OUR FULL TIME STAFF
OUR FULL TIME STAFF
Co-Founder and Director of Operations Front Line Farming
Fatuma Emmad is the co founder of FLF, is the owner and operator of Bountiful By Design (a sustainable high-end landscape company) and is an affiliate Professor at Regis University in the Community Food Systems minor. Fatuma was born in Denver and raised in Denver and Ethiopia. Fatuma has worked farming organic and heirloom vegetables on her own acreage as part of a land co-op, setting up farms for restaurants, and as farm manager for multi acre community farms in Milwaukee and Denver. Fatuma is currently entering her tenth year as a farm manager or farm operations director. Before becoming a farmer, Fatuma was a political scientist who engaged in issues affecting marginalized farming communities such as the push for genetically modified seeds across Sub-Saharan Africa. She believes in resistance by the world’s land caretakers tosingle solutions for crop productivity and seeks to work on re-framing ideas of food security. Fatuma has been certified and teaching yoga since 2004, is a graduate of the Center for Agriculture and Ecology at the University of Santa Cruz, is a Mayor appointed Member of the Sustainable Food Council for the City of Denver, and a co-chair for the city’s Good Food Purchasing policy group, and is currently a selected fellow for Transformational Leaders for Change.
Co-founder and Director of Center for Healthy Communities and Food Justice and Front Line Farming
Damien Thompson, PhD is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Criminal Justice at Regis University and Director of Center for Food Justice and Healthy Communities at Regis University. In addition to his training in anthropology, Dr. Thompson also holds a certification in Permaculture Design and a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Teaching Certification. His interests center on the building of community food systems, small scale urban food production, developing community and cultural practices related to food and medicine, teaching and learning in education and permaculture as one method related to how to pursue those interests. Most specifically Dr. Thompson is interested in how communities can utilize traditional and new information and practices to build food systems which uplift marginalized and oppressed peoples, restore ecosystems, build biodiversity, support cultural diversity as well as provide individuals and families with the highest level of access to the means to support their own health. Damien is a Mayor appointed member of the Sustainable Food Council for the City of Denver, and a co-chair for the city’s Good Food Purchasing policy group.
Director of Soil Stewardship and Farm Operations Front Line Farming
Emily Lawler is a farmer, permaculturist, earth-steward, plant lover, educator, and activist. She is the Director of Farm Operations and Soil Stewardship at Front Line Farming. In one capacity or another, Emily has been working in the arena food sovereignty for over 10 years. She carried this firey passion with her when she moved to Colorado in 2012. She soon found herself working with UrbiCulture Community Farms, where she managed school and neighborhood gardens, education programs, pay-what-you-can farmstands, a sliding-scale CSA program, and community volunteer days. Emily also managed farm operations and a CSA with Waste Farmers, a local sustainable agriculture company. Emily’s approach to agriculture comes from an amalgamation of practices and principles developed over her career, along with an intuitive remembrance of what it is to be human in relation with the earth. She has fined tuned her skills through biointensive trainings with John Jeavons, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Bionutrient Food Association, in addition to permaculture certification through Rockies Edge and herbalism study completion under Brigette Mars.
Director of Garden Based Education and Farm Operations Front Line Farming
Abigail Wagner is a Chicago native, who came to Colorado five years ago to attend Regis University. While in her second year at Regis, she took a permaculture class with Dr. Damien Thompson and found her passion. Abbi reimagined her goal of being a doctor and feels that she has far reaching impact as a food justice and healthy eating educator. Abbi graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biology and a double minor in Chemistry and Community Food Systems in 2018 and was a part of the first cohort of graduates from the farm based program facilitated by Dr. Thompson and Fatuma Emmad. During her minor she created an independent study as a garden based educator, where she taught kids at the local Elementary School the importance of cultivating their own food through hands-on experience. As part of her studies she worked at Sister Garden’s where she learned and fine-tuned the skills of farming. Studying food justice in depth inspired her to accept a part-time position with Groundwork Denver, where she worked side by side with Fatuma Emmad and Damien. During that time she had the responsibility of caring for two neighborhood gardens, Columbian Elementary Learning Garden, creating and maintaining the produce in our Healing Foods Program, as well as educating the third grade class at Columbian. She will be managing the new plot of land in Arvada for the upcoming 2019 season while she completes her certification as an Herbalist from Herbalism Roots.