Our Team

City Farm SLO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization tasked with maintaining the Calle Joaquin Agricultural Reserve, educating and engaging the community in sustainable farming practices. Meet the dedicated people that make City Farm SLO an integral part of our local food system.

Steven Marx

President

Steven has been involved with City Farm SLO since 2011.  He started serving as President of the Board and Executive Director in 2016.  He has been motivated by the will of City residents to create an urban farm expressed in the General Plan of 1994. He was Professor of English specializing in Shakespeare at Cal Poly from 1988 to 2010. There he developed the Cal Poly Land Project, an interdisciplinary program that brought faculty and students from all Colleges together to produce a course, a book, and a website about the University’s 10,000-acre property.  He and his wife, Jan Marx, lived on an old homestead near the coast of British Columbia from 1970 to 1979, where they ran a summer camp for children.

Ty Griffin

Treasurer

STAFF

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SHANE LOVELL

FARM MANAGER

Danielle Raiss

DANIELLE RAISS

WEB ADMIN

Meet the tenant farmers that form the collective of small, independent organic farmers on City Farm SLO’s 19-acre parcel.

board members

Steven Marx

President

Ty Griffin

Treasurer

Linda Halisky

Secretary

Steven has been involved with City Farm SLO since 2011.  He started serving as President of the Board and Executive Director in 2016.  He has been motivated by the will of City residents to create an urban farm expressed in the General Plan of 1994. He was Professor of English specializing in Shakespeare at Cal Poly from 1988 to 2010. There he developed the Cal Poly Land Project, an interdisciplinary program that brought faculty and students from all Colleges together to produce a course, a book, and a website about the University’s 10,000-acre property.  He and his wife, Jan Marx, lived on an old homestead near the coast of British Columbia from 1970 to 1979, where they ran a summer camp for children.

Ty Griffin is a long-time resident of SLO, with a background in computer work and accounting. He is happy to lend his talents and time to helping keep City Farm's finances and record-keeping in reasonably good shape, which he has been doing since Spring 2017.

Linda joined the English faculty at Cal Poly in the fall of 1984, serving there as professor of English for 30 years; for six of those years, she also led the Department as its Chair.  Between 2004 and 2012 she was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.  Linda met Steven Marx in the fall of 1988, when he, too, joined the English faculty, and it was through him that she learned of City Farm SLO.  She began working as a volunteer in the late summer of 2019 and joined the Board in early 2020.  Linda has been inspired by the farm’s goals of supporting sustainable agriculture and educating the local community through its several on-site educational and outreach programs and by its “Little Engine that could!” levels of energy and commitment.  She also loves her time outdoors at the farm, planting seeds and tending to the seedlings that will be populate the Market Garden.  She enjoys reading, walking/hiking, cooking, tending her flowers, and spending as much time as she can in London.    

Anne-Marie Bergen

Board Member

A recently retired educator, Anne Marie Bergen connected with City Farm SLO through the farm box program which led her to volunteer and support the growth of this program! Anne Marie discovered the natural connection children and adults had for experiential learning at Foothill Horizons Outdoor School as an environmental educator. She continued as an elementary educator in Oakdale, California. During her final ten years in Oakdale, she created a laboratory and field-based science program. For the past decade she has been faculty at Cal Poly, creating and teaching science and STEM undergraduate courses for future educators. Her focus on science and STEM engaged her in many leadership roles to include the California Teacher Advisory Council (chair), Central Coast Science Project (co-director), and National Academies Consensus Committee. She was honored by President Obama in 2010.When not at City Farm or tending to her succulents, you can find her exploring the beaches and trails of the central coast!

Gina Ruedebusch

Board Member

Gina joined the City Farm Board of Directors in March 2021 after volunteering with the farm for a few months.  In her professional career Gina has a background in Sales and Sales Support and is currently the Director of Sales Operations for Mindbody.  She relocated to the Central Coast from Ohio in May of 2020 and enjoys all of the things that the area has to offer including hiking, road and trail running, and wine tasting.  She's passionate about health and wellness and in particular about helping both adults and children reap the benefits of an active lifestyle, sustained by delicious natural whole foods.  

STAFf & Interns

Kayla Rutland

Executive Director

Shane Lovell

Farm Manager

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Jennifer Hopkins

Farm Education Coordinator 

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Gissel Neri Corcoles

Youth Empowerment Program Facilitator

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Adriana Arias

Youth Empowerment Program Communications & Media Coordinator

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Kayla has been involved as a volunteer then Vice President of the Board of City Farm SLO since moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2017. In 2021 she became Executive Director, bringing experience from the Health Promotion Division of the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department and previous roles in nonprofit organizations. Kayla’s personal mission is to advance community health and climate resiliency by helping all people connect with food and where it comes from. She is grateful for the opportunity to work towards this mission every day. In addition to this work, Kayla enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and backpacking in our incredible Central Coast. Kayla earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut with a minor in Sustainable Crop Production.

