Our Staff

Meet the Rooted Staff

Admin Staff

To reach these staff members, call 608-240-0409

Rooted Executive Director Marcia Caton Campbell

Marcia Caton Campbell

Executive Director

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Marcia, Rooted’s Executive Director, is a city and regional planner who has worked on community and regional food systems planning, policy, and development for over twenty years. Marcia is co-author of Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy, Sustainable Places (American Planning Association, 2011) with Kimberley Hodgson and Martin Bailkey. She was the 2020 recipient of the Community Shares of Wisconsin Sally Sunde Family Advocate Award.

Ginny Hughes, Deputy Director

Ginny Hughes

Deputy Director of operations

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Ginny Hughes serves as Rooted’s Deputy Director. Before joining the staff in 2012, Ginny earned a master’s degree in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She has over a decade of experience sharing her love of growing vegetables with kids and adults in a variety of settings. When she’s not in the garden, she enjoys yoga and adventuring outdoors with her two sons and husband.

Hedi Rudd, Badger Rock Neighborhood Center Director

Hedi Rudd

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SOUTH MADISON PROGRAMS

she/her/hers

Hedi Rudd is a former Southdale neighborhood resident who has been an active community organizer since being appointed to Mayor Bauman’s Task Force on Relations in 1998. In 2001, she joined Bauman’s staff as the Study Circle on Race Relation’s Coordinator, a program recommended by the task force. Hedi served two terms on the City of Madison Equal Opportunities Commission and was a staff member of the City of Madison Affirmative Action Department, prior to the creation of the Office of Civil Rights. After living in Las Vegas for 6 years, where she worked at Nevada Cancer Institute in various Executive Administrative positions, she returned to Madison and community organizing. An avid photographer, Hedi is often seen at community events telling the story of communities of color through her lens. Hedi is the 2019 recipient of Forward Community Investments Nan Cheney March for Justice Award.

Rooted Staff Member Sheena Tesch

Sheena Tesch

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF north MADISON PROGRAMS

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Sheena joined the staff in 2018. Sheena has farmed all over the country for a decade—from growing organic seeds in California to homesteading in Vermont—and has a particular interest working to increase food sovereignty.

Heather Schmidt

Office Coordinator

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Heather grew up just south of Madison. She has worked in nonprofits for around a decade. Heather had always enjoyed gardening, but it wasn’t until joining Rooted that her true passion for growing food took hold. Her vegetable garden has now tripled in size. When she isn’t in the garden, Heather can be found organizing, crafting, and working on her fixer-upper home.

New photo coming soon

Rooted Staff Member Renata Solan

Renata Solan

Communications Director

she/her/hers

Renata serves as the Communications Director for Rooted and for the Wisconsin School Garden Network. She is originally from New Jersey but is proud to call Wisconsin her home. Renata moved to Madison in 2008 for graduate school at UW Madison where she earned MS degrees in Agroecology (focus on plant physiology) and Environmental Studies (focus on environmental communications). She loves to hear and tell stories about the infinite ways that people connect with each other and with their environments through food and gardens. Renata spends her free time gardening, knitting, and exploring the state with her partner and daughters.

BADGER ROCK NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER STAFF

To reach these staff members, call 608-960-4615
Hedi Rudd, Badger Rock Neighborhood Center Director

Hedi Rudd

Deputy Director of South Madison Programs

she/her/hers

Hedi Rudd is a former Southdale neighborhood resident who has been an active community organizer since being appointed to Mayor Bauman’s Task Force on Relations in 1998. In 2001, she joined Bauman’s staff as the Study Circle on Race Relation’s Coordinator, a program recommended by the task force. Hedi served two terms on the City of Madison Equal Opportunities Commission and was a staff member of the City of Madison Affirmative Action Department, prior to the creation of the Office of Civil Rights. After living in Las Vegas for 6 years, where she worked at Nevada Cancer Institute in various Executive Administrative positions, she returned to Madison and community organizing. An avid photographer, Hedi is often seen at community events telling the story of communities of color through her lens. Hedi is the 2019 recipient of Forward Community Investments Nan Cheney March for Justice Award.

Rooted Staff Member Sarah Karlson

Sarah Karlson

Farm & Education Manager

she/her/hers

Sarah comes to her work at Rooted from Oakland, CA where she began her work in food justice and urban agriculture in 2005. She continues this work at Badger Rock, managing the 2-acre Badger Rock Urban Farm and Badger Rock Community Garden and provides gardening and culinary-based education opportunities. Sarah is passionate about gardens as a tool for education, food access, joy, connection, and building community resilience at the intersection of food, racial, environmental, and educational justice.

Alex Booker

Assistant Farm and Education Manager

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Alex is a Madison native with a lifelong passion for nature. He discovered his love for gardening through a youth gardening club and hasn’t stopped growing his own food since. He learned about Badger rock in an environmental conservation class he attended at Edgewood college and the tour left a lasting impression on him. Alex refined his skills through an apprenticeship in tropical horticulture and went on to start his own business doing plant maintenance and growing produce for sale. He is excited to use his life experience to connect with the Badger Rock community and uplift issues in the food system that deeply impact Black and Brown communities.  

