The KCAA has a total of 11 board seats. Elections take place every year in early Spring. For more information on how to become a board member please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Board Membership page.
When I moved out of my parents’ house, in 1968 at the age of 18, getting my hands dirty was about the last of my thoughts. But the following spring, as the air warmed and the crocuses popped, I looked out onto the expanse of lawn in front of the house I was renting with four other hippie friends, and said, “I’m gonna plant a garden.” In the forty-six year since, that impulse has continued to inform my life, from a tiny plot in Washington DC to a colonial acre outside of Boston to the old farmhouse I own now, between Silverdale and Poulsbo.
The land is a constant in my life. I think this first became clear to me when I read “A Sand County Almanac” in high school. Later excursions into Wendell Berry works, as well as a lifetime of hiking and fishing and gardening have taught me reverence for nature, and appreciation for those of us who base their livelihoods on it. It underlies my involvement with the food industry (I worked as a professional chef for many years, as well as a journalist writing about food). It has also formed the foundation of much of my work as an educator, both teaching at the alternative high school in Kingston, and now, as the Environmental Science teacher at Kingston High School.
I see my role on the board of KCAA as an opportunity first to learn, and then to explore. It is a chance for me to develop ideas about farm preservation, about integrating agriculture into the lives of young people, about diversifying the economic base of the county. And finally, it is an opportunity for me to work with a group of folks who are passionate and knowledgeable.
Vice President – Michelle Schmittler
As current resident of Bremerton, Michelle has been quite involved with participating, volunteering and building the agricultural community around her. In addition to volunteering as a member of the Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance, Michelle has also volunteered and been a member of the Kitsap Food Co-Op and the Bremerton Community Farmer’s Market.
When asked why Michelle was interested in the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance, she stated, “I very much support local farms & local food as well as sharing that information. Education and support to new farmers and the general public for how and where they can access these things, on up to how to grow it themselves. I like how KCAA brings learning and network opportunities to the public as well as other organizations. I also would like to gain more education in order to provide the same thing and believe that involvement with KCAA, its members, and its goals will help with that in large part.”
Michelle says she can provide her computer and customer service skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, QuickBooks, social media, fundraising, research, networking and graphic design as contribution of her expertise to the KCAA. In addition to all this, Michelle has had experience serving as an officer in two separate non-profit organizations.
Treasurer – Peggy Hall
I am a retired Army Reserve Master Sergeant (E-8). In 2015, I earned a BS in Accounting. I am an Enrolled Agent and own Legacy Accounting and Tax Service. I hope to teach and support local farms as they employ sound accounting and record keeping for their businesses. I currently work at the Naval Hospital Bremerton in the Budget Office as a Management Analyst and Internal Auditor.
As for my farming background, I manage a small family farm at our Olalla home. We grow and market our fresh local produce as Legacy Farm. I served as the Administrator for the precursor to this organization, the Kitsap Food and Farm Alliance, from 1999-2001 and rejoined the KCAA board in 2011. I currently serve as board Treasurer.
Secretary – Jess Sappington
Jess has been involved in local food and agriculture in Kitsap since moving to the area in 2011. She has worked with a range of community organizations and is the Food Systems Program Coordinator for WSU Kitsap Extension. She is co-founder of Farm Funk Music Festival and enjoys organizing community events and bringing people together.
She is a graduate of The University Of Montana’s Environmental Studies Program and has worked on organic farms on and off since college. After college she traveled overseas as a Peace Corps Volunteer working with Ni-Vanuatu Farmers on the island of Tanna before settling back into life in the Pacific Northwest. She believes strongly in the importance of connecting the consumer with those that grow their food. During her free time you can find her gardening and spending time with her family at their home in Bremerton.
Director – Scott Hall
I grew up on a small farm in South Kitsap, and while in high school worked summers on a very large diversified farm near the tri-cities in eastern Washington. Following high school, I was in the U.S. Army for 7 years. My past employment has included Nuclear Weapons Specialist, Physical Science Technician, Employee Development Specialist, and Drug Program Coordinator. Most recently (from 2009-2015), I managed the Petersen Farm Estate in Silverdale. After losing our struggle to acquire the farm, I and my wife Peggy began to establish Legacy Farm at our Olalla home.
I serve on the Policy Committee for the KCAA and frequently attend county land use and agriculture code meetings. I would like to see KCAA take an active role in providing advice to county planners as those planners to identify what “rural” means in Kitsap County. For all their good intentions, planners are all too often disconnected from on-the- ground experience in “rural” issues. I would also like KCAA to continue to host events that draw the wider community into discussions of issues of importance to KCAA members.
Director – Kelsey Figone
Director – Fred Alger
Director – Ellie Rider
Ellie has not always been involved in agriculture, and often considered herself a “first generation farmer”. In high school, she was an active member of her high school’s FFA and started her own herd of breeding sheep. The FFA and Agriculture program at her high school inspired her to pursue her love of working with livestock at WSU. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science in 2014 and then pursued her Master’s in Teaching with endorsements in Agricultural Education and Biology. Ellie is the current Agricultural Education teacher at North Kitsap High School. She has spent the past 3 years teaching a variety of science classes at NKHS, including Biology, Physical Science, Animal Science, and Introduction to Agriculture. Her past 2 years of teaching have been spent specifically focusing on rebuilding the Agriculture program and the FFA, including revitalizing the greenhouses and horticulture site at the school. Her plans for the program aren’t just limited to the agriculture courses currently taught and the current uses of the greenhouses, but extend to a full program with individual pathways that students can choose to pursue their passion in agriculture. She also has plans to rebuild the FFA so that students are able to gain more experience in agriculture and leadership outside of the classroom while also becoming active in the community in which they live. Ellie hopes that by educating students, she will influence them to be independent thinkers with the experience and knowledge to effectively shape an industry that is so vital to life. Ellie also believes that there is often a disconnect between the food that we eat and the farmers that provide that food. By creating a farm to table pathway in her own program she hopes to bridge that gap and provide a needed understanding of the work that it takes to feed the world.