Meet Our Staff

Noelle Ferdon Bio Picture

Noelle Ferdon

Director & Founder

Noelle has a background in law and policy and has worked on food and agriculture issues throughout California, for nearly a decade. Noelle worked as Director of Local Food Systems for 6 years where she coordinated the Buy Fresh Buy Local, North Valley agricultural marketing program with over 100 farmer, rancher and food business members, edited/published three editions of the North Valley’s Eater’s Guide to Local Food, chaired the land trust’s Technical Advisory Committee and workshop development for the Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program, and oversaw the development of the North Valley Food Hub.

Prior to her work with the land trust, she worked for nearly five years for a national organization working to promote agricultural policies that benefit small- and medium-sized farmers and ranchers. Through her work Noelle aims to make local food more available, stimulate new and unique market opportunities and raise the visibility of the farmers and ranchers in the region. She is committed to collaboration, working regularly with regional partnerships in economic development as well as with various partners in the local agricultural community.

She is a co-founder of Buy Fresh Buy Local, North Valley and Slow Food Shasta Cascade, loves to grow food wherever she can and cannot find enough hours in the day to love her son, Rocko. Noelle has a B.S. in Political Science from CSU, Chico and a J.D. from Golden Gate University’s School of Law with certificates in Public Interest and Environmental Law.

Jacob-Brimlow Bio Picture

Dr. Jacob Brimlow

Director of Research and Business Development

Jake is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Business in the CSU, Chico College of Agriculture. Dr. Brimlow has a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from North Carolina State University, and teaches courses in Agricultural Economics, Finance, and Price Analysis. His research focuses on improving the profitability and economic resiliency of agricultural producers in the CSU, Chico service area by identifying and developing market opportunities, particularly for small- and medium-sized producers.

He has worked on several projects aimed at assessing barriers to local food sales and developing strategies to remove those barriers, including a randomized survey of local growers and development of a regional food hub. Dr. Brimlow’s largest and most recent grant project is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant designed to assess how gaps in food safety knowledge and certification are limiting local intermediated food markets, such as sales between local growers and restaurants, school districts, and hospitals.

Dillon Johnson

Market Manager

Dillon Johnson is a recent graduate of CSU, Chico's College of Agriculture where he earned a degree in Ag Business. Dillon joined the North Valley Food Hub in June and has been focusing on buyer outreach and educating our growers about strategies for success in wholesale markets.

Dillon has worked on a variety of projects supporting local agriculture include several economic reserach projects with both the Center for Economic Development and the College of Agriculture's, Agricultural Business Institute. Dillon grew up in the Chico area and is happy to be home working on projects that support the local community and our region's farms.