We’re excited to introduce you to the new folks joining our team here at OSA! This year, we’re welcoming two new permanent staff members, a spring advocacy intern, and four crew members to our Washington research farm team. Scroll down to meet our new teammates.
We’ve also announced several new members to our Board of Directors who you can read about here.
Ana Galvis-Martinez, Education Specialist
Ana Galvis-Martinez joins OSA’s staff as our Education Specialist after several years of working in collaboration with our education team. She is an educator who holds a bachelor degree in Biology, a MSc in Sustainable Development, and a MA in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in food justice. Ana is deeply interested in agroecology as an agricultural production alternative to produce nutritious food, conserve natural resources, and strengthen social movements. For over 15 years she has worked within the food justice and food sovereignty movements in the non-profit and in the academic sector, in Mexico, Colombia, and the U.S. Ana is originally from Colombia, single-mother of a young man, immigrant to the U.S. and has a deep love, respect, and admiration for ancient cultures and Indigenous cosmovision. She has extensive experience teaching sustainable agriculture to people of different socio-cultural backgrounds, ages, and genders.
Michael Lordon, Midwest Research and Education Associate
Michael Lordon joins our team as the Midwest Research and Education Associate supporting the research and education program. He has over five years professional experience in the organic seed industry working with Nature & Nurture Seeds, helping to grow the business, the seeds, and the community. Michael has a master’s degree focused on conservation ecology from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment, a bachelor’s degree in biological science from DePaul University, and is the co-author of multiple peer-reviewed articles in the field of population and community ecology. Currently, he’s involved with several Midwest-based seed projects, including growing the organic seed breeding network in the region. Michael wants to create accessible spaces for learning and exchange while exploring research questions involving agroecological data and human stories. He is committed to helping seed growers make decisions when confronted with both environmental and social dilemmas.
Florentina Rodriguez, Advocacy Intern
Florentina joins OSA’s team as our Spring Advocacy Intern supporting the development of our federal policy platform. She became involved in seed saving when she attended Seed School at The Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice. This empowered Florentina to start her community’s first seed library, The Yellow Springs Community Seed Library, which launched two locations this year. Her vision for a Community Seed Program was selected as one of six Sustainability Champion Projects through the Village of Yellow Springs Climate Action and Sustainability Plan.
Florentina’s father is a native Chamorro, the Indigenous people of Guam, and her desire to learn about seed work first stemmed from discovering how Indigenous people were using it to reclaim and preserve their biocultural heritage. Florentina is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education (EdD) degree in Environmental and Sustainability Education at Antioch University. Her dissertation topic focuses on seed education and seed advocacy as forms of resistance that foster community sovereignty.
Ellie Janda, Washington Field Intern
Ellie grew up in the Great Lakes region and has a love of hiking and strong coffee. With an educational background in Political Science, she worked on food and environmental justice campaigns in Minneapolis prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest. Ellie began farming last season on Vashon Island, Washington, and is excited to learn about seed systems and plant breeding with OSA as one of our Washington Field Interns.
Leeza Regensburger, Washington Field Intern
Leeza is going on her third year farming and very excited to join the OSA team as a Washington Field Intern. This season will be her first hands on experience with breeding and variety trialling. Leeza is from Raleigh, North Carolina and hopes to grow on family land there soon. She has a special interest in flowers and asian vegetables, as her mom is Taiwanese and she loves to grow the varieties she grew up eating. Previous to seed work Leeza worked for five years as a set designer in the fashion industry and continues to have an active art practice. She really enjoys bringing that creative, systems thinking mentality to her farming.
Christa Wilkinson, Washington Field Intern
Christa is looking forward to joining the OSA research farm field team as an intern, after keeping an eye on it for the last two years. She first learned about OSA while studying organic farming and sustainable agriculture at The Evergreen State College. During Christa’s final quarter, she applied for and was awarded a grant from the clean energy committee to attend the 2020 Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, Oregon. The conference was incredibly impactful in cementing her desire to become a small-scale seed producer of native and locally adapted plants. Not only were fellow attendees friendly and welcoming, but they also generously shared their hard earned years of experience and knowledge. Christa hadn’t seen that in other industry that she’d worked in.
Over the last couple years since attending the conference, Christa has worked at a variety of farms and gardens across the Pacific Northwest. She feels fortunate to have the educational resources provided by OSA and others to grow, process, and save seeds at a scale that works for the space she has.
We also welcome Kayla Ierlan as our Washington Field Assistant and Crew Leader!