Meet Our Team

Cody Farias

Executive Director

About Cody

Cody Farias grew up homeless and in and out of foster care, and spent time living on an organic vegetable farm that focused on rehabilitating high risk youth. He has degrees in Economics and Operations Management from WWU and has developed programs targeting life skills training for underprivileged youth throughout his years in the restaurant industry. He has received the Governor’s Scholarship for foster youth, and has been the keynote speaker for the Washington State Foster Care System multiple times He enjoys getting lost in the woods with his kids, homeschooling, all things science, debate, losing debates, tinkering with new ideas, and finding ways in which systems can be made more effective and efficient,

His struggles as a youth are the driving force behind his desire to enact positive change for those that are in similar positions, and believes that there is a fountain of potential within them that is underutilized within society.

Roger Schuettke

Program Manager

About Roger

Roger has extensive experience working with both adults and children who suffer from PTSD, including foster youth. His mother grew up as a foster child, and his grandparents have raised multiple foster children. Roger is graduating from Fairhaven College in June 2017 with a concentration titled, Designing Culture: Integrating Somatic and Flow Psychology into Social Organizations, and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His interdisciplinary degree merges studies of cultural anthropology, developmental psychology, and organizational leadership.

Beth Chisholm

Board President

About Beth

Beth is a Michigan native and has lived in Bellingham for 25 years. She keeps busy raising a family, working, and romping in the mountains. Her work as the WSU Extension Community Horticulture Coordinator for Whatcom County provides her with community connections to serve those in need. Growing food and caring for plants is a natural part of her life and extending knowledge, sharing skills to youth and those that need a little help fills her cup.

Anna Strick

Garden Educator

About Anna

Anna grew up in South Carolina and attended Furman University, where she discovered her interest in mentoring others in nurturing food crops. She has since led, volunteered, worked and consulted on a number of different farms and gardens, respecting the diversity of plant species and diversity of ideas. She recognizes the ways that she gains sustenance, motivation, and teachings from plants, and doesn’t shy away from welcoming others to discover these relationships. She aims to support food security while building more resilient edible landscapes.

Sarah Chan

Board Member

About Sarah

Sarah is originally from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago, she has resided in Whatcom County since April 2008. A social activist, Sarah’s passion for affecting positive changes in people’s life stems from her own personal experiences. She is a firm advocate against human trafficking, domestic violence and ending hunger. Sarah currently operates Calypso Kitchen, a business centered around teaching kids & adults how to utilize fresh local produce to create delicious meals with Caribbean flavors. An entrepreneur for many years her current business model, allows for an organic flow of doing what you love and loving what you do.

Daniel Kilby

Board Member

About Daniel

Daniel Kilby is a former foster, at risk, and homeless youth who founded the Young Entrepreneurs Club to help empower and inspire his younger peers to success.
Utilizing his experiences working with Santa Rosa Junior College’s Foster Care Kinship & Education department as a career development tour creator, his personal background in banking, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his first hand experiences within the system, he spends his time educating his peers, other non-profits, and the community on the challenges and underlying issues pertaining to foster and at risk youth, and how to solve them.

Annah Young

Board Member

About Annah

Annah is honored to serve on the board for Growing Alliances. She has a background in education and agriculture and believes in the power of community-based food systems. She works as the education manager at Cloud Mountain Farm Center in Everson, running a farmer-training internship program. She got her M. Ed. at Western Washington University where she studied the role of education in food sovereignty movements.

Abby Kuchar


About Abby

Abby Kuchar is from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was raised on a small family farm. While in high school, Abby started a community service group that harvested and delivered fresh produce to a local homeless shelter for women and children. Since then, Abby has worked on multiple farms, including as Assistant Coordinator of the Outback Farm on Western’s campus. Currently, Abby is pursuing her Fine Arts degree from Western Washington University with a primary focus on environmental art.

Warren Backholm


About Warren

Warren was raised in a multicultural, multilingual family with six other siblings, one of whom is adopted. Through life experiences, he has found that 1) doing what you love creates your best life and, 2) engaging with the community is not an option but a duty. Warren graduated from WWU with a degree in finance and through multiple roles with different companies, has an in-depth understanding of how finance and community meet. If you were to spend a day with Warren you would probably end up learning the following: 1) His room is impossibly small for the number of books he tries to fit in it, 2) He’s trash at guitar but that doesn’t stop him from playing and, 3) 1 AM walks on train tracks are not only highly encouraged but necessary for your mental health.

We are currently building our Board of Directors.  We are seeking a treasurer who can present budgets and spending at our bi-monthly meetings. If you want to join our efforts, please contact us here.