Staff and Board

Our Staff 


Lauren Sorg, Executive Director
Lauren moved to Tillamook from Washington, D.C. in 2010 and has been working to support family farmers, food producers and consumers through farm and food business support and local food programming. Lauren was the manager of Tillamook Farmers’ Market from June 2012 through December 2014. Before moving to Oregon, Lauren worked at FreshFarm Markets in Washington, D.C. and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in sustainable agriculture extension in Paraguay from 2007-2009.

Joel Caris, Development Director
Joel joined Food Roots in 2012 as a Board Member, taking on first the role of Treasurer and, more recently, the Vice Chair position. He quickly began leading major initiatives, such as our successful crowdfunding campaign for Food Roots; North Coast Grown project. He has farmed for the past six years and worked within the loacl farming community since early 2011, growing and raising food and establishing connections throughout Tillamook and Clatsop Counties. He also currently serves as the Treasurer of the White Clover Grange in Nehalem. Joel was selected as Food Roots Development Director in January 2015 and has now resigned from his Board role at Food Roots.

Allyson Gardner, Access to Local Food Coordinator
Allyson moved to Tillamook from the Appalachian Mountains to be apart of Food Roots in 2012. That year the North Coast with it’s rich and caring community stole her heart and became her home. Since then she has started Green Fork Farm, in Nehalem OR – a small vegetable farm that focuses on marketing sustainably grown food to local restaurants and groceries. In her spare time, she loves hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, and generally being outside.

Lainie Koch, Office Administrator & IDA Administrator
A native New Yorker, Lainie moved to south Tillamook county in 1979 to teach at Neskowin Valley School, and “graduated” nearly thirty years later to experience the outside world. She is a passionate gardener, cook, baker, recycler, knitter and beach walker. She has been buying local and bulk food since her coop manager days while in college in Wisconsin. Lainie and her husband, Randall, live with their dog Buddy in Neskowin, Oregon.

Rachel Pettit, Farm to School Coordinator
Rachel is passionate about all things food and recently relocated to Tillamook from theWisconsin shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. After studying institutional sustainability and sustainable agriculture at Northland College and two terms of service with AmeriCorps as a nutrition educator, she continues her commitment to strengthening local food systems by joining Food Roots.

Julia Yost, FoodCorps Member
Julia recently moved to Tillamook after graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Environmental Studies and a focus in food and agriculture. She found her passion for growing food as a kid helping her dad with their robust, backyard urban garden in San Francisco, CA. She is excited to start igniting that same passion in kids with Food Roots. In her free time she can be found cooking, reading, exploring, or watching the Food Network.

SarahFae Scott, FarmTable Coordinator 2017 Market Season
SarahFae is a new mama, a dancer, a gardener and a wild food forager. She finds joy in community, healing foods and finding ways to make those two coincide on a regular basis. What a perfect place to find this, at the FoodRoots FarmTable at the farmers market. 


Our Board 

Hayden Bush, Chair
OSU Open Campus Education Coordinator
Hayden Bush is Tillamook and only left to attend college at OSU, where he earned a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences and an M.S. in Agricultural Education.  Hayden works for the OSU Extension Service in Tillamook as the Open Campus Education Coordinator. He also instructs for and heads the Agriculture and Natural Resource Program for Tillamook Bay Community College. Hayden is passionate about providing the best possible educational opportunities to anyone he can, but particularly to those that may not have the opportunities otherwise.  In addition to working for OSU and TBCC, Hayden runs his family farm with his mom and dad.  Hayden’s wife, Brooklyn, is the Agricultural Science and Technology teacher and FFA advisor for Tillamook High School.  He and his wife spend a lot of their free time mentoring and giving back to youth in the local community, but also enjoy spending time with their three dogs, their horses, and all of their cows.

Kristen Penner, Vice ChairKristen Penner
Source, Garibaldi
Kristen moved to Tillamook County with her husband from Eastern Oregon where they owned and operated several restaurants. She and her husband our Garibaldi-based fishers and brave our coast daily, providing local fish and crab to our local food system. Kristen is also an owner of Source, located on highway 101 in Garibaldi; a farm and fish stand, also part studio, part gallery, and part community voice for local projects underway in our corner of paradise. Kristen is also a founder of the Garibaldi Cultural Heritage Initiative, whose mission is to restore and meaningfully use Pier’s End: Garibaldi’s historic United States Coast Guard boathouse, creating an inclusive community gathering place that enhances the Tillamook Coast’s economic strength, and to generate both educational and recreational opportunities for public-private partnerships to thrive.

Crystal Killion, Treasurer
Tillamook County Creamery Association
Crystal grew up and around Tillamook county for over 25 years. She’s have been married 14 years and has an amazing blended family. Crystal is passionate about farm to table, growing and eating locally produced food and changing the way we all think about food and where it should come from. Crystal has a bachelors degree ineducation and environmental science; she owned and operated an in home day care over 15 years so she could be the stay at home mom, and has been a foster parent for this community for over 12 years. She love’s this community and the people in it. Crystal currently coaches 3-6 grade girls sports and works at TCCA as an accounts payable specialist.

Jessica Linnell, Secretary 
Jessica is passionate about growing, cooking, and enjoying food.  She earned a B.S. and Ph.D. in nutritional from University of California, Davis. During her time in Davis she worked with educators to implement school nutrition programs in schools across California.  She also conducted research to understand the effects of school nutrition programs on children’s health, and the factors that affect schools’ ability to successfully implement and sustain these programs.  Jessica moved to Tillamook in 2016 to join the team at Oregon State Extension in Family & Community Health where she works with individuals, families, organizations, and community leaders to support healthy eating in Tillamook County.  


Tracy Johnson
Landscape Architect
Tracy brings both prior non-profit board experience and active farmer experience to Food Roots. She has participated in Food Roots FarmTable as well, so she is familiar with the Food Roots staff and programming. She works as a landscape architect with a Portland-based firm and lives with her husband and son in Tillamook. 

Melissa Carlson-Swanson

Branch Services Manager, Oregon Food Bank, Tillamook County Services
Melissa “Mis” Carlson-Swanson moved to Tillamook in 2006 with her husband and 2 sons. She and her oldest son, Croix, became volunteers for Food Roots at the Farm Table at the Tillamook Farmers Market the following summer and have been supporters in various ways over the years since then. She graduated with a BA in Anthropology from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and spent 16+ years in Community Banking. She believes in the mission of Food Roots, and is so thankful that her current job as Branch Services Manager at Oregon Food Bank Tillamook County Services has allowed her the opportunity to work with the organization as a strong community partner. She is passionate about serving others and improving the quality of life of everyone in the community.


Food Roots was founded in 2006 by Shelly Bowe, a tireless advocate for local food, farming, community, and healthy families. She passed away in 2017 from a battle with ALS. Shelly remains a figure in our organization; someone we all admired and whose vision we continue to strive for through our programming, partnerships, and friendships.

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Food Roots

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