managing their markets, record keeping, and business planning. I love this work and the opportunity to assist the Global Greens farmers as they continue to build new lives in Iowa. Prior to coming to LSI, I worked in the fields of food systems and ag, social services, and education. In 2012, I graduated from Iowa State with a master’s in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology and a certificate in Social Justice in Higher Education. I love to spend time hiking, gardening, and building community around social justice and good food!

Jennifer Vazquez
Jennifer V photoJennifer grew up in a military family and moved every few years as a kid. In 2002, she moved to northern Wisconsin to stay put for awhile, attend Northland College and, as luck would have it, realize her love of farming with her first farm internship on the shores of Gitchigummi (Lake Superior) in 2003.

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Many of her work experiences have revolved around agriculture and community
development. She’s worked on farms large and small, for non-profits, for different tribal organizations, research groups and for many small business owners. She moved to Iowa almost 5 years ago to attend graduate school at ISU where her graduate research focused on food sovereignty within the Oneida Nation Reservation Community.

After receiving a Masters degree in Sustainable Agriculture in the summer of 2011, she was hired by the Sac & Fox Tribe, aka the Meskwaki Nation, as their Local Foods Planner, and tasked with creating a new program within the Economic Development
Department. That program became known as the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI).

Her absolute favorite part of our food and farm system is farm work and farm-based education. As part of MFSI, in 2013, their team launched Red Earth Gardens, a 40-acre soon-to-be certified organic produce farm. Building off a successful second season in 2014, the farm is planning for a permaculture orchard in 2016, and in the meantime are exploring options for value-added products like dried soup mixes and heirloom dry beans using farm produce. Above all, the farm works to make affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables available to the Meskwaki community and region.

In her free time, she and her partner raise heritage hogs on pasture and market their products through their farm, Turkey Foot Farm.  They look forward toexpanding this business in the future.  She also likes to visit with family and friends, listen to music, dance and go for motorcycle rides.

WFAN
PO Box 611
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: (515) 460-2477
Email: info@wfan.org