About Us

The Quivira Coalition consists of a small staff, a dedicated board, dozens of volunteers, numerous family ranchers and farmers, conservationists, scientists and public land managers, hundreds of members, and thousands of others touched by our work.  What we all have in common is a dedication to building economic and ecological resilience on western working landscapes.

StaffBoard

Staff

Sarah Wentzel-Fisher

Executive Director

she/her/hers

Sarah has worked in food and agriculture planning for the past seven years with a focus on supporting young and beginning farmers and ranchers. She was the editor of Edible Santa Fe from 2011 to 2017. From 2013 to 2015 she worked for the National Young Farmers Coalition as an organizer and is currently the board president of the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust. She is a committed champion of the local food movement and of resilient agriculture demonstrated by her work with La Montanita Co-op, New Mexico’s longest running and largest member Co-op, by co-founding the Albuquerque Grower’s Alliance, and through her graduate research in small-scale agriculture in the region. In her free time she enjoys visiting farms and ranches, experimenting in her kitchen, and keeping chickens in her backyard.

Sarah at quiviracoalition dot org

Direct Line: 505.393.1432

Leah Ricci

New Agrarian Program Director

she/her/hers

Leah comes to the Quivira Coalition with over a decade of experience coordinating and managing nonprofit programs at the intersection of sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and community resiliency. After graduating from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies, she spent five years working at an outdoor science school in California, helping kids build connections to the outdoors through ecology lessons and exploration. In addition to teaching outdoor ed, she’s also taught garden and cooking classes in the Bay Area, and English in northern Chile. More recently, Leah managed California’s Market Match program, one of the nation’s largest SNAP incentive programs. She helped lead the expansion of the program to over 260 farmers’ markets across the state, supporting small scale farmers, low-income families, and a stronger local food system in the process. Outside of work, Leah likes to spend time up in the mountains on long runs, learning about geology, or whipping up a batch of waffles in her kitchen.

Leah at quiviracoalition dot org

Direct Line: 505.393.1324

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator

she/her/hers
 
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, community organizer, and freelance writer and photographer, who lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch. For eleven years she managed the
Tribal Lands Partnership Program for the National Wildlife Federation. She received her
B.A. in International Studies from Gonzaga University and her M.A. in International
Development from University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. In 2014, Alexis was awarded the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe. She is also on the board of the directors of the national pipeline safety organization, the Pipeline Safety Trust.
 
Alexis at quiviracoalition dot org

Taylor Sanders

New Agrarian Program Colorado Manager

she/her/hers
 
Taylor was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona and has had an interest in living systems from a young age, plucking worms from the flipped-over baseball bases in her suburban backyard. She attended the University of Arizona and graduated with a B.S. in Agronomy: Sustainable Plant Systems. While attending school, she helped manage a student-run commercial compost operation that diverted millions of pounds of food waste from landfills. This sparked her interest in regenerating soil and after graduation she went to Boulder, Colorado to work at a diversified livestock farm. From there, she participated in the Spannocchia apprenticeship program doing butchery in Italy, then worked at ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch in Basalt, CO, did some traveling and veggie farming in Chile, and she now runs her own small livestock farm in Lyons, CO with her partner, Ryan. She serves the Quivira Coalition as the New Agrarian Program Colorado Manager, where she is expanding and supporting the program around the state. The position is part-funded by the National Western Center, where she aids them in building a strong regenerative agriculture network in Colorado. In her spare time, Taylor likes to ride her bike, ferment things, and swim in the St. Vrain River on her farm.
 
Taylor at quiviracoalition dot org
 
Direct Line: 480.274.5607 

Tarryn Dixon

New Agrarian Program Southwest Apprentice Coordinator

she/her/hers
 

Tarryn made a twelve year career out of food and agricultural production. Raised the granddaughter of a cattle rancher and a grocery store manager, food and a love of the land have always held a place of importance.  Interest in preserving the environment and creating a healthier food future led her to become part of the New Agrarian program in 2018. The apprenticeship program helped Tarryn gain not only knowledge and skill, but a confidence to lead.  She feels strongly about what apprenticeship and land stewardship organizations like Quivira can offer others, and is invested in finding ways to help young agrarians achieve. At Quivira, Tarryn works with current and potential mentors, as well as apprentices and alumni of the New Agrarian Program, along with the Quivira staff and outside organizations to build relationships and ensure the educational quality of the program. She also works closely with the CRI and NM CEWL staff to find overlapping opportunities between the three programs.

