Meatingplace Cover cropped R.Thistlethwaite

Food, Health, Wealth.  If I could sum it up in three words, those are the things that motivate me the most in my work. And when I mean wealth, I mean true wealth. Grounded in the natural carrying capacity of the earth. Wealth that builds community resilience. Wealth that lifts up the poor. Wealth that is restorative and not simply extractive. Wealth in all its forms- human capital, financial capital, natural capital.

A bit about me- I have a passion for all things food and farm related, as well as new sustainable business models that advance equity, ecological integrity, and restore human relationships. I’ve spent the last 25 years in all facets of sustainable agriculture and the food chain: as a farmworker, food retailer, agricultural researcher, educator, business owner, non-profit manager, and consultant to farms of all sizes. Building on the foundation of a B.S. in Natural Resources Management and a M.S. in International Agricultural Development and Agroecology, I have a holistic understanding of the human and ecological dimensions of the food system. One of my more formative professional experiences was working close to seven years at the well-respected farm incubator ALBA in the Salinas Valley of California where I developed and delivered programs for beginning and more experienced growers as Director of Programs. I also ran a successful pastured livestock and poultry farm business called TLC Ranch for six years with my family near Watsonville, CA.

For the last 6 years have worked for the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN)  at Oregon State University, first as the Program Manager and more recently as the Director. I also run a farm consulting business (Honest Meat Consulting LLC) as well as a health coaching business (Commit to Live Health & Wellness). My first book, “Farms With A Future: Creating & Growing a Sustainable Farm Business“, a business guide for new and experienced farmers, was published by Chelsea Green Publishing in November 2012 and my second book “The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat” was released in June 2015.

I live in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge with my little family of three and spend my free time salsa dancing, trail running, volunteering, cooking, and reading. Find my current resume here.