From Teresa Kelly, new After the Harvest Gleaning Coordinator, who gleaning volunteers will meet at farms and gardens as their field supervisor:  Ever since I shared a freshly sliced kohlrabi my father pulled straight from the soil of my grandmother’s huge garden, I have been fascinated with growing and eating fresh food. Over the years that deeply rooted interest has taken me into many different avenues of the food production world.

When my oldest son started eating and playing with the dirt, I decided I did not want to have to worry about what he put in his mouth so growing became organic growing. That led to herb farming and market farming in Montana and a leadership role in local the Organic Crop Improvement Association technical committee which I held for several years. I relocated to Kansas City and have been involved with food policy change and organic growing including helping others learn to build farm based businesses with Cultivate Kansas City. Some of my most rewarding work has been helping people overcome barriers to fresh, locally grown food.

I currently serve on City Council in Roeland Park, KS and am Council liaison to the Roeland Park Sustainability Committee and the Roeland Park Community Foundation Advisory Board. I am the Kansas Co-Chair of the Mid America Regional Council First Suburbs Coalition and serve on the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition Steering Committee and the Johnson County Food Policy Council. A 2014 alum of the Northeast Johnson County Leadership NE program, I serve on the LNE Curriculum Committee.

My passion lies in cultivating sustainable community. It has been a great gift to share my expertise in policy change, grass roots organizing and advocacy with Masters level students at Avila University, Kansas State University, and numerous nonprofit organizations and citizen groups in the Kansas City area.

Aside from my civic activities, I am an Equine Experiential Learning specialist and spend as much time as possible at the barn with Sage, my equine partner and teacher. I live in Roeland Park, Kansas with the man of my dreams, four backyard hens and Sami, the cutest dog in the world. Our four adult children are living their own wild adventures.

I am excited to work with After the Harvest in bringing delicious, healthy, fresh food to the hungry in our community.