Our vision is of a strong farm community that provides healthy food, economic opportunities, and fertile ground to grow our rural heritage on the North Oregon Coast.
NEHALEM VALLEY FARM TRUST
Our mission is to support a healthy agricultural community in Tillamook and Clatsop counties by keeping farmland productive, providing resources to agriculturalists, and helping new farmers to enter the economy.
Who We Are
NVFT, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is dedicated to preserving farmland in our region and increasing local food production by:
Allyson Gardner, Chair
Jared Gardner is a policy consultant and farmer. He has worked with legislators, treasurers, community bankers, and advocacy organizations on policy campaigns in five states with successes at the city, county and state levels. He has helped draft and shape policies and their implementation in the areas of economic development for family farmers and small businesses, divestment/investment, and state level economic development programs. Jared and his wife run Nehalem River Ranch, a 100-acre grassfed beef, pastured pork and poultry and vegetable farm on the North Coast of Oregon.
Watt Childress, Secretary
Watt Childress has supported agrarian values for over two decades. Before moving to Oregon in 2001 he advocated for rural farm communities in Appalachia. In 1994 he co-founded Rural Resources, an educational organization that works to build a sustainable local food economy. He lives with his wife and two daughters on a small farm in the Nehalem Valley.
Vivi Tallman is a community herbalist focused on connecting people to the health benefits of plants grown and wild harvested in our area. Vivi moved to Nehalem in 1978, and in her first years here she and her family operated a 40-cow dairy farm. In 1983, she helped to start the Fire Mountain School, an alternative elementary school in Falcon Cove, and served as director for three years. From 1992-97 she was the first coordinator of the Court Appointed Special Advocate program in Tillamook and Clatsop Counties. She is a past member of the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council, and was a Board member of CART’M in its early years. In 2002, Vivi and six other community members founded the Lower Nehalem Community Trust, and she served that organization as a Board member (2002-2010) as well as staff (2004-2006). • Vivi sees being a Board member of the Nehalem Valley Farm Trust as an opportunity to draw on her experiences farming, starting and working for non-profits, and conserving local lands to assist in maintaining and growing our local farm economy.
Denise Lofman, Treasurer
Denise Lofman is dedicated to working with communities to find solutions for their natural resource issues. Having moved to the Oregon Coast in 2004, Denise has applied her professional passion to resource management of regional watersheds. Denise was the Director of the Tillamook Bay Watershed Council for eight years before joining the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST) as Director in 2012. She works directly with landowners to improve watershed health and salmon populations. She served as the board chair of the Network of Oregon Watershed Councils for five years, and has extensive experience in serving & leading non-profits. She focused her early career on green building, renewable energy, and water issues at Global
Green USA. Denise was also a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, focusing on environmental education. • Denise holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Social Change and Development and International Economics. She focused her studies on working with stakeholders to encourage community development while improving environmental issues. • When she is out of the office, she loves to spend time outdoors with her beloved dog on the breathtaking beaches and rivers of the Oregon Coast. She is a Crossfit and Thai kickboxing enthusiast, is working towards her blue belt in Jiu Jitsu, and is an avid reader.
Dr. Megan Horst is an assistant professor in Urban Studies and Planning and co-director of the Sustainable Food Systems Certificate at Portland State University. Megan's research focus is on land use planning, sustainable and just food systems, farmland conservation, and access/ownership of resource lands. For Nehalem Valley Farm Trust, Megan provides input on land use planning and other areas of her expertise. Megan lives in Portland and enjoys visiting the Nehalem Valley and eating delicious food whenever possible.