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Board of Directors

PJ Bergin, Chair

PJ developed and ran two successful businesses geared to serving design and architectural professionals nationally for 28 years.  After selling those, she became a full time visual artist in Chaffee County creating artwork for health care facilities and private residences. Out of concerns for the slow decrease in farm land and access to local food, PJ started SOIL Sangre de Cristo in March 2020.  She now balances her artist career and the growing non-profit with overwhelming support from the community.

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Brian Aitken, Treasurer

Brian is a partner with Badger Creek Ranch, another member of SOIL Sangre de Cristo. For over two decades, Brian worked as a country director for the International Monetary Fund, based in Washington DC. He eventually wanted to live out west and become involved in land conservation. Between Brian’s years of working for the IMF and his current involvement in local ranching, Brian makes a most welcome fit to be on the board of directors as treasurer.

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Tiffany Collette, Advisor to the Board of Directors

Tiffany is the owner of Rocky Mountain Garlic with her husband, Mike Colette. Following the organic and biodynamic processes, “RMG” brings over fifteen varieties of the unique crop of high desert garlic to market every year. They have also expanded into other fresh veggies with the newly built greenhouse seen from Hwy 291 as you travel west out of Salida.

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Caitlynn Fortner

Caitlynn benefits from local food producers in BV and surrounding areas and loves to use local products in her cooking and food preservation projects. She's been passionate about agriculture since high school where she interned in rice improvement research and started the Culver Hunger Fighters, a nonprofit focused on providing meals to children. She later worked for the USDA Agricultural Research Service Citrus Germplasm Repository researching new plant diseases. Although she now works in the software industry, she's always looking for ways to support farmers so folks in this region can eat more delicious, sustainable food.

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Nick Perchess

Hello, I'm Nick Perchess, and I steward 45 acres of land using regenerative farming in Avondale, Colorado. My main focus is on nurturing soil health, tending to animals, and ensuring the well-being of our ecosystems in the southeastern part of the state.
I take great pride in being the woman owner-operator of Nola Naturals Farms, where we operate a diverse, pasture-raised meat business complete with an on-site processing facility. Our farming endeavors also include the cultivation of stone fruit from 400 tart cherry trees, production of honey, growth of heirloom hot house tomatoes, and garlic. Within this location, you'll find Pastures of Liberty, a dairy operation that caters to the needs of over 100 families across four counties. I'm a first-generation farmer originally from Chicago, and I've called Colorado home for 24 years, residing along the Arkansas River basin watershed. My experience in agriculture ranges from managing commercial fields for lettuce and garlic farms, assisting with spring calf rounds for branding, to dedicating time for 20,000 milkings.
Currently, I hold key roles in various agricultural and community organizations. These include seats on the Pueblo County Ag Advisory Board, Pueblo County Farm Bureau Board, Pueblo County Stockmans, New Farms (also known as the Excelsior Farmers Exchange, a farmer-owned cooperative), and SOIL Sangre De Cristo.
My mission is to establish exemplary models for future farming practices, paying homage to the wisdom and knowledge of past generations, and passing the torch of excitement to the next seven generations.

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Kira Davis

After watching the film "Kiss the Ground", I developed an interest in sustainability and regenerative agriculture. I joined the Board of Directors for SOIL Sangre de Cristo to support my local food community. With 10 years of experience in technology, I'm excited to see the growing trend of agricultural technology. In my free time, I love being outdoors and tending to my backyard garden.

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Noah Ring

Hello, my name is Noah Ring, with Ring-a-Ding Farms. My brother Adam and I ran an organic wholesale operation which specialized in triple washed mixed greens, packaged and shipped right from our facility. On a smaller scale, we also grew wholesale garlic, corn, heirloom grains, squash, hemp, leeks, tomatoes and peppers, and ran lambs for a couple seasons. In recent years we have transitioned to hay production, and continue to grow heirloom and cherry tomatoes from our greenhouse. It hasn't been easy, this life, but it has been an honor to be a steward of the small slice of land called Ring-a-Ding Farms. It's been the fulfillment of my dreams to have a lived connection with the land. Year after year, through hail storms, droughts and everything in between. I hope to bring that experience with me to SOIL's board, and hopefully can help other community members realize their dreams as well.

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