To connect people, place, food and farms through education and outreach.
We envision a resilient, community food system that celebrates the cultural aspects of our region’s food and promotes health for individuals, the local economy and the environment.
The Inland Northwest Food Network was founded in 2014 by Teri McKenzie. Having relocated to the region from Portland, OR, and fueled by a passion for community building and all things food related, she decided to apply her social entrepreneurial skills to developing a more cohesive local food system. After gathering a group of locals who were also passionate about food systems, it became apparent that there was indeed a desire for a more formal organization to help focalize existing activities and to develop still others that were lacking.
The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held in April 2014. Many hours by a small but dedicated group of volunteers went into laying down the foundation of what is now the Inland Northwest Food Network. The group decided to become a sponsored project of the Clearwater Resource Conservation and Development Council that provided the organization with legal and fiscal support while establishing itself.
In January 2015, the group held its first public event called Chew on This! The History of Food and Farming in Kootenai County, presented by historian Robert Singletary. Since then, recognizing the importance of raising public awareness of the issues surrounding our food and farming practices, the organization determined to make eater-oriented education and outreach its primary focus, with a broader vision of supporting small to medium size organic farms.
Since launching its first program in January, 2015, the volunteer-based organization has expanded its programming significantly to include its Chew on This! series, the monthly Seasonal Kitchen Cooking Classes, Drink This: Inland NW Farm to Glass, the Food for Thought Book Club, the Local Investing Program, workshops, movies, special events, as well as a website, monthly e-newsletter, and an active Facebook page! We are also proud to announce that in June 2017, we became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization!
Board of Directors
Luke Black (bio coming soon!)
Josh Burton has lived in Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls, Idaho since separating from the Air Force in 2000. He graduated from North Idaho College with an associate’s degree in nursing and went on to get a bachelor’s degree in business from Lewis Clark State College. He will finish up his bachelor’s degree in Nursing in the spring of 2017. Josh has worked at Kootenai Health since 2004. His first six years at Kootenai Health were on the Nursing Resource Team after which he assumed the role of Employee Health and Wellness Manager. Josh appreciates the multitude of outdoor opportunities North Idaho has to offer and enjoys them all with his family. Josh’s interest in food and food systems stems from his personal love of food, the delight of experiencing his wife’s love in the form of preparing and serving foods of all types, and the vision he has for his children enjoying fresh, healthy, locally sourced foods in the future. Josh is enthusiastic to work on a subject that affects his life so positively, but can also be easily taken for granted. Josh currently serves as the Board Treasurer.
Jason Green was raised in southern California. Jason had a passion for numbers and working early in life, and worked as a bookkeeper through high school. He attended college in San Jose where he earned a Bachelors degree in Business Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration. Jason spent ten years working for a major food distribution company that led him to relocating to Seattle in 2002. In addition to food distribution, Jason has also held senior roles at a food manufacturing and food producing plants. In 2016, Jason relocated to Spokane and has joined the team as an accountant for the Eat Good Group. In his spare time Jason enjoys time with his family and bowling.
Chef Adam Hegsted was born and raised in Spokane. His interests in food and art led him to enroll in the Northwest Culinary Academy and the Art Institute of Seattle. Since graduating, he has worked in the restaurant business and is now the owner/chef for several restaurants including Wandering Table, Yards Bruncheon, Le Catering, Gilded Unicorn, Farmhouse Kitchen and Eat Good Cafe. He has been won many awards including Innovator of the Year from the National Beef Council and United Fresh, and was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award/Best Chef Northwest. Catalyst magazine named him one of the top 20 under 40 leaders in Spokane and the 50 most influential people in Spokane, and FSR magazine identified him in the top 40 under 40 Rising Stars. He was invited to cook at the James Beard House and at Star Chefs in New York. He is committed to growing our region’s food system and engaging other chefs to supporting local farmers/producers. In his spare time, Adam enjoys spending time with his family outdoors and traveling.
Nicole Kahler (bio coming soon!)
Joni Kindwall-Moore is a lifelong food activist, foodie and mom of three kids. She has an academic background in Biology with an emphasis in pharmaceutical chemistry and ethnobotany from the University of Montana. Joni is also a BSN-RN from SUNY Binghamton with and has spent her Nursing career in ER, ICU and Diabetes education. Growing up on a small farm in rural Oregon, Joni has always had an interest in farming, food sheds and specialty crops. This is where her passion for the farm-to-fork mission was born. Joni currently resides in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, ID and is the founder of Snacktivist Foods. Snacktivist Foods makes baking mixes and prepared goods made from ancient grains, legumes, seed and nut flours for home and commercial use. Snacktivist Foods is dedicated making a positive impact on our Nation’s food system while simultaneously fueling an agricultural renaissance for heritage and ancient cereal and legume crops.
Connie Krueger (bio coming soon!)
The daughter of a life-long teamster and an environmentalist cattle rancher, Beth Robinette was raised with a passion for advocating both for people and ecosystems. This passion took her from her fourth-generation cattle ranch near Spokane to study the intersection of business and sustainable agriculture at Western Washington University. She continued her education in sustainable business at Pinchot University, one of the nation’s first sustainability-focused business schools, where she earned her MBA in Sustainable Systems with an emphasis on Local Living Economies and Sustainable Food and Agriculture. She now runs her family’s grass fed beef operation, which direct markets their carbon negative beef to the Spokane area. In 2014, she co-founded LINC Foods, a worker and farmer owned cooperative food hub, which helps connect Spokane area sustainable family farms to institutional scale markets such as university dining services, school districts, hospitals, and nursing homes, as well as restaurants. She is also one of the founding members of Roots of Resilience, a non-profit which trains Northwest ranchers and land managers on sustainable livestock production and ecological restoration through Holistic Management. Beth serves as the Board Chair.
Erin Whitehead is a Coeur d’Alene native, recently returned from several years spent working abroad in the global health/international development sector. She currently works for Panhandle Health District as a Health Education Specialist and is the coordinator of the Idaho Physical Activity and Nutrition Program. She is interested in all things food related, ranging from food policy to culinary exploration and everything in between. A lover of the great outdoors, Erin loves travel, hiking, backpacking and camping, whitewater rafting, and fly fishing. Erin serves as the Board Secretary.
Founder/Executive Director – Teri McKenzie was born with an insatiable love of food. She is passionate about both food and community building, and recognized early on that any social gathering worth its salt includes food. A returned Peace Corps volunteer and inveterate humanitarian, Teri has decades of experience both in the nonprofit sector and in higher education. With a Masters degree in Whole Systems Design/Nonprofit Leadership and drawing inspiration from the teachings of the natural world, she is a firm believer in the collective wisdom and creativity of people to address the problems we currently face. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling, music and zoning out with her cat.