Renesha Carter

Community Connector

she/her/hers

Renesha is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has a background rooted in community-based programming. She attended UW-Madison where she received her degree in nutritional science and global health, and she has worked extensively with community organizations to design and deliver high-quality nutrition education programs. In her free time, she is an avid DIYer and blogger.

Rooted Staff Member Kipp Thomas

Kipp Thomas

Culinary Arts Manager

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Kipp is the Culinary Arts Director and founder of Kipp’s Kitchen. Kipp has found his sweet spot working closely with the community and students in the Madison and Sun Prairie School Districts. His food can be found at community events such as the Badger Rock Community Market, Dane Dances, and the Urban League’s Unity Picnic. Kipp places a high value on helping others and being able to share his talent and resources with the community. His culinary talent is being used to feed families facing food insecurity. Kipp’s service to his community was recognized when he was honored as a 2019 Community Shares Backyard Hero.

MARI VERBETEN

Farm & Education Assistant Manager

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Since graduating from UW-Madison in 2018, Mari spent two growing seasons working on farms and a year abroad in Panama with the Peace Corps. She enjoys showing people love through food, learning about how to increase food autonomy, and speaking Spanish. She is excited to engage with Rooted and the Madison community through gardening, school programming, and collaborations with partners to increase resilience in the school food environment.

Dane County Gardens Network Staff

To reach these staff members, call 608-240-0409

Rooted Staff Member Sheena Tesch

Sheena Tesch

Deputy Director of North Madison Programs

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Sheena joined the staff in 2018. Sheena has farmed all over the country for a decade—from growing organic seeds in California to homesteading in Vermont—and has a particular interest working to increase food sovereignty.

Rooted Staff Member Nicholas Leete

Nicholas Leete

Gardens Network co-Manager

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Originally from Minnesota, Nicholas has spent time in Iowa studying soil, water, and sustainable agriculture, has worked in middle-income housing in New York, and has researched perennial crops at the University of Wisconsin. He spent several years working with community-focused food and gardening projects before joining Rooted as the Gardens Network Manager. When not working on his own community garden plot, Nicholas enjoys cooking, biking, and the Madison lakes.

Nou Thao

Gardens Network co-Manager

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Nou grew up on the eastside of Madison. She has volunteered with Troy Community Garden for many years before joining Rooted. Food is a woven fabric of who she is. You can find her eating and surrounded by food all day long. She has worked to help address food insecurity in the community. She is an educator, an advocate, and community organizer. Nou is passionate in connecting communities through food and storytelling. 

Farm to School and Early Care Staff

To reach these staff members, call 608-240-0409

Rooted Staff Member Erica Krug

Erica Krug

Farm to School Director

she/her/hers

Before joining the Rooted team in 2020, Erica worked as an elementary school teacher on Madison’s Northside where she helped to create a curriculum for the school’s outdoor classroom and garden. She holds a strong belief that children deserve the opportunity to spend lots of time learning–and playing–outside and is excited to share her love of doing research and creating curricula. Erica has also worked on farm crews, as a kayak guide in Yellowstone, and as a freelance writer. Erica enjoys hot yoga, cross-country skiing, gardening, and eating homemade pizza.

Hawthorn McCracken

Outreach Specialist

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Hawthorn is the child of a former dairy farmer and a public school teacher. They grew up in East Tennessee and have made Wisconsin their home since 2008. With a background in arts, community education, and sustainable horticulture, they are passionate about building stronger food systems and helping everyone (re)connect to their cultural and personal relationship with the land. They are interested in perennial crops, foraging, creating queer rural spaces, and integrating art and self-care into farm practices. They are also active in Madison Mycological Society and the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Amy Ford

2021-22 AmeriCorps Farm to School Specialist

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Amy is facilitating edible plant based garden and nutrition education at two MMSD elementary schools: Crestwood and Mendota. Amy is guiding roughly 240 young scholars a week into a deeper awareness of edible plants, the importance of eating well and the value of our interconnectedness with each other and the natural environment. The intended outcome is empowering stronger health and wellbeing within the lives of the scholars and their school communities. It is a great honor to walk this journey with an abundance of enthusiastic
learners of all ages and stages.

Catherine Masters

2021-22 AMERICORPS FARM TO SCHOOL SPECIALIST

she/her/hers

Catherine is originally from a small mountain town in Colorado, and attended the University of Colorado Boulder where she received a BA in Biology and Anthropology. She found her passion for gardening as a Garden Apprentice at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, CA. She’s been working with children for most of her adult life (thus far) and is looking forward to further pursuing a career in garden education once her AmeriCorps service is complete. When Catherine‘s not gardening or teaching she works as a professional artist, goes camping and hiking with her partner and dog, and loves to play Dungeons and Dragons. 

