About

Farm Discovery

Who we are

Farm Discovery at Live Earth is a nonprofit organization working in the Pajaro Valley community to empower youth and families to build and sustain healthy food, farming, social and natural systems.

Our home, Live Earth Farm, is a 150 acre patchwork of working organic farm, riparian corridor, oak and redwood forest in the Pajaro Valley of Santa Cruz County, California.

What we care about
We believe that we can transform personal and community health and improve our impact on earth by building and sustaining collaborative agricultural, ecological and social systems. We believe that communities equipped with knowledge and the skills of inquiry can transform food, farming and natural systems for the better.
What we do
* Farm Discovery offers educational programs that inspire youth and families to transform their relationship to food, farming and nature.
* We steward our working farm and its wild spaces as an environmentally and economically viable piece of the food system and a learning space.
* We collaborate with community partners to learn from each other and extend our collective impact in the community.

Staff

Jessica Ridgeway
Jessica RidgewayExecutive Director
In 2007 Jessica earned her M.S. in Environment and Natural Resources from the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont. Her Master’s Thesis consisted of Participatory Action Research in an agricultural community in Northern Vermont. She developed, implemented and evaluated a Sustainability Curriculum and School Garden with the 6th graders of Jeffersonville Elementary School. Jessica helped Thomas and Constance Broz to found the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program in 2008.
Lucie Ashley
Lucie AshleyEducation Director
Lucie has over a decade of experience working with youth and families, many years of agricultural experience, as well as a background working with non-profits to meet their program and funding needs. Her career has been driven by her love of nature and teaching and a calling to serve the communities around her. Lucie holds a Masters of International Forestry with a focus on Agroforestry from the University of British Columbia.
Breigha Sawyer
Breigha SawyerDevelopment Officer
Breigha is an experienced fundraiser in the nonprofit sector with an emphasis on securing funding for complex humanitarian projects, both domestically and internationally. With a degree in Intercultural Studies from Biola University, she’s passionate about environmental advocacy, community development, and storytelling for social change. Her enthusiasm for the outdoors ranges from growing vegetables in her backyard to foraging for mushrooms, weekend rock climbing trips and backpacking adventures in the mountains.
Ulises Castillo
Ulises CastilloFarm Manager
Growing up as a Watsonville native, Ulises spent most of his young age learning about agriculture. Growing up, his family would take him to work with them in the raspberry fields. Bringing empty containers and taking full ones in order for his aunts to continue harvesting, making it his first job at age 5! He was part of the first two classes to inaugurate the Pajaro Valley High School campus. His agriculture career continues as a student at Cabillor College working for Farm Discovery.
Denise Bloodsaw
Denise BloodsawEducation Associate
Denise’s environmental education journey began in 2013 at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut; educating about ocean and wildlife conservation. In 2015 she moved to California, beginning her studies at CSU Monterey Bay and completing her bachelors in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Education. In 2018, she became the Education Program Coordinator for Return of the Natives, educating through hands-on participation in habitat restoration. Now joining us as our Education Associate with Farm Discovery learning more and teaching about organic farming.
Juana Lona
Juana LonaEducation Intern
In 2020 Juana Lona graduated from Aptos High School. With her career path undecided, she began working during summers at Life Earth Farm where she began to like being outdoors and helping people. She had a lot of fun experiencing the way the lower farm operated. Now she is very excited to learn more about the upper farm and how they operate. Juana is also very excited to learn more about helping kids and educating them on how organic farming works.

Board of Directors

Thomas Broz
Thomas Broz
Lisa Caras
Larry Graff
Larry Graff
Angelina McClellan
Angelina McClellanSecretary
Natasha Perry
Natasha Perry
Natasha was born and raised in Wyoming where she spent many summers working on her father’s ranch. This instilled in her a love for the outdoors, and also gave her a profound appreciation of the effort and skill needed to cultivate farmland. Being a LEF CSA member for years, Natasha was inspired to join the Farm Discovery Board to help members in her local community have the opportunity to be hands-on in a farm environment. Her professional career has been focused on technical program management.
Brooke Sampson
Brooke SampsonTreasurer
Terry Sebastian
Terry SebastianPresident
Dawne West
Dawne West
Joshua Rodriguez, MBA, RDN, CDCES, CHWC
Joshua Rodriguez, MBA, RDN, CDCES, CHWCBoard Member
Joshua Rodriguez is a registered dietitian and diabetes educator. He currently works as a clinician for Community Hospital of Monterey (CHOMP). He received his MBA from Dominican University (Chicago, IL) and his B.S. in nutritional science from San Jose State University (San Jose, CA). Joshua was raised in Watsonville, CA and has a strong passion for community nutrition and education.