Who are we?
Nourish is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin led by Executive Director, Heather Cleveland, and a Board of Directors. Our staff of Program Manager, Operations Manager, Education Coordinator, Farm-To-School Educator, and Educational Farm Coordinator help us deliver good-food programs to the community.
Since its inception in 2009, Nourish has supported and promoted local farmers by connecting kids and families in-need to the local food they produce. We believe that supporting local farmers also supports the local economy. Food less traveled reduces our reliance on fossil fuels and emissions while allowing the produce to be picked closer to ripeness. Produce harvested near ripeness also features the best nutrient content. Nourish partners with farms that encourage sustainable farming practices.
Optimal growing conditions lead to optimal products (enhancing nutrition, ripeness, and flavor)
Less stress on the environment through lower input and reduced transportation
Creates dietary variety throughout the year and encourages food preservation
Puts consumers in touch with their surroundings
Stimulates the local economy through direct consumer/producer interaction and/or through the support of local shops
Encourages community development in a self sustaining manner
Encourages tourism by strengthening locally and regionally unique culture
Community: Connecting local resources and residents to one another.
Equity: Equal access to good food.
Local: Passionate about food produced by local farmers.
Collaborate: Collaborate with local farmers, volunteers, schools, shelters, and nonprofits for maximum impact.
Sustainability: Operating with respect for the precious but limited environmental and financial resources.
Educate: Delivering experiential education in classroom and community gatherings to share good-food knowledge.
Empower: Empower individuals and families to make informed decisions about the food they grow, purchase, or consume.
Why do we exist?
The prevalence of diet related health disorder is on the rise:
Two-thirds of adults in Sheboygan County are overweight or obese.
Diagnosed diabetes had increased in Sheboygan County from 5% in 2003 to 12% in 2014. 1
Despite disorders arising from poor diet and excess food consumption, low-income families in Sheboygan may struggle to put food on the table. A family’s food budget typically comes from what is left after paying for rent or mortgage, car payment, fuel, insurances, utilities, etc.
The gap in diet quality between the wealthiest and poorest Americans doubled between 1999 and 2010. 2
Over 2,000 children in the City of Sheboygan are at or below the poverty line. 3
The connection between food, learning and growing is critical. According to Tufts University 1994 publication “The Link between Nutrition and Cognitive Development in Children.”
Undernourished children are typically fatigued and uninterested in their social environments.
Such children are less likely to establish relationships or to explore and learn from their surroundings.
Undernourished children are also more susceptible to illness and, thus, more likely to be absent from school.
According to one of the study’s authors, a broad approach that involves changes in education, policy, and the food system itself offers the best solution to improving the diets of low-income individuals.
Nourish offers proactive, experiential learning activities and programs to encourage individuals and organizations in our community to make more wholesome food choices by growing, cooking, and supporting our local food system. Together we can educate and empower people and create a healthy community.
1 Sheboygan County 2014 Community Health Survey Results commissioned by Sheboygan County Division of Public Health
2 A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine in fall 2014
3 US Census Bureau 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates
Board of Directors
Paul Bartelt, President
Vollrath, CEO & President
Ale Guevara, Vice President
the idea works, Owner
Kelly Cowhig, Treasurer
Sharon Bruckschen, Secretary
Wigwam, Director of Human Resources
EcoManity, President and Energy Auditor
Johnsonville Sausage, PR & Social Media Manager
Restoration Gardens, Owner
Dr. Kristine Wake, MD
Aurora Health Center, Pediatrician
Attorney & Misty Moraine Creamery, Manager
Heather Cleveland, Executive Director
Heather Cleveland joined Nourish as the Food Justice Director in 2013 and moved to the Executive Director role in 2015. Heather lived in Sheboygan from 2005 to 2011 and moved back to Sheboygan in 2014 with her husband Adam after she accepted the job with Nourish. Heather studied at University Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Urban Planning. Heather worked for several engineering consulting firms in both the environmental and waste management sectors before going back to school for Urban Planning to study and learn a proactive, community approach to problem solving and design. She is an active member of our community and is a professional mentor for Engineers Without Borders at UW-Milwaukee, a member of Sheboygan Service Club, and served as the Board President of Goodside Grocery from February 2015 to November 2017. She is always eager to learn something new and is passionate about food, people, and the environment. Heather strives to empower and engage people to be inspired and proactively change outcomes. She believes that food is a conduit through which we can reach many people and create a healthy community. Outside of Nourish, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, yoga, cooking, gardening, reading, knitting, riding her bike and living life.
Nicole Hansen, Operations Manager
Nicole joined Nourish as our Office Manager in May of 2018. Nicole earned her Bachelor of Art in Psychology at Saint Norbert College before obtaining her Master of Science of Education in Counseling at Indiana University Bloomington. During her undergraduate studies, Nicole spent time abroad in England, where she had the opportunity to visit Normandy and the Scottish countryside as well. Her work in the non-profit sector, in education as a school counselor, and in hospitality allow her to share a diverse skill set with the Nourish team. Nicole grew up in the city of Chicago, IL, where she developed an appreciation for different cultures and cuisine. She spent her summers in the Minnesota countryside and was raised with a love for nature and the environment. Nicole and her husband, Joe, moved back to the Sheboygan area where Joe grew up in 2015. In her spare time, Nicole loves being outdoors, going on adventures with her husband, spending time with family, cooking, and downhill skiing.
