Phone: (618) 370-3287 ext 102 Email: jennifer (at) fwsoil.org
Jennifer joined Food Works in 2017 to manage the indoor winter farmers market, spearhead Food Works' food access program, and coordinate the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance.
Paulson brings to Food Works over a decade of experience engaging stakeholders and coordinating projects using her skills in management and design. Before coming to Food Works, Jennifer worked at the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin where she cared for thousands of objects of art and manuscripts, and managed and trained university students and volunteers. Paulson was also co-owner of Carsonhill Ceramic Studio, selling handmade pottery in farmers markets and art fairs thoughout the Austin area. She has also taught art and design courses in several universities and community colleges. Paulson relocated back to Southern Illinois in 2016 where she lives on a farmstead in Cobden. In addition to growing food with her family, she loves to paint and draw in her art studio, is a passionate home cook, and a strong believer in the importance of a robust local food economy.
Paulson earned a Master of Fine Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Columbus College of Art and Design.
Sandra Sorensen is the Co-Facilitator in Farm Beginnings. Sandy is a farmer with a diverse background that includes horse racing, bookkeeping, shipping and receiving, entrepreneurship, and classroom teaching. She launched Sorensen Heritage Farm due to her personal convictions about the importance of animal health and welfare – an ethic she nurtured on the horse race track. When exploitation became the norm in the racing business, she left, taking her last horse with her. Sandy lives on her farm outside Thompsonville in Franklin County, Illinois where she raises Gloucestershire Old Spot heritage breed pigs from which she makes brats and sausage using an old family Kentucky recipe. She sells Sorensen Heritage Farm pork products at the Benton Farmers Market on Thursdays and at the Carbondale Farmers Market on Saturdays and by appointment.
Dayna Conner - Founder
Dayna has been an active good food advocate since 1998 and has experience as a Biointensive food production teacher, a small business director and child educator. She is the founder of the learning gardens at River Oaks Elementary in Austin, Texas, where she taught sustainable gardening to Pre-K through 5th grades. She is also co-founder and former executive director of the Green Corn Project urban food garden initiative in Austin. Dayna lived most of her life in the central San Joaquin Valley in California and is the granddaughter of migrant farm workers. She believes that access to healthy food is a right of all people, and that the landbase - the water, topsoil, and all living communities that interact with them - should be protected at all costs. In establishing Food Works, Dayna created practical programs to ensure that food grown in Southern Illinois is produced and marketed in ways that respect and honor growers and the living communities of which they are a part. After working in the Carbondale community for 11 years and serving as Executive Director of Food Works since 2008, Dayna moved on in December 2014 to focus her efforts on environmental activism.
Kathleen Logan Smith
Kathleen is a long time food and environmental activist. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Food Works from 2014-2018. She has consulted on research on Missouri permitted livestock operations and conducted outreach to communities on local food systems. While serving as Environmental Policy Director for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, she edited the 59-county, bi-state St. Louis Regional Food System Study which examined health, food, and farming with an aim to promote local, sustainable food in Missouri and Illinois. Prior to serving as Policy Director, she was Executive Director of MCE from 2006-2013 helping grow the organization and diversify its support. Her work in environmental advocacy revealed the links among soil health, water quality, human health and farm policy and prompted her to turn her attention to food systems.
Reanna served as the Farmers Market Program Manager and Farming Alliance Program Specialist at Food Works. She was responsible for the operations of the Community Farmers Market (CCFM) and provided leadership, oversight and organization for the market. Reanna successfully built partnerships and secured funding for a double value incentive program at the Community Farmers bringing in new low-income customers and increasing SNAP sales at the market. In addition to the Farmers Market, facilitated the Farming Alliance.
Reanna relocated to North Carolina in August 2017.