Charles Schembre, Program Manager
Charles took over the role as Program Manager at DFI in Fall 2018, and comes with a strong background as a farm manager in sustainable agriculture and a program manager in natural resource management. Charles moved over the mountain from the North Coast of California where he worked for the Napa County Resource Conservation District managing a demonstration vineyard and orchard, and multiple agricultural resource conservation programs working with land managers and farmers to improve soil health, erosion control, and irrigation water use efficiency. Charles’ career in sustainable agriculture took root working as a student employee at the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Organic farm for 3 years while earning a degree in Earth Science with a concentration in Soil Science. Since then he has worked on multiple diversified row crop farms, marketing product in farmer’s markets, CSAs, and restaurants, and has many years of experience managing vineyards, and small scale orchards in Northern California. He also served 2 terms in the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project where he gained a passion and belief that farms serve an important role in watershed health by focusing on soil health and enhancing farm biodiversity. He is inspired by the emerging local food production of Northern Nevada and is excited to learn ways to build DFI’s programs to better serve the agricultural community.
Dave Hoffman, Farm Manager
Dave started as the farm manager of DFI in January 2018. He is from upstate New York, studied fine art at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and studied agriculture and interned as a farmer in northwest Washington. He moved to Reno 2015, after a year of serving as an Americorps member for the local non-profit, Urban Roots, Dave became the farm manager. At Urban Roots, he built and developed a production model for a new 2 acre downtown plot while engaging educational programs, field trips, and volunteers on the farm. He worked as consulting, management and labor for school and community gardens in the Reno area. Dave has an interest in being a strong force in the local food movement and loves to experiment with growing systems to push for exciting fresh food in Reno.
Jill Moe, Education Program Coordinator
Jill joined DFI in November 2018 to further develop and implement our sustainable agriculture and food safety education programs for area growers. She moved into this position after working on the farm’s raspberry research project, vineyard and vegetable production. Jill has a Master degree in environmental policy from the University of Washington, a Master certificate in sustainable agriculture from Washington State University’s global campus, and 15 years of experience in her field. She comes from a family with agricultural roots in the Midwest and became interested in dryland farming as a US Peace Corps agroforestry volunteer in West Africa. She has worked on multiple watershed planning and regional natural resource management projects, has hands-on experience in market farming in the US and Europe, and has enjoyed conducting outreach and extension programs with landowners and operators. Her key interest is in helping to build a durable, productive local food system.
Sara is majoring in Environmental Sciences, with an emphasis in Soil Biogeochemistry, and a Minor in Geotechnology. Sarah says she is “interested in working at DFI because I want to learn more about plants and soils through farming. I also love that we give back to the university and community, especially for places like Renown Health”, a local medical center in Reno that DFI directly sells produce to. Sarah is still figuring out what she wants to do for her career but hopes “it’s in research or something related to my technology studies, where I can use GIS or R Studio”.