Program Director for Greauxing Healthy Baton Rouge, Bryan Alexander and his dogs come to Louisiana from Maryland, by way of Austin, Texas. He learned to garden helping his grandfather as a child and will never forget his first Cherokee tomato. As an undergraduate and afterward, he worked and then managed on a small organic farm in southern Maryland. Bryan has spent two years living and working in China, where he was inspired by people's will and ability to grow food seemingly anywhere in some of the world's densest urban environments. He has a passion for farming and gardening's potential for building community and has helped to start an experiential learning center in Maryland, a campus farm at St. Mary's College of Maryland, and has volunteered with the Sustainable Food Center in Austin. Bryan is also an avid cyclist and dabbles in a wide variety of fermented foods and bread-baking. He is excited for another year with the South's long growing seasons and for finding a home among Louisiana's famously rich hospitality (and cuisine)! He can be reached with any questions about Slow Food at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born and raised in south Louisiana, Jade Blank has resided in Baton Rouge for ten years. Her work with youth began in high school, continued throughout college, and thrived during her first service year with Louisiana Delta Service Corps at Big Buddy Program. Her service and commitment to underserved youth in Baton Rouge has involved creating, implementing, and managing various mentoring, tutoring, and summer/after-school enrichment programs across all age and grade levels in Baton Rouge. Serving a second service year with LDSC as Slow Food BR's Farm to School Program Assistant, she hopes to enhance her (very minimal) personal knowledge of organic gardening while fostering a passion and craving for healthy eating in youth, especially those who have low access to healthy foods. Through this she wishes to garner community interest in the health of young people so they may live and lead happier and healthier lives. In her free time she enjoys cooking, British comedies, and entertaining/being entertained by her three dogs.
Part-time Program Associate Maddy Maestri is originally from Covington, Louisiana and moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU where she studies Dietetics. She is a member of the Hill Farm community garden on campus and has recently worked with the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition teaching nutrition to highschool girls with an emphasis on locally grown food. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors.
Born in Baton Rouge and raised in West Monroe, Anna Claire Ferchaud returned to her birthplace to attend college at LSU where she is now a junior majoring in Natural Resource Ecology and Management and minoring in Forestry. At LSU she serves as a Les Voyageur for the College of Agriculture recruiting students and promoting the importance of agriculture in our everyday lives. When she’s not in class or at work, Anna Claire enjoys biking, running, traveling, cooking, and reading with her lap cat.
A Yankee with a soft spot for the South, Sarah Bolinger grew up in Massachusetts, enjoying her mom's great cooking and helping in the garden. Sarah left New England to attend Oberlin College in Ohio, graduating in 2012 with a degree in biology and environmental studies. At Oberlin she became very involved in Northeast Ohio's budding local foods movement, volunteering with the City Fresh farm share program and studying the potential for expansion of local grain production in NE Ohio markets. She has worked on farms in Massachusetts, Quebec, and Oberlin during the summer, as well as on the DC Central Kitchen's Truck Farm educational mobile garden. Sarah, whose mother grew up near Pensacola, is excited to be living in the South, teaching people about gardening, and exploring Louisiana's culture and food heritage as she serves this year with the Louisiana Delta Service Corps. She will be planning urban agriculture workshops for the BR community in the fall, and a larger urban ag training program for the spring. She likes cooking, knitting, swing dancing, learning languages, and snow.
Maggie Conarro is a proud Louisiana native and recent LSU graduate in Political Science and Spanish. While she has long been interested in various aspects of sustainability, she only recently gained hands on experience in vegetable gardening when she took Dr. Carl Motsenbocker’s Organic Gardening class in her final semester. Surprised by the ease of growing vegetables, she was hooked. Maggie is very excited to serve her community this year as a Louisiana Delta Service Corps member. Through her service, she hopes to support community efforts in improving food access and healthier living by helping organizations, schools, or other institutions develop sustainable vegetable gardens and related programming. Maggie’s interests outside of Slow Food’s efforts stick with a theme of sustainability and preservation, as she is an avid Cajun and Zydeco music and dance enthusiast. She has made a habit of escaping Louisiana’s extreme heat in the summers and overall lackluster winters with travel abroad to destinations including places in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. She is also the helicopter parent of Pepa, the cutest, sassiest dog in the world.
After graduating from Louisiana State University in Agriculture Economics in May of 2011, Grant Guidroz decided to give back to his hometown by serving as a Louisiana Delta Service Corps member with Slow Food Baton Rouge. Grant has had a passion for growing food and kept a garden all though college. He was excited to join Slow Food Baton Rouge and the effort to build a more local and sustainable food system. While serving with Slow Food Baton Rouge, Grant has worked with community partners to build youth gardens, put together Baton Rouge's first Local Food Guide, and is currently developing an urban farming training program. When Grant isn't serving with Slow Food Baton Rouge, he enjoys eating great food and being with friends and family, preferably together!
Allison Hawkins Guidroz first became interested in growing food after taking an Organic Gardening class with Dr. Motsenbocker while an undergraduate at Louisiana State University. While earning her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, she interned with the South Garden Project, helping to develop community gardens in Old South Baton Rouge. Before serving with Louisiana Delta Service Corps at Slow Food Baton Rouge, Allison spent a summer in Italy traveling and working at an argiturismo where she got to see a lifestyle of eating fresh and locally firsthand. She loves Louisiana and is most interested in empowering people through the knowledge of growing food and improving health through cooking. When she’s not cooking, gardening or taking care of her flock of hens, she enjoys hiking and traveling off the beaten path.
Slow Food intern Abigail Sevier is a sophomore at LSU studying Natural Resource and Ecology Management. She was involved in gardening activities throughout high school, studying many varieties of plants in class as well as maintaining a garden through her school’s Environmental Systems program. She enjoys raw and organic produce because she believes that they are not only very beneficial to our health, but they are also the end product of a very sustainable practices. Even though she was born in Houston, she lived the past 14 years in a small village in The Netherlands. There most of her family's produce and food were bought from markets and naturally grown, which has had a major impact on her food preferences. She ventured back to the States, Louisiana in particular, because her family is from and lives in New Orleans.