 
Tarryn at quiviracoalition dot org
 
Direct Line: 505-393-1254

Eva Stricker

Carbon Ranch Director

she/her/hers

Eva is an ecologist with interests in how plant-microbe interactions in soil affect biogeochemical cycling such as nitrogen and carbon. She has a background in curriculum development for learners of all ages and backgrounds, for example through a science communication fellowship with the Explora Museum and a teaching assistantship that built ecology and evolution labs for the University of New Mexico Department of Biology. She has also trained in active listening and mediation as a way of better engaging with collaborators across all backgrounds. Eva was born and raised in New Mexico (weekends spent on a horse on her dad’s property in La Puebla), explored the coasts for college and her masters, and came back to New Mexico for her PhD working with the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research Station. In her free time, she enjoys all types of dance, watching Formula 1 car racing, and helping her husband build stuff in the garage.

Eva at quiviracoalition dot org

Direct Line: 505.393.5354

Jess Robinson

Carbon Ranch Planner

she/her/hers

Jess grew up in Southern Illinois and spent most of her life in the Midwest where she developed her love and passion for the natural world and its many complexities. She moved to New Mexico a couple years ago and fell in love with the people, culture and landscape of this beautiful state. She has a Master’s degree in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan and in her career in ecology and agriculture she has gained skills in invasive species management, field research and inventory, and farming and farm planning for organic vegetable farms. In addition, she has a passion for and expertise in educational programming and curriculum development for diverse learners through her work as a Savanna Institute program manager in Wisconsin and a middle school science teacher here in New Mexico. Jess is passionate about building community and ecological resilience in agriculture through an agroecological and racial justice framework, and is excited to support New Mexican producers through ranch planning and education!  When she isn’t working, Jess is hitting the hiking and biking trails, baking sourdough bread, and growing food for her community.

Jessica at quiviracoalition dot org

Direct Line: 505-393-5146

Reid Hensen

Carbon Ranch Planning Advisor

he/him/his

Reid comes to us from Colorado, where he is working on finishing up a M.S. in Agricultural Economics. Reid has lived and worked on various sheep and cattle ranches in Montana, Idaho, and Colorado and looks forward to participating in conservation ranching efforts in New Mexico. He has experience working with government and private grazing leases, federal conservation programs, enterprise analysis, intensive grazing management, and direct marketing. Reid is passionate about making conservation minded ranching a profitable endeavor for all and is excited about his new position at Quivira. In his free time you can catch him on a run, a ski, or wetting a fishing line on a creek.

Reid at quiviracoalition dot org

Arielle Quintana

Education and Outreach Project Manager

she/her/hers

Arielle has always had a deep connection to the land. A tribal member from Cochiti Pueblo, one of twenty-three tribes located in New Mexico, Arielle was raised to be a steward of the land and preserve the strong ties between people and nature, which she continues to do to this day. Arielle graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Rangeland Ecology. Majority of her work has involved engaging youth in nature and educating others on the importance of conserving natural resources. She has worked for her tribe’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation on riparian restoration and wildlife habitat improvement projects, the Southern Rockies Fire Science Network on fire science conferences and workshops, and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden on garden education and wetland restoration. Outside of Quivira, she is an environmental educator for the Botanical Garden and enjoys hiking, gardening, and eating delicious New Mexican food.

Arielle at quiviracoalition dot org

Leah Potter-Weight

Education and Outreach Project Manager

she/her or they/them

Leah has over a decade of sustainable agricultural experience, working on organic vegetable farms in Michigan, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. She received an M.S. in Agroecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her thesis research focused on racial justice, specifically analyzing how whiteness and racism permeate sustainable agriculture and recommendations for how white-led organizations/ farms can be better anti-racist allies. At the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems in Madison, she coordinated the Fruit and Nut Compass project, supporting diversified fruit and nut farmers. Through The L.A.N.D. Project she worked with two agricultural communities in South Africa conducting community-based participatory development including farm business development, school gardening, rotational grazing, and more. She is new to New Mexico and very excited to learn about the history and current reality of life and land in the Southwest. In her free time she enjoys tracking the moon, being in nature, gardening, reading intersectional feminist literature, writing science fiction, cooking, dancing and singing.