Ryan Laswell, Program Manager
Ryan joined Nourish in May 2015 as Program Coordinator. His daughter and wife also reside in Sheboygan and moved here in 2011 from central Wisconsin after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Health/Wellness and Psychology. He moved to Sheboygan pursuing a career in wellness working with businesses to have successful wellness programs. Ryan works to maintain authentic knowledge of wellness such as nutrition and food literacy by working with local CSA farms that are also Nourish partner farms. His family has large gardens raising over 50 annual and perennial food crops along with rabbits, ducks, chickens, and honey bees. He generates compost for his gardens from tens of thousands of pounds of food scraps generated from local businesses. Most recently Ryan has worked to expand his breadth and depth of knowledge by attending conferences such as Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service and also becoming a Certified Wellness Practitioner through the National Wellness Institute. Outside of Nourish and farming Ryan enjoys coaching and playing soccer, traveling, games, and spending time outdoors.
Jon Ribich, Education Coordinator
Jonathan joined Nourish as the Education Coordinator in January of 2017 following prior employment at Nourish as an Urban Farm Manager. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he majored in neurobiology and worked as a research assistant for the School of Medicine and Public Health. Jonathan completed a 14-month internship in sustainable agriculture and community development at a demonstration farm and seedbank in Florida. He has worked internationally in research and food security with agricultural communities in Thailand and Myanmar and worked with a food sovereignty project on the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin. Outside of work, Jonathan enjoys outdoor recreation and is actively involved with backpacking, kayaking, and sailing in the Sheboygan community.
Matt Friauf, Educational Farm Coordinator
Matt joined Nourish as our Educational Farm Manager in April of 2019. Matt’s interest in good, ethical food began in college with a particularly stubborn roommate, and grew in the years after, spending time around a number of friends in food service. In 2009, he spent a year of study at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Colorno, Italy, and thereafter interned with the Land Stewardship Project in Minneapolis. Most recently Matt came to the Sheboygan area in 2011 to intern at Springdale Farm and has spent the time since working on local farms and getting to know the vibrant community of dedicated farmers working to provide great food while, at the same time, stewarding the land. For the last two years, he experienced another link in the food system as manager of Goodside Grocery Cooperative. Matt also has an undergraduate degree in history from UW-Madison and would be happy to talk about the origins of cultivars, agricultural practices in Uruk, and Byzantine coinage.
Brandi Bohlman, Farm-to-School Educator
Brandi Bohlman is currently our farm-to-school educator after serving as a summer intern working on the Educational Urban Farm. Brandi graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2017, with her degree in human biology, nutrition emphasis, and certificate in environmental sustainability. During her undergraduate career, she did independent research on biodegradable plastics, and the nutrition of donated food items to food pantries. Brandi begun her sustainable food system journey, working for Restoration Farms in 2012, and has since farmed in areas of Montana and Wisconsin. In 2016, in partner with a public health nurse, she managed and helped form Manitowoc’s first winter farmers’ market. She operates her own photography business and enjoys yoga, hiking, and traveling.
Jess Childs, Americorps Farm to School Program, Nutrition Educator
Jess has been volunteering for Nourish since 2015! A fan of cooking and teaching, Jess found the role of Farm to School Nutrition Educator to be a perfect fit. She will be teaching over 450 Sheboygan Area School District students this year, as an Americorps Service Member, with lessons in food diversity, food origins, and building healthy habits. These lessons all share one common theme; the connection between the earth and our food. Jess has cooked for the Salvation Army and SCIO's Bridgeway, as well as owning her own catering business. She holds a B.A. from the University of Florida. Outside of Nourish, Jess enjoys family time with her husband and two children, dog walks, yoga, and reading.
What do we do?
From our Community Dinners and Workshops to our Nourish's Farm-to-School, Farm-to-Community, and Farm-to-Table, our programs reach throughout the community.
How do we do it?
Update! Nourish recently moved to Miley Barn (100 Alfred Miley Avenue, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085) in Sheboygan Falls, WI.
Renovated and improved by Dick and Kris Bemis in 2018, the historical Miley Barn will serve as the new home for Nourish Farms. This physical facility and farm will help Nourish fill our community gaps more efficiently and serve as an educational resource and good-food destination.
What can you do?
Learn about volunteer opportunities. Become a Nourish Ambassador. Join a Committee. Help with food preparation. Sign up for a Farm-to-Table tour.
Make a donation to Nourish or join us for the Good Food Party.
Attend our events. Buy local, seasonal food. Grow a garden. Cook dinner at home.