Who We Are

The Farm Collaborative

Questions about visiting the IVOFG, farm tours, farm stand, produce sales, etc. Please contact Sara Madril (The Cultural Conservancy) at sara@nativeland.org or 415-561-6594.

John Valenzuela, Orchard Expert

John has worked with IVOFG for many years and continues to provide support with fruit trees. During our year of transition John will coordinate many tasks on the farm related to the organic certification, managing fruit tree propagation and orchard care. Please contact John at email or learn more at website

The Cultural Conservancy, Managing Partner 

Peter Rudnick, Lead Organic Farmer

Gael Perrin, Lead Marin Master Gardeners

Victoria Stavig, Lead Greenhouse and Propagation

Founding Partners

Marilee-EckertMarilee Eckert, CCNB Founding Partner 

Conservation Corps North Bay’s Chief Executive Officer and responsible for the Farm’s strategic development and fundraising. She is a respected and influential leader in the corps movement, having served Conservation Corps North Bay since 1992. Marilee is President of the California Association of Local Conservation Corps (CALCC), has served for 12 years as a Board Member of The Corps Network (including two years as chair), and Commissioner of the Marin County Economic Commission (Chair 2007-09). Most recently, she was awarded the The Corps Network’s Legacy Achievement award and inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame for her extraordinary achievements on behalf of disenfranchised youth. She is a proven and determined advocate for youth and the conservation corps model, making her well known to public officials and leaders on a local, state, and national level.

Dean Elizabeth Pratt, Dean of Career & Technical Education, College of Marin Founding Partner

Epratt0115Beth comes to the College of Marin from Napa College, where she worked for nine years in several roles—most recently that of Dean of Economic & Workforce Development and the District Auxiliary Service Foundation. During her time at Napa Valley College she was directly responsible for securing over $5M in grants for CTE and related programs. Beth has over 20 years’ experience in the California Community College system as an administrator and adjunct business faculty at both Napa Valley and Solano College. She has been on the board of directors of the California Community College Association of Occupational Educations, and has served on numerous other boards. She has a bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College, an MBA in International Business, and is completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She has a passion for entrepreneurship and helping students of all ages reach their career goals. Beth’s presence at the College of Marin will lead to a renewed focus on career and technical education and entrepreneurship.
Email  |  Phone: 415-457-8811 ext 8506

DavidDavid Lewis, UCCE Founding Partner

Director and Watershed Management Advisor of UC Cooperative Extension-Marin and has responsibility for linking the Farm’s programs to the broader community of farmers and agricultural professionals. UC Cooperative Extension-Marin, an organization with a 90-year track record of supporting new and beginning farmers in their efforts to be viable and sustainable producers of local agricultural products. In 2002, UC Cooperative Extension-Marin established the Grown In Marin program to provide training and support to farmers in the areas of diversification, direct marketing, and value added production. In addition, UC Cooperative Extension-Marin organized and facilitated Take Charge of the Future in 2004. This one-day conference was developed and hosted in partnership with local beginning farmers to provide them with strategies for farm management and connections to resources that will contribute to their success as the future of agriculture. Over 85farmers participated in the conference and since have participated in Grown In Marin workshops.
Email   |  Phone: 415-473-4204

melissa2Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D., (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Program Partner

Writer, researcher, educator, media-maker and cultural and environmental activist. Melissa has served as The Cultural Conservancy’s president and executive director since 1993. In 2000 she completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Ecology with an Emphasis in Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Since 2002 she has also served as a professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. Nelson is a Switzer Environmental Fellow and Leadership Award recipient and has served on the boards of numerous environmental organizations including Earth Island Institute and the Collective Heritage Institute, the parent organization to the Bioneers Conference. Her published works have appeared in academic and national journals. Her new edited anthology is Original Instructions – Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future (Bear & Company 2008).
Email  |  Phone: 415-561-6594