LeahPW at quiviracoalition dot org

Direct Line: 505.393.1355

Sam Hinkle

Communications and Development Director

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Sam Hinkle’s journey with Quivira began with an internship in 2013, most of which he spent in the Valle Vidal. He has since worn many hats in the outdoor and conservation industries, from snowshoe guide and park ranger in Aspen to outdoor education program coordinator in his hometown of Colorado Springs. Before returning to Quivira as Communications and Development Director, Sam spent two years building up nonprofit administration chops with El Pomar Foundation’s Fellowship program. When he is not engaging with Quivira’s partners and community, you can find Sam running trails, playing with a camera, looking at birds, and trying to fit Lord of the Rings quotes into everyday conversation. 

Sam at quiviracoalition dot org

Direct Line: 719.440.1303 

Lynne Whitbeck

Communications Coordinator

she/her/hers

Lynne has worked in food and farming since 2005. She started off as a farm apprentice on an organic farm in Washington State and went on to manage farms in Oregon and Hawaii. After receiving a degree in Anthropology, she traveled the world with the intent to better understand how people connect to their natural environments. Lynne spent 10 years in New Mexico where she pursued another passion, horses. Since then, she and her horse two horses have been working at the challenging and rewarding task of interspecies communication. She is inspired by good food, holistic health for people and animals, community, time spent in nature, and independent films. Lynne now lives in Bend, OR, holding down the Quivira outpost in the Pacific Northwest.

Lynne at quiviracoalition dot org

Nameh Marsin

Office Manager

she/her/hers

Nameh Marsin blends her love of the land, people and systems in her role as Quivira’s Office Manager. Nameh has led many lives; rape crisis legal advocate, Chicago lawfirm office management, organic veggie and seedling farming, spiritual life coaching and grief doula work. Outside of facilitating office systems, Nameh hosts and produces her spiritual podcast, Dare to Listen. Nameh deeply values harmony by bringing our inner world in alignment with our outer expressions.

Nameh at quiviracoalition dot org

Tyler Eshleman

New Mexico Coalition to Enhance Working Lands Coordinator

he/him/his

Tyler cares deeply about the health, justice, and resilience of people and communities. He comes to the Quivira Coalition with a background in social work, restorative justice, and trauma awareness. During his undergraduate and graduate studies, Tyler began four years of working in Haiti with children transitioning out of slavery and small-scale community economic development focused around local agriculture and reforestation. Since then he has worked in New Mexico with youth seeking shelter from violence and human trafficking, and worked with local schools to coordinate and lead outdoor wilderness and farming curriculum. He hopes to bring the lens of restorative justice and healing historical harms to his work with the diverse agricultural communities around the state. When not in the office, Tyler and his wife run a small farm in Sunshine Valley where they have goats, chickens, geese, and market gardens in an effort to be an accessible community space that enables participation in local food systems.

Tyler at quiviracoalition dot org

Direct Line: 505.393.1425

Mollie Walton

Comanche Creek Project Manager

she/her/hers

Mollie, who has a PhD in Biology from the University of Dayton in Ohio, was a volunteer with Quivira for many years before she joined our staff in 2012 as the new Land and Water Program Director. She is a restoration ecologist with a Texas ranching background and has worked in Northern New Mexico since 2006 doing riparian restoration, monitoring, consulting, and research. She brings experience in hands-on restoration work as well as collaborative land management projects on public and private lands.

mwalton at quiviracoalition dot org

 

Jenna Davis

Program Coordinator

she/her/hers

Jenna comes to the Quivira Coalition with an enthusiasm for community-driven agricultural work and development.As a Program Coordinator Jenna broadly supports programming efforts within the Carbon Ranch Initiative and with the New Mexico Coalition to Enhance Working Lands. She holds a Masters of Environmental Science from the Yale School of the Environment where she studied agricultural development ideologies, farmer adaptations to climate change, and just transitions towards a more sustainable food system. Jenna served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Zambia working alongside smallholder farmers to understand and implement agroforestry and climate adaptive agricultural practices. Outside of work she enjoys long bike rides, volunteering at community farms/gardens, and sharing meals with friends.

jdavis at quiviracoalition dot org

 

