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Southeast Board of Directors

SE RSDP board and work group members
Southeast RSDP board & work group members at the 2013 end-of-year meeting.

Deborah Allan
Vice Chair
UMN rep w/Goodhue farm
Deborah is a University of Minnesota faculty member from the Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate. Her areas of research and teaching include effects of cropping systems and land management on soil quality and productivity, as well as plant nutrition. She also grows garlic and other garden produce and is reconstructing a prairie on her land in Zumbro Falls.

Robert (Bob) Cline
Rochester, MN
Bob has over 30 years experience in architecture and construction. He has been an active volunteer in the Rochester area and served on numerous boards in the fields of social service and community infrastructure. Currently Bob is President of the Board of Directors of Friends of Quarry Hill Nature Center.

Byron Jost
Mankato, MN
Byron Jost has been a Mankato area resident since 1972 and currently works as the Community Development Director for the Region Nine Development Commission. He is an experienced community development professional and program director with a background in financing and managing housing and community infrastructure projects. Byron is an outdoorsman, hunter, motorcyclist and woodworker and lives on the very edge of the rural community of Lake Crystal. He is married with two adult children and holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science/Geography and a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Studies, both from Mankato State University.

Raymond F. Schmitz
Rochester, MN
Served as the elected county attorney of Olmsted County for a number of years, representing the county and its citizens in prosecution of felony criminal matters and as legal representative of the county.

Ray graduated from Mankato State University and the Law School of the University of Minnesota. He served on many state and local volunteer groups and professional associations, including as Chair of the County Attorneys Association and on that groups board from many years. He was appointed by the Governor to serve on state groups dealing with sex offenders, the Sentencing Guidelines, Commission as well as the Criminal Justice Information Task Force. Locally, he has served since his retirement on the boards of the Peoples Food COOP, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, Zumbro Watershed Partnership, as well as the SE CERTS organization. He has been active in attempting to focus on local and organic food in SE Minn.

John Schmeling
Hayfield, MN
John hails from SW Dodge County, where he actively farms on a small, 4th generation family farm. Familiar with most large issues facing agriculture today, he's optimistic about the role community engagement can play. His free time is usually spent with his young family in and around his (fantastic) wife's home territory of Pequot Lakes, MN.

Lisa Dierks
Wanamingo, MN
Lisa Dierks' love for food began in the 3rd grade when she started cooking meals for her family. Lisa currently works as the Nutrition Manager for the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. 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.

Jane Olive
Mantorville, MN

Chris Meyer
Winona, MN
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.

Erin Meier
Executive Director
Kasson, MN
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.

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