This site has had many co-creators, from the college students and farm women who began the original research to identify our farm and ranching partners, to several passionate young women with their own visions for promoting the farm stay culture in America.
We couldn't have pulled off this project without all of them and continue to rely on their efforts and resourcefulness, great ideas and total conviction that what we offer in the way of farm and ranch vacations is vital, and important, and even educational (in an ever-so-much-fun, not boring way!).
Farm Stay U.S. founder Scottie Jones and her husband Greg raise grass-fed lamb at Leaping Lamb Farm in the green hills of Oregon's Coast Range. Since 2006 they have also operated a thriving farm stay, where they've hosted guests from near and far.
Scottie brings years of entrepreneurial experience to Farm Stay U.S., having been the Arizona franchisee for the socially-responsible British company, The Body Shop, and having worked in retail services and marketing at the Phoenix Zoo, where species survival and conservation were critical components of zoo education.
Now through Farm Stay U.S., she hopes to provide an economic, educational, even spiritual bridge for rural and urban Americans eager to renew a healthier food and farm system, and access to memorable and wonderful guest experiences.
In her own voice: from KATU and Edible Portland
Kate, a photographer and writer, grew up in the beige suburbs of Southern California and moved to Oregon seven years ago, despite the existence of giant house spiders.
In an effort to reduce her own reliance on the industrialized food system, Kate began blogging and writing about local food and farms in the Willamette Valley. She and her husband now raise chickens and bees in their backyard and are working to convert their small property into a farm.
Kate is the Communications Manager for Farm Stay U.S. and assists with the daily business of the website. While she has 20+ years of administrative professional experience in various industries, this is the first time she's able to visit with actual turkeys during her lunch hour.
Holly grew up in southern California and then moved to Oregon with her husband to settle for something a bit greener. Farms are now all around her, even though she lives in a neighborhood.
We brought her onto our team because we liked the part of her resume that talked about maintaining order amid chaos and ever-changing challenges, which sounds like farm life to us.
Holly works part time at Farm Stay U.S. as our membership manager, helping our farmers to tell their stories well in text and photos, so they can tend to their livestock, their crops, and their farm stay guests.
Michelle first fell in love with agriturismo while studying farm stays in Italy. Inspired by the local farm food and remarkable farmers that she met in Europe, Michelle knew she wanted to work to expand agritourism in the United States.
Michelle has worked as a farmer and educator in Maryland, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Mexico. She also founded her own small business in Vermont, Aunt Shell's Goat Cheese.
In addition to contributing here at Farm Stay U.S. as a blogger, Michelle also blogs about farm stays at www.farmstays.blogspot.com (aka The Farm Stay Project) and is a full-time farmer in Maryland.
Read blog posts by Michelle
Black Mountain, North Carolina
Kari has always been a farm groupie even though she grew up in the woods (canoeing instead of milking), in the Adirondack Mountains. She's passionate about connecting folks to family farms and has worked at sustainable agriculture non-profits across the country, marketing and communicating with the public about the benefits of supporting an authentic rural life. She's done her share of digging in the dirt but these days you'll mostly find her typing rather then tending.
Kari lives in the Appalachian mountains just outside of Asheville, North Carolina with her son Finn, who thankfully knows where his food comes from. She founded the local Crop Mob (www.cropmob.org), an organization the 'mobs' a local farm voluntarily in exchange for a shared meal and some good farming tips. She spends her (not very much) free time hiking, playing mandolin and making birds out of various textiles.
Also the founder of Sleep in the Hay, Kari is acting as an adviser to Farm Stay U.S., using her expertise in marketing, social media, and relationship building. The end goal: to move us towards a national farm stay association.