MEET OUR TEAM
After studying ancient agriculture in college and co-teaching fifth grade, Jessa followed her passion for building healthy communities as an AMI Fellow in 2012. In her subsequent work at the AMI partner organization, The Highland Center, Jessa worked to build local food systems in the region. Jessa earned a Master's in Education from the University of Washington, where she studied and worked in the fields of nutrition and garden education, outdoor education, non-profit management, and curriculum development. Her passion for the Farm and Food Fellowship brought Jessa back to AMI in 2016 and she has been managing the Fellowship ever since. In her spare time, Jessa enjoys spending time in her garden and exploring the outdoors with her family.
AMI Farm Manager with
Waynesboro PUBliC SCHOOLS
After studying Biology and Studio Art at the University of Virginia, Jules spent two years in Detroit exploring interests in art, community gardening, and horticulture. Returning to Virginia, Jules worked on a flower farm and came to AMI as a 2018 Fellow, where they spent their Community Action year as Village and Garden Coordinator at the Allegheny Farm. Jules recently completed a livestock apprenticeship in California where they learned about regenerative practices for raising cattle, sheep, and pigs. They are excited to be farming in their home state again, deepening roots and working with the Waynesboro Public School community. Jules is passionate about plants and growing food, and loves to share this enthusiasm with people of all ages. In their spare time, they enjoy hiking, cooking, and making art.
FARMING, Education, & Outreach coordinator
Bree’s first farming experience was on an urban farm in DC in 2017. Since then, her passion for food justice and regenerative agriculture has only grown. In the following years, she pursued work in three distinct organic farming operations along the east coast: Eden Village Camp, Waterpenny Farm, and the Rodale Institute. She is thrilled to share her experience and enthusiasm with students and the broader community alike. Bree graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Latin American Studies. Originally a native of Staunton, she is happy to be back in the Shenandoah Valley.
AUGUSTA HEALTH FARM MANAGER
Hannah's love of food and farming started at an early age as she baked in her grandmother’s kitchen and planted gardens with her parents. Hannah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in Global Studies and Economics and served as a Satellite Garden Manager for Edible Campus. After six months of training as a Farm Fellow, Hannah became an AMI 2021 Community Fellow, serving as the Farm and Fellowship Coordinator at the Allegheny Farm. When she's not farming, Hannah enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, reading, and hiking.
Director of outreach,
communications, & Development
Born and raised in beautiful Central Oregon, Jamie developed a passion for environmentalism and social justice at an early age. Before joining AMI as a Fellow in 2020, she made a seven-year pit stop in upstate NY where she studied anthropology and communications at the University of Rochester and served as the marketing coordinator and community garden manager at the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. As a Community Fellow, Jamie managed produce distribution for the Allegheny Farm, coordinated the Highland Community Food Coalition, and supported AMI’s organizational equity efforts. When not strategizing ways to build a more just and sustainable food system, Jamie spends her time hiking, reading, and overanalyzing movies and TV shows.
Rick comes to AMI with over 30 years of accounting and business management experience. He worked with grants, capital budgets, and accounting software implementation at the University of Virginia. He also put in many years of corporate accounting at the former Rocco, Inc, poultry company in Harrisonburg. A graduate of James Madison University, Rick originally hails from Tidewater, Virginia, but has developed deep roots here in the Shenandoah Valley. When not trying to get on the golf course, his other passion is training, showing, and loving his herd of English Springer Spaniels.
ALLEGHENY FARM FACILITY CARETAKER
Paxton grew up in Waynesboro and then received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resource Management at Virginia Tech before serving as an officer in the Army for over 20 years. In 1999, Paxton moved to Highland County, where he has worked with his grandparents and cousin on the 225-acre family farm in Hightown. He has also been a Communications Officer & Communications Supervisor at the Highland County Sheriff’s Office and an Extension Technician with the Virginia Cooperative Extension.