Shane is passionate about designing ways for natural ecosystems and our modern ways of life to thrive together. He earned a bachelor’s degree of Industrial Design at The Art Institute of California then worked as a furniture designer for several years. While this was an engaging and creative career path, he longed to take his design interests into the natural world. With growing interests in gardening, natural ecology, and regenerative agriculture, he decided to pivot his career into farming. He discovered City Farm in 2019, and after a brief period of volunteering, he joined the team as Site Manager. In 2021 he became Farm Manager, overseeing the educational gardens and general farm maintenance. His focus has been to design a system that encourages people, ecology, and agriculture to all flourish simultaneously.

Outside his work on the farm, he enjoys being in nature. Whether it’s hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, or just relaxing under the trees, he is rejuvenated by observing the natural world.

Jennifer relocated to the Central Coast in 2019 after a trip with family and falling in love with the California landscapes and activities. Jennifer holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and a Master's in Public Health with an emphasis on Health Promotion. She is interested in the interactions of communities with the natural and built environments surrounding them, and the roles these interactions serve in determining our health. Jennifer is excited to be a part of the City Farm SLO team and hopes to inspire youth by providing creative and engaging lessons that allow for making connections between our food systems, health,and sustainability. When not on the farm, Jennifer enjoys playing and watching soccer, sewing, hiking,surfing, and spending time with her family and her cats, Fonzie and Ginger, and dog, Zoe.

Gissel’s passion for her work at City Farm SLO is inspired by the members of the Youth Empowerment Program and the opportunity to help people connect with our food system. Gissel will soon be a first-generation college student. She studied Agricultural Science at Cal Poly SLO and plans to continue her education by pursuing a master's in the same field. Gissel works to create content for the Youth Empowerment Program and works directly with students to help them discover the opportunities within agriculture with hands-on experience out on the farm. In her free time, Gissel enjoys going on hikes and spending quality time with friends and family.

Adriana is involved with City Farm SLO’s Youth Empowerment Program as the Communications & Digital Media Coordinator and co-Facilitator. She is a senior at Cal Poly, SLO pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business with a minor in Agricultural Communications. Adriana is a native to the Central Coast; she grew up in Santa Maria and moved to SLO to attend Cal Poly. Growing up surrounded by agriculture and a family background of farming in Mexico, Adriana has enjoyed studying and working with agriculture. She also works with the local FFA region, assisting in administrative tasks and event preparations. Adriana enjoys traveling, soaking up sunsets here on the Central Coast, and visiting local coffee shops with unique aesthetics. She is filled with happiness to be able to work with students and looks forward to expanding her skill set through YEP. 

Tenant Farmers

Meet the tenant farmers that form the collective of small, independent organic farmers on City Farm SLO’s 19-acre parcel.

Javier Red Barn Farms

Red Barn Farms

Owner Javier Magana has grown a wide variety of produce at City Farm since 2015. His regular customers include Novo Restaurant, SLO Veg, SLO and AG Farmers markets, and San Luis Coastal Unified School District Food Service.

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Javier Magana

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fox and rye farm

Katie Ikard has run an urban farm in Portland for the last three years. She is practicing no-till, carbon-farming methods on her two-acre leased parcel at City Farm SLO.

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Katie Ikard

@foxandryefarm

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MOnarch Hills Farm & Garden

coming soon... 

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Emma Smith 

info coming soon... 

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blosser urban garden

Subtenant Blosser Urban Garden (blosserurbangarden.com) is a small-scale certified organic farm in Santa Maria operating since 1996, with a CSA of over 250 members and a farmstand on Blosser Road. It’s owned and operated by Jerry and Alejandra Mahoney. Jerry worked for eleven years as the Cal Poly organic farm manager, teaching future farmers the importance of sustainable organic farming practices. 

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Jerry Mahoney

blosserurbanharden.com

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Francisco martinon

Francisco and his family have just planted a variety of crops which they supply to SLO Veg and other local outlets.

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Francisco Martinon

contact info coming soon!

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Our Global family farm

Teresa "Tree" Lees promotes global unity and permaculture through regenerative agriculture techniques. Learn more @

https://www.ourglobalfamilyfarm.com/

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Tree Lees

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