Board of Directors
Mission: The Colorado Grain Chain is a not-for-profit member organization comprised of whole, sustainable, ancient and heritage grain businesses and their customers and allies, embracing regenerative farming techniques to develop healthy, identity-preserved products that contribute to the well-being and prosperity of Coloradans.
Member Values: Identify preserved/storied grain, transparency, biodiversity, artisanship, flavorful and nutritious products, community service, and equity.
Member Practices: Locally- owned and operated businesses, residing and doing business in Colorado, short supply chain, traceability, minimal to no chemical use, and sharing the best practices and strategy.
Mona Esposito, President
Mona Esposito, aka The Grain Lady, is an activist and advocate of restoring heritage grains to Colorado and supporting and recreating the network of farmers, millers and makers needed to make a regional grain economy thrive. With degrees in art history and linguistics, a career in photography, and an Italian mother Mona was perfectly poised for a life of travel and food. She is as at home in the garden as in the kitchen and was raised with the notion of food and place. She is currently working with growers, chefs, bakers and consumers as a heritage grain consultant. She has been an avid baker for over 10 years and teaches fermented bread, pasta and sweets workshops to increase grain literacy and share her passion for the superior flavor and nutrition you find in 100% whole heritage grains.
Andy Clark, Vice-President
Andy Clark is a baker and owner of Moxie Bread Co located in Louisville, Colorado. A bakery devoted to organic heirloom grain. Most of their wheat is sourced from regional farmers in Kansas, Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota, and soon Colorado.
Andrew Calabrese is a Professor of Media Studies and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs at the University of Colorado’s College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI). His research and publishing are about media and social movements, communication rights and media policy. His recent work focuses on the intersections of media and food politics, including matters of public knowledge about food, food sovereignty, barriers to access to healthy food, and risk factors associated with food production and consumption. He is active in the Boulder County community in promoting public awareness about local food and agriculture. He currently is making a documentary film about the movement to establish local and regional grain economies, with a particular focus on developments in Colorado.
Roy operates the 2000 acre dryland family farm where he was born and raised. His father has always had a pioneering vision and spirit, but he could never imagine the farm as it is now. Dad planted the seed with no-till practices in the 80’s, but when Roy returned to take over operation two years ago the changes really took root. The farm has evolved from raising two to three crops a year to ten crops this last year and the current count is twelve for 2019. While using commercial chemicals and fertilizers, they have also created a diverse cropping rotation that minimizes these inputs at the same time maximizing the benefits from inter-cropping, increased soil health and biodiversity. Roy has integrated new techniques from seeding through harvest that minimizes specialty equipment while doing everything possible that increases soil health, conserves residue and moisture.
Mark Robinson, Treasurer
Mark Robinson is an advocate for regenerative farming, soil health, and locally grown, nutrient-dense food. A Wyoming native, Mark has enjoyed an engineering career that took him to California for 12 years after college, and Colorado for the past 23 years, and is currently transitioning from the predictability of engineering to the uncertainty of farming. Mark lives in Colorado Springs and will be a beginning farmer in eastern El Paso County, where his farm will be focused on regionally adapted ancient and heritage grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Mark is excited to be involved in creating a vibrant Colorado grain economy.
Julie Zavage, Secretary
Julie studied organic agriculture at Colorado State University and moved to the northeast to work in organic heirloom grain production. She has worked at all levels of heirloom cereal crops from production to milling to baking. Julie was the head miller at Maine Grains, a 100% local grist mill in central Maine, where she developed a process to create the market's only non-heat-treated rolled oats and many other cool-temperature stone-ground flours. Julie was also one of the founding farmers of Maine's first Dry Goods CSA, which was a rare opportunity for consumers to get their staple flours and dry beans directly from their farmers. She also started the Maine Grain Alliance's heirloom grain trial and seed-increase project, focused on developing varieties of einkorn, black emmer, and landrace wheat that were well-adapted to Maine's soil and climate. Julie now homesteads with her partner Adam on their farm in southern Colorado.