Laura Ridenour

Senior Development Officer
Laura Ridenour joins OFRF’s development team with a lifetime of experience working with all aspects of food and farming—with and for farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs and retailers, and grassroots food advocates. Growing up, her father was CEO of an organic soyfoods business, Wildwood Natural Foods, based in Santa Cruz, California. She also spent her youth with her mom in rural Tennessee on a farming commune. Before she was 21, Laura was a veteran of natural foods trade shows. Beginning with an internship at California Certified Organic Farmers in 1994, Laura has worked for an “alphabet soup” of farmer and community-led NGOs from California and Washington DC to Colorado and Washington State. Along the way, she gained extensive project management, marketing and fundraising skills, and was part of the establishment of two food policy councils. Laura chaired the Farm Fund from 2010-2016, developing successful grants and micro-loan programs for small scale organic and sustainable farmers. She has extensive board experience, recently serving as director of the Community Food Co-op in Bellingham, as leadership team chair for the North American Food Systems Network, and previously as a member of the Washington State University Small Farms Team. Most recently, Laura served as communications manager at the Non-GMO Project. Working for OFRF is full-circle for Laura, as she served as OFRF’s special events coordinator from 2000-2002.
 
Laura holds a M.A. in the Sociology of Food from Colorado State University, a B.A. in Food Systems and Social Change from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a certificate in Organic Farming and Ecological Horticulture from the UCSC Farm and Garden. She works with the Santa Cruz home office team remotely from Bellingham, Washington, and her favorite place to be after work is with her young son in the garden, and riding bikes outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.