Meet Our Staff

Noelle Ferdon Bio Picture

Noelle Ferdon

Co-Director & Founder

Noelle has a background in law and policy and has worked on food and agriculture issues throughout California for more than a decade. Noelle has substantial experience in grant-writing and project management having secured numerous public and private-foundation grants. Her projects include founding and directing the Buy Fresh Buy Local, North Valley agricultural marketing program with over 100 farmer, rancher and food business members, publishing three editions of the North Valley’s Eater’s Guide to Local Food, chairing the development of a USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher workshop series, and founding and developing the North Valley Food Hub.

Noelle currently works as Director of Outreach for Golden State Farm Credit on a wide variety of projects throughout northern California and the southern Central Valley including overseeing implementation of the Young, Beginning and Small Farm program. She also holds a lecturer position in the CSU, Chico Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice.

Noelle loves to grow food wherever she can and never has enough hours in the day to love her sons, Rocko and Archer. She 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

Co-Director & Founder

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.