Director, Farm to Institution
As director of the farm to institution programming, Rachael works with local growers, distributors and schools districts to make fresh, locally grown foods more available to students. She also builds crucial partnerships and provides training to empower districts to overcome barriers to serving local food.
She helped found the Johnson County Food Policy Council and has served as vice chair since 2017. She also chairs the council’s Local Food Development Work Group.
Rachael has a long career of bringing about social change through agriculture. She spent nine years as nutrition and gardening educator for the University of Missouri Extension and was director of the Eating from the Garden program in Jackson County, which taught gardening and nutrition concepts to elementary students. Through KC Healthy Kids’ partnership with Community Housing of Wyandotte County, Rachael operates Splitlog Farm and Orchard, which is owned by the housing agency.
“Schools and communities have a huge potential to address health disparities by reinventing themselves as places that promote healthy eating and active living and educate families about healthy food,” she says.
Rachael graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors in Plant Science and received her Masters in social work from UMKC. She stays active in that field by facilitating direct intervention and group counseling at a local medical center on a part time basis.
She holds a certificate from Community Development Academy, a series of intensive, experiential courses offered by the University of Missouri Extension Community Development Program.
Other Committees & Appointments
National Farm to School Network Kansas Core Partner, 2017-2019
Farm to School Consultant, Lawrence Public Schools, Since 2017