Located in Western Colorado, the Valley Food Partnership (VFP) foodshed spans the productive valleys, mesas and grazing ranges of the West Elks and San Juan Mountains. With a long regional heritage of agriculture, the Valley Food Partnership seeks to keep these roots strong and deeply attached to the local economy and health of our communities. Current projects include work on a regional food hub and business incubator, the Eat Local Eat Healthy farm to restaurant program, Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum, Local Farmacy Rx fruit and vegetable prescription program, support for numerous school and community gardens, Farm to School efforts, and Savor the San Juans. VFP is the fiscal sponsor for Montrose Farmers Market.
The VFP includes a diverse group of stakeholders, each of whom are dedicated to growing our local food system while improving the health of our citizens and economy. Our partners include farmers, parents, health professionals, restaurateurs, chefs, educators, non-profit organizations, and community based organizations such as the hospital, school district, recreation departments, and senior programs.
VFP’s mission is to strengthen the health of the community through strengthening the health of our regional food system – both the production and the local consumption of healthy, fresh food.
We strengthen the local food system and the well- being of the community through:
- Community Education– Providing community awareness, programs, education and involvement that improves access and affects positive behavioral changes in both consumers and producers
- Strengthening Local Food System Infrastructure– Increasing the capacity of the community food system infrastructure by developing opportunities for improving production, marketing, distribution and value added capabilities
- Policy– Acknowledging the importance of policy at all levels and by maintaining communication with policy makers on highly related food system issues
Robert graduated from Montrose High School and received his B.A. in accounting and business administration from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. He has experience as a senior executive and financial professional with a diverse background of involvement in operations and finance. From a startup company, to working for a Fortune 5 corporation, these positions have provided him with extensive expertise in Executive team Management. He has 22 combined years of experience in vertically integrated wholesale produce.
“I am a roll up the sleeves and get the job done strategic and visionary leader that enjoys creating a winning team atmosphere and leadership to move a company forward.”
Favorite fruit: Cherimoya
Favorite Vegetable: Sun Chokes
Bobbie is the Office Assistant for Valley Food Partnership. She is a fourth generation Montrose native who recently relocated back to the area to enjoy a simpler life immersed in the mountains. As a public health registered dietitian, Bobbie has spent the last decade working to enhance community wellness and local food systems in Northern Colorado through facilitating community dialogue, grant acquisition, and state-level policy advocacy. The evolution of her work and life have clarified her purpose of cultivating well-being as a lifestyle while encouraging the same for others. Bobbie draws inspiration and energy from yoga, writing, cooking, and exploring mountain trails with her husband and son.
Favorite Fruit: Blueberries
Favorite Vegetable: Spinach
Emily Moen Eastham
Food Access Manager and Director of Farmacy RX
Emily joined Valley Food Partnership in June 2016 as the Food Access Manager and serves as the coordinator for the Local Farmacy Rx program. She was born and raised in Wisconsin, received her B.A. from the University of Iowa, and spent the last few years in Chicago before she and her husband moved to Montrose. She thoroughly enjoys the change of pace and proximity to nature. In her free time, Emily loves to cook, hike, fish, camp, run, bike, and relax with her pets. She values time with family, traveling, her faith, and has an affinity for nature & animals.
Favorite fruit: Peaches
Favorite Vegetable: Green Beans
Health Equity Coordinator
Abbie serves as the Coordinator for the Growing Healthy Communities Coalition and the Health Equity Advocacy Team. Abbie began her career in local food as the Montrose Farmers Market Manager, implemented the Local Farmacy Rx program, and expanded the effort to create school garden in Montrose. During Abbie’s extensive non-profit experience she has fostered collaboration between numerous community organizations. Abbie enjoys rafting adventures, the opportunity to spend time discovering nature with her children, cooking a new recipe and especially looks forward to photographing the blooming fields of sunflowers and buzzing bees near her home in Olathe.
Favorite fruit: Apples
Favorite vegetable: White turnips
Partnership Manager and Education Outreach Coordinator
Jake was born and raised in the Montrose area and is committed to growing a healthier community through his passion for local food. He considers himself a locavore, grows much of his own food, and has been involved with school and community gardening projects in Colorado for the last decade. He also spent several seasons “wwoofing” in Spain, Germany, and South America, learning about local food systems through the World Wide Organization of Organic Farms (WWOOF). Jake enjoys chatting philosophy around a fire (in Spanish and English), foraging wild foods while backpacking, watching his wife catch fish, and cooking those fish and veggies on the open fire.
Favorite fruit: Tomato
Favorite vegetable: Edamame
Community Garden Guru
Eva is our token hippy. Every staff has to have one. She keeps our offices happy and healthy with her biting wit, healthy food habits, knowledge of gardening, and creative ideas for community engagement. When post-industrial capitalism gets us all down, Eva is there to piece us back together. Eva is a graduate of the University of Santa Cruz’s Agro-ecology and sustainable food systems program. She is currently serving in the VFP offices and gardens as an Americorp Member through the Healthy Futures Program hosted by Mountain Roots Food Project, Gunnison CO.
Favorite fruit: Figs
Favorite vegetable: Artichokes
Board of Directors
President Cathy Romaniello
Vice President Beth Anderson
Treasurer – Vacant Position
Secretary – Vacant Position
Betsy Austin – Circle A Gardens
Tyler Mize – La Familia Gardens
Jami English – Honey Acre Farm
Carol Parker – Chairperson, Western CO Food and Farm Forum
Montrose Farmers' Market Manager