Gwen Murphy

2021-22 AmeriCorps Farm to School Specialist

she/her/hers

Gwen is a Farm to School specialist at Schenk Elementary and La Follette High School. She loves running a culinary program with the high school students highlighting local foods and the ways different ingredients nourish our bodies as well as teaching garden science lessons with her younger students. She grew up in Indiana, dabbled in a technology corporate gig, and is excited to be pursuing her M.S. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Earth Observation and Informatics program. Spending the morning running spatial models and the afternoon with a handful of soil is the balance she’s been looking for.

School For Urban Agriculture Staff

To reach this staff member, call 608-960-4615
Rooted Staff Member Martin Bailkey

Martin Bailkey

School for Urban Agriculture Project Director

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Martin manages the new School for Urban Agriculture project, a partnership between Rooted, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. Martin has worked in urban agriculture for over 20 years, mostly in front of a computer screen rather than in the field. He has been connected for years and in various ways with the groupings and organizations that eventually became Rooted. Martin, along with Marcia Caton Campbell and Kim Hodgson, wrote Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy, Sustainable Places (2011) for the American Planning Association.

Troy Farm STAFF

To reach these staff members, call 608-240-0409

Rooted Staff Member Sheena Tesch

Sheena Tesch

Deputy Director of North Madison Programs

they/them/theirs

Sheena joined the staff in 2018. Sheena has farmed all over the country for a decade—from growing organic seeds in California to homesteading in Vermont—and has a particular interest working to increase food sovereignty.

Rooted Staff Member Paul Huber

Paul Huber

Farm Director

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Paul Huber is the Farm Director at Troy Farm. He is passionate about small-scale intensive agriculture and teaching others the craft. Since 2005, Paul has worked as a farm volunteer, laborer, manager and a farm owner. He and his wife Sara ran Shared Seasons LLC from 2013 to 2019.

Rooted Staff Member Sam Douglas

Sam Douglass

Assistant Farm Manager

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Sam has been growing vegetables at Troy Farm since 2019. He is passionate about building the infrastructure for food autonomy in Dane County. Sam has a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UW-Madison.

Wisconsin School Garden Network Staff

To reach these staff members, call 608-240-0409

Rooted Staff Member Erica Krug

Erica Krug

Farm to School Director

she/her/hers

Before joining the Rooted team in 2020, Erica worked as an elementary school teacher on Madison’s Northside where she helped to create a curriculum for the school’s outdoor classroom and garden. She holds a strong belief that children deserve the opportunity to spend lots of time learning–and playing–outside and is excited to share her love of doing research and creating curricula. Erica has also worked on farm crews, as a kayak guide in Yellowstone, and as a freelance writer. Erica enjoys hot yoga, cross-country skiing, gardening, and eating homemade pizza.

Rooted Staff Member Renata Solan

Renata Solan

Communications Director

she/her/hers

Renata serves as the Communications Director for Rooted and for the Wisconsin School Garden Network. She is originally from New Jersey but is proud to call Wisconsin her home. Renata moved to Madison in 2008 for graduate school at UW Madison where she earned MS degrees in Agroecology (focus on plant physiology) and Environmental Studies (focus on environmental communications). She loves to hear and tell stories about the infinite ways that people connect with each other and with their environments through food and gardens. Renata spends her free time gardening, knitting, and exploring the state with her partner and daughters.

Youth Programs Staff

To reach these staff members, call 608-240-0409

Rooted Staff Member Sarah Karlson

Sarah Karlson

EDUCATION Director

she/her/hers

Sarah comes to her work at Rooted from Oakland, CA where she began her work in food justice and urban agriculture in 2005. She continues this work at Badger Rock, managing the 2-acre Badger Rock Urban Farm and Badger Rock Community Garden and provides gardening and culinary-based education opportunities. Sarah is passionate about gardens as a tool for education, food access, joy, connection, and building community resilience at the intersection of food, racial, environmental, and educational justice.

Rooted Staff Member Bronte Adamson

BRONTË ADAMSON​

Troy Kids' Garden Manager

she/her/hers

Brontë graduated from UW-Madison where she studied Environmental Science and Global Health. While in school, she found a passion for garden-based education and food justice work through her volunteer and work experiences in the Madison community. She believes food is a powerful tool for learning, connection and exploring the world around us. In her free time she enjoys experimenting with cooking, baking, and fermenting.

Rooted Staff Member Brian Emerson

Brian Emerson

ASSISTANT EDUCATION MANAGER

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Brian, who is a native of Cedar Rapids, IA, is a Northside Madison resident. After graduating from the University of Iowa he worked with the USDA-NRCS on various mapping and watershed projects. Since 2004 he has been with the UW Madison trialing fruits, flowers, and veggies. Most recently, he served as Trial Manager for the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative in the Urban and Regional Food Systems program. In his free time, Brian works in his community coaching, teaching horticulture, and running a small urban farm.

Rooted Staff Member Travus Maloney

Travus Maloney

Education Manager

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Travus received his bachelor’s degree in conservation and environmental science from UW-MIlwaukee. He served as an intern for the Goodman Youth Farm in 2016 and now works with the Goodman Youth Farm, the Troy Kids’ Garden, and the Grow Academy as Rooted’s education manager. In his free time, Travus can be found exploring wild spaces with his family, cooking, and spending quality time with their four-legged family members.

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