Our Team

Nathan Shoaf is the Urban Agriculture State Coordinator for Purdue Extension. He received his M.S in Ecological Sciences and Engineering from Purdue University with a focus on soil microbiology and plant pathology. He also received his B.A. in English Literature from Purdue. Nathan has worked on soil, groundwater and vapor intrusion contamination issues for remediation sites as a field technician, consultant and regulatory agency project manager. In addition, he has worked with community gardens and urban agricultural projects in Los Angeles, Seattle and Indianapolis focused on improving soil health and safety using organic amendments such as composts, biosolids and biochar. Nathan collaborates with extension staff, faculty and stakeholders to enhance statewide programming for the Urban Agriculture Program. Contact Nathan at nlshoaf@purdue.edu.
Terri Theisen is an Urban Agriculture Educator for Purdue Extension – Allen County. Terri has experience with a variety of small-scale, diversified farming operations in urban and rural environments and has a passion for local foods. Hailing originally from Wisconsin, Terri is no stranger to the whimsical weather present in Indiana or the unique challenges of growing in this climate. Among her many tasks, Terri assists with the delivery of the Urban Agriculture Certificate program in Fort Wayne, planning the Northeast Indiana Local Food Forum, and operation of Johnnie Mae Farm, an urban farm in southeast Fort Wayne. Contact Terri at ttheisen@purdue.edu.
James Wolff is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for Purdue Extension – Allen County. He grew up on a small livestock and crop farm in Northern Indiana. James received a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Education at Purdue University and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Communications at Oklahoma State University. He assists with statewide programming for small farms, beginning farmers, farmers markets, and hops production. His urban agriculture focus areas include site assessment, zoning ordinances, weed control, marketing, and farmers markets. James is the primary instructor for the Urban Agriculture Certificate in Fort Wayne. Contact James at jmwolff@purdue.edu.
Tony Van Gorp is an Urban Agriculture Educator for Purdue Extension – Lake County. Prior to coming to Purdue Extension, Tony worked for the government, a Fortune 500 Corporation and owned and operated his own company. He collaborates with the Gary Urban Farmer’s Initiative and volunteers at a farm located in Gary, IN as their Director of Community Engagement. Tony and his wife, Tori, currently own and operate Two Hands Farm where they raise organic vegetables and fruits. Contact Tony at avangorp@purdue.edu.
Brooke Alford  is an Urban Agriculture Educator for Purdue Extension – Marion County. She earned her MLA from the University of Washington Landscape Architecture with a Certificate in Ecological Restoration. She also received her B.S. in Urban Forestry at the University of Washington, where her focus was in urban horticulture. She practiced urban ecological design and restoration as well contributed to many community empowerment projects in the Seattle area before returning to the Indianapolis region and joining Purdue Extension-Marion County. At Extension she co-teaches the Urban Agriculture Certificate Program, Rainscaping and the Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing. Contact Brooke at bmalford@purdue.edu.
Alex Pettigrew is the Urban Agriculture Educator for Purdue Extension – Marion County. Alex was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. She received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences from Purdue University, and is months away from finishing her masters in Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication at Purdue University. Alex has a passion for urban agriculture and hopes to help more people see the different ways agriculture is used daily. She will focus on urban livestock, including poultry and bees. Contact Alex at apettig@purdue.edu.
Amy Matthews is Urban Agriculture Program Assistant for Purdue Extension – Marion County. A native of the southside of Indy, Amy has traveled far and wide to learn the craft of farming–from the mountains of Montana, to the urban wilds of Chicago, from the tundra of Alaska to the rust belt of Cleveland. Toggling back and forth between urban and rural, social service and for-profit, Amy has seen many angles on growing food. Amy started an urban market farm eight years ago in Indianapolis and is now a partner in Mad Farmers Collective. She co-wrote Purdue Extension’s Urban Agriculture Certificate curriculum. Contact Amy at matthe26@purdue.edu.
 
Amy Thompson is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for Purdue Extension – Monroe County.  Amy received a Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Management at Purdue University and a Master’s Degree in Forest Ecology at the University of Kentucky. Amy is active in statewide extension programming for small farms, beginning farmers, farmers markets, and hops production. Amy grew-up in Bloomington on a small livestock farm.  Prior to her experience with Purdue she worked for the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Kentucky and served as U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. Contact Amy at afthompson@purdue.edu.
 
Karen Mitchell is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for Purdue Extension – Tippecanoe County.  Karen received her B.S. in Horticultural Production and Marketing and M.S. in Weed Science at Purdue University. With a passion for helping others grow, Karen is active in statewide extension programming for small farms, beginning farmers, farmers markets, community gardens, and home horticulture. Contact Karen at mitcheka@purdue.edu.
Andrew Smith  is the Urban Agriculture Educator in Vanderburgh County. Previously, Andrew worked as an Urban Conservationist with a soil and water conservation district in the Evansville area where he developed an Urban Soil Health Assessment to help urban land users determine site suitability for agriculture. He also wrote a grant that helped establish conservation exhibits in Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick Counties. Prior to that, Andrew taught at Vincennes University in the Department of Geoscience, Agriculture, and Horticulture and worked in environmental consulting. Andrew grew up in northeast Indiana prior to relocating Evansville to attend the University of Southern Indiana where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Geology. He went on to receive a Master of Science in Geology from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Contact Andrew at smit3744@purdue.edu.

 

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