Sheila Golden (she/her/hers) is OFRF’s Finance & Operations Director and has been with the organization since 2018. She is based in the Santa Cruz area and has over a decade of program development and management experience in sustainable agriculture and cooperative extensions. In her free time, Sheila plays music and runs a concert series in a cave. A lover of adventure, Sheila enjoys hiking and biking. “I also spend a lot of time throwing balls in the river and frisbees at the beach for my dog, Scruggs,” says Sheila.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a small town in West Virginia and moved to California to find a winter farming gig. I fell madly in love with the redwoods, the deserts, and mountains of California and never left. I spent my earlier days working on farms, teaching outdoor education, and working as an interpretive ranger with state parks. Now, I do a lot more work on computers and spreadsheets.
Why do you care about organic farming and/or organic research?
I worked on organic farms early in my career and really appreciated the systems approach it requires. I love seeing the landscape, flora, fauna, and microbes as one big organism working together.
Who is your farming, research and/or food hero – and why?
My mom and dad! They grew most of our food and (like many folks back home) still have a huge sustenance garden. They were prolific canners and food preservers. My dad often hunted the majority of our protein, and sometimes we even foraged for mushrooms and ramps.
What are you excited about working on at OFRF?
I’m excited to help OFRF grow as an organization and continue to find strategies to demystify research and build more institutional support for organic agriculture.
Anything else you’d like to share?
There are two residential red shoulder hawks that live in redwood trees by my house. I feel very lucky to see them every day.