Colette DePhelps, President
My passion for local food and agriculture began at age 21 in a dugout canoe in the upper Amazon rainforest. Our hosts, the Cofan people, were in the deepest sense sustainable agriculture practitioners and locavores (long before that word was coined). In sharing their homes, food and way of life, I came to understand the beautiful balance that exists in some cultures; sustainability as a way of life, not an adjective or even a goal. Upon returning to the United States, I engaged in a self-defined major at Western Washington University looking at sustainable agriculture and indigenous peoples. That is also when I discovered and joined the food co-op in Bellingham, WA.
A couple of years later, I moved to Pullman and enrolled in a Masters program at Washington State University, hoping to learn more about the philosophy that underpins conventional agriculture. It was then, in 1991, that I joined the Moscow Food Co-op. Upon graduation from WSU, I worked for several years for the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, then as the coordinator of the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute’s community food systems program. I left PCEI in 1997 to co-found Rural Roots, Inc. a Moscow-based sustainable food and agriculture non-profit organization.
These past 20 years (how time flies), I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with extraordinary farmers, ranchers and other ag professional dedicated to creating a more just, sustainable and resilient regional food system. During that time, I have continued to grow in appreciation of the Moscow Food Co-op and its central role in our Palouse community. For my two children and I (Forest age 12 and Raven age 6) the Co-op is an integral part of our lives: here we find sustenance in great food and a strong caring community. I am honored to be serving on the Moscow Food Co-op’s Board of Directors. Thank you.
Glenn Holloway, Vice President+Secretary
I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. I lived in Orofino as a teenager and then moved and graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1970. Following graduation, I attended the University of Idaho but then joined the United States Marine Corps’ 1st Marine Division during Vietnam. I returned to the University after my enlistment was up to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Radio/Television Production in 1980. I worked for the University of Idaho as an instructional television producer for the Ag Information Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and produced 130 educational videos until 1982 when I became a commissioned Armor Officer in the US Army.
My military career allowed me to experience numerous cultures and countries. While living in Europe, I finished my Master’s Degree in International Relations and Business. I retired in 2000 as the Executive Officer for Allied Command Europe and returned to the United States in 2003, where I worked for various Department of Defense agencies as a Strategic Planner and Critical Infrastructure subject matter expert. It was during my time as the US Critical Infrastructure Chief that I realized the importance of local food systems and started farming a small acreage in Virginia.
While in Virginia I became friends with and studied sustainable farming under Joel Salatin. My farm was selected to be a model small farm for Holistic Management International. In 2010 my wife and I established an educational program, Go Farm U (www.gofarmu.com), and started training beginning farmers how to farm holistically. We moved back to the Moscow area in September 2013 and began farming just outside of Deary. I fully support the local food system and will work hard to ensure it benefits the social, ecological and economic needs of the Moscow area.
Idgi Potter, Treasurer
I was born and raised on the Palouse, and the Moscow Food Co-op has been a part of my life since before I can remember. Several years in Western Oregon taught me that there’s no place like home, and so in 2004 I returned to Moscow and began working in the Co-op bakery. In 2008 I graduated from the U of I with a degree in Range Management, but decided to keep baking after meeting my husband, Geoff. Today, I split my time between taking care of him and our daughter Sage, working at Panhandle Artisan Bread Co., and raising a handful of ducks, chickens, and gardens at our home in Moscow.
Kurt (Sam) Obermayr
Raised in South Idaho, the Palouse has been Kurt Obermayr’s home-base since 1980 when he came here, as many have, to attend the University of Idaho, and he stayed to raise his family in the Moscow community. He studied history and ceramic art at U of I. In 1988 he married Maree McHugh. Together they bought property on the edge of town and remodeled an old farm house. They moved to Arizona for six years when his wife took a position with the Indian Health Service. Kurt and Maree came back home to the Palouse in 2007 and are involved socially and politically in the Moscow community.
Kurt is a creative man, using his hands and applying his encyclopedic knowledge of anything he has ever read. He finds few problems unsolvable and can fix just about anything: cars, machines, houses, plumbing, and electrical and social systems. A potter and carpenter by trade, Kurt has earned a living doing what he knows he can do well. He has managed his own renovation-remodel and historical reconstruction business for 20 years. When he lived on the Navajo Nation he became involved in the local Habitat for Humanity and made many friends, not only because he had the right tools, but because of his sense of humor, willingness to learn how to build a Navajo hogan, his love of fry bread, and deep respect for the traditions of the Dine’.
Kurt has always had a passion for history, art, social justice, remodeling old buildings, rafting wild rivers, and hiking in wide open, beautiful places. He can analyze complex political situations, mix cement, pound nails, find his way through the woods, blend into a desert landscape in a heartbeat, and be comfortable and contribute at board meetings. Kurt has served on the board of the Renaissance Fair and on the Moscow Planning and Zoning committee, and is Precinct Committee Chair for Precinct 4. Adhering to the principles of “common sense,” building sustainable structures, both physical and within community alliances, is Kurt’s strength and commitment.
Poetry, art, music, political activism, wilderness and my wife, Kathleen, are my passions. Love for our community, concern for others, a belief in the effectiveness of collective action and an appreciation of good food are among the reasons why I support our Co-op. We are stronger working together!
My first exposure to co-ops was at Oberlin College, where I participated in its housing and dining co-op system. Later I was a member of retail food co-ops in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. I became a member of MFC within days of moving here in 2003. Since then I’ve served in a variety of volunteer roles and encouraged newcomers to visit and see why MFC is so special. My volunteer duties have ranged from food service to strategic planning to representing the Co-op at community events. Before the word ‘foodie’ was invented I was one, and one reason I patronize the Co-op is to try new dishes and ingredients. Nowadays I grow most of my own produce, so my grocery list is a lot shorter, but I still rely on the chilled food and bulk sections to fill in the blanks. Additionally, the staff has given me a lot of inspirations for ways to prepare what I harvest.
When I am not eating food or thinking about it, I work as a mediator, lawyer, coach, and yoga teacher. My current passions are acrobatics, travel, and slacklining, and I’m proud to be part of the YogaSlackers teaching team. This summer I’ll be performing and teaching at the Wanderlust Festivals in Whistler, B.C. and Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
This May I had the honor of being Renaissance Fair Queen, which triggered me to reflect on my role within this community. At the fair, every time someone bowed before me, all I could say was, “I serve you.” Being a member of the Co-op Board is a way in which I can serve the community that has enriched my life for over a decade.