Mori Hensley

Land and Water Program Assistant

she/her/hers

Mori is a third-generation New Mexican who grew up with horses, dogs, cats, soccer balls, and lots of art in the dirt of Santa Fe and Taos. She is a lifelong lover of wild beings, sacred landscapes, and terrible puns, devoted to discovering and embodying a path of place-based ecocultural stewardship. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Ecology and Conservation from Emory University, where she primarily focused on human-wildlife conflict in Ladakh, India. She also has a background in community conservation, religion and ecology, and Tibetan Studies, merging these interests as a Fulbright-Nehru student researcher in India after completing her Master’s. Mori is grateful to be back in New Mexico, working at the Santa Fe Watershed Association and assisting Dr. Mollie Walton in Quivira’s Land and Water Program. 

mhensley at quiviracoalition dot org

 

Board

Nick Mendoza

Board President

Nick grew up partly on his family’s cattle ranch in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico and partly in San Diego, CA–a real “surf and turf” upbringing. Nick studied Environmental and Marine Resources (BA, Stanford University) and holds a graduate degree in Sustainable Aquaculture (MSc., University of Stirling, Scotland). A former member of the Quivira Coalition staff, Nick is now Founder and CEO of OneForNeptune, a snack food company that makes healthy, sustainable fish jerky and seeks to address food waste and traceability in the seafood industry. He stays in touch with “turf” continuing to work the family ranch and as a member of the Quivira Coalition Board of Directors. 

Julia Davis Stafford

Vice President

Julia Davis Stafford is a fourth-generation rancher and farmer, raised on her family’s CS Ranch near Cimarron, New Mexico where she grew up working with her parents and five siblings in their beef cattle operation. After practicing law for several years, Julia decided that what she really wanted was to return to the ranch and work with her family. The CS operation practices planned grazing management and has diversified into guided hunting, custom grazing and farming. Improving soil health, water quality, animal handling skills, supporting thriving rural communities and passing along the land and livelihood to the next generation are what get her up in the morning.  Julia has been a member of the Quivira Coalition since its beginning and is a dedicated member of the radical center.

Michael Scisco

Treasurer

Michael currently serves as Owner/Partner and Managing Broker for Unique Places Real Estate, LLC. Michael has generous experience in business development, real estate, ecological services, and land and resource conservation. He also served for 10 years in the land trust industry and worked to conserve over 160,000 acres in New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama, and North Carolina.

Gavin Van Horn

Secretary

Gavin Van Horn is the Director of Cultures of Conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature, an organization that explores the moral dimensions of human relationships to the natural world. He is the co-editor of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Wildness: Relations of People and Place (University of Chicago Press, 2017). He is currently working on a book of creative nonfiction, The Channel Coyotes: Otherworlds of the Urban Wild. You can find out more about Gavin at www.storyforager.com.

Terry Brunner

Board Member

Terry Brunner, the Chief Program Officer at Grow New Mexico, is the former New Mexico State Director for USDA Rural Development. In this position he oversaw five field offices and the state office located in Albuquerque which administers and manages more than 87 housing, business, and community infrastructure and community facility programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities. Terry managed a grant, loan, and loan guarantee portfolio of more than $1.5 billion in New Mexico and has visited more than 160 New Mexico communities during his appointment.

Sam Ryerson

Board Member

Sam Ryerson is a rancher based in central New Mexico, leasing and managing ranches in the Southwest. He grew up in Massachusetts and since 2005 has worked on horseback range-based ranches throughout the West. He is a graduate (in 2010) of Quivira’s ranch management apprenticeship program. He is also on the board of the Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance.

Nancy Ranney

Board Member

Nancy Ranney spent her childhood years on a farm in northern Illinois raising and showing horses and came to New Mexico as a teen when her parents bought a ranch near Corona. She has a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (MLA, Harvard University Graduate School of Design.) She manages the Ranney Ranch for the Ranney family; inspired by the Quivira Coalition, and has instituted regenerative range management practices and land conservation partnerships. She also manages the Ranney Ranch Grassfed/Grassfinished Beef program and is currently President of the Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance (SWGLA) and a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.

Hannah Gosnell

Board Member

Hannah Gosnell is a Professor of Geography at Oregon State University who studies agricultural landscape change, collaborative conservation, climate change, and environmental governance in the context of rural working landscapes. Her research focuses on the human dimensions of rangeland management from a social-ecological systems perspective. She is particularly interested in the social, cultural, and psychological aspects of the transition to regenerative agriculture and the implications for landowners’ capacity to adapt to social, economic and environmental change. Hannah earned her MA and PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a BA from Brown University.