Southeast Board of Directors
Robert (Bob) Cline
Bob Cline is a retired architect and community volunteer from Rochester, MN. His volunteer interests include the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, the Quarry Hill Nature Center, the Rochester Ronald McDonald House, and Growing Home Olmsted.
His personal interests include local sustainable agriculture and foods, energy conservation, and local politics. While his degrees are not from the U of MN he is proud that one son is a U of MN graduate and the other a current PhD student at the U of MN.
Lisa Dierks' love for food began in the 3rd grade when she started cooking meals for her family. Lisa Dierks joined the University of Minnesota Extension on January 11, 2018 as the Regional Director in the Rochester office. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, she is passionate about food and the role it plays in our well-being. Her life's aspiration is to pass this passion on to her three sons through learning experiences liking field trips to local farms and trying new recipes as a family. In 2014, her family completed their goal of visiting all the state parks in Minnesota.
Beth Kallestad is a U of M Extension Leadership & Civic Engagement educator based out of the Rochester office. Before joining Extension, Beth worked in private consulting carrying out project management and facilitation for several entities, including the SE RSDP Natural Resources Work Group. Prior to that spent most of the previous decade as a nonprofit leader serving as Executive Director at the Cannon River Watershed Partnership for almost 7 years and a program staff person for 3 years. Beth and her husband Steve live in Northfield with their two children and dog. When you say “football” in the Kallestad household, it means soccer – a sport both kids play and the family watches whenever possible. When not working or commuting to Rochester she enjoys spending time reading or being outside walking/running, biking, paddling, watching her kids play soccer, and whatever other opportunities arise. She is interested in all the areas that the RSDP supports but especially Natural Resources.
Janet grew up in agriculture and has spent the last 20 years as an agricultural journalist. She graduated from Mankato State University with a degree in mass communications. A mother of four, Janet supports her children in their sports and activities and helps her husband run a farm and small business. She is a graduate of the Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership program. Her interests include rural vitality, food production and conservation.
Chris and her husband Paul spent the last 6 years remodeling a 1965 rambler in the city limits of Winona to be a net-zero energy home, doing most of the work themselves and learning about energy efficiency and renewable energy systems. After a 30 year career writing software, she is now a certified Residential PV Site Assessor, and working on a MA in renewable energy policy. Chris holds a BS in Economics from Drake University, and a BFA from the University of MN, is also an Extension Master Gardener, on the board of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, the Winona County Parks and Advisory Committee and the City of Winona Citizens Environmental Quality Board.
Jane Olive is an avid costumer and hat maker. She generates Victorian period costumes for herself and her family for local and regional events. She has been making bonnets and hats from that period too for about 8 years. Jane has worn different hats throughout her career. That of transplant coordinator, county commissioner, and ICU nurse, to name a few. She remains very involved in her community, serving as the president of the Mantorville Restoration Association and on the Board of the Mantorville Economic Development Authority. Jane is also the vice chair of the University of MN SE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and Board member of the SE MN Arts Council. She has acted in many local productions of the Mantorville Theatre Company and costumed many more. She is a retired registered nurse and lives in rural Mantorville with her husband, John, two dogs and two cats as well as six chickens.
John lives in Hayfield, farms family land in Dodge County and is a Mayo Research Technician. He has degrees in Environmental Studies and Ecology from Bemidji State University. John is concerned about urban expansion into rural areas, absentee land ownership, and the loss of businesses through vertical integration. He is interested in finding that middle ground between idealism (everybody needs a micro-garden and backyard chickens and solar panels on the roof) and the current reality (high-intensity production-agriculture that can out-produce other forms, at less production cost, by units of production).
Raymond F. Schmitz
Ray retired after a long career as Olmsted county attorney in 2006, since then he has served on a number of boards and committees. His focus has been on protecting the environment and educating on climate change. Currently he serves on the Rochester energy commission, Zumbro watershed partnership board, SE CERTS steering committee, and the local Sierra club group.
Erin lives south of Kasson on an acreage where she and her partner attempt to nurture their little patch of land with its gardens, kids and creatures. Erin comes to Minnesota by way of IL, NY, NJ, IA & KY. She holds an MS in Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University and has research interests in local food systems, consumer behavior and the external costs of agriculture. She is a geographer (BS, U of Illinois) with past experience as a cartographer and geographic information systems analyst.