Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program Team

Meet the Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program (ISFOP) team — Part of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE), this team helps Missouri small farmers and ranchers to raise the level of efficiency on their farms while taking good care of the soil, water and the environment. The team has a particular focus on helping those farmers who are socially disadvantaged and underserved.
Photo of Jim Shepard

Jim Shepard

Farm Outreach Worker – East Central Missouri

St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren Counties

(573) 246-4009

Jim Shepard is the owner/operator of Simple Man Farms. He has 45 years of experience growing fruits, berries, and vegetables while living and teaching about homesteading, a self-sufficient lifestyle. He was born and raised in southeast Missouri, as a “simple ol' country boy.” With only a high school education, he has over 40 years in aluminum and foundry work. He also has extensive experience in greenhouse and high tunnel growing and farming, along with market gardening. Mr. Shepard’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and camping. 


Photo of Angela Brattin

Angela Brattin

Farm Outreach Worker – Southwest Missouri

Barton, Dade, and Lawrence Counties

(417) 439-3704

Angela Brattin is a Farm Outreach Worker in southwest Missouri, She grew up in southwest Missouri on a dairy farm. In 1993, she and her husband built chicken houses and developed a beef cow herd. Angela is a 2007 graduate of Crowder College, where she was in the inaugural veterinary technology class and obtained her Registered Veterinary Technician license. In 2018, Angela built a high tunnel and started a market garden, where she sells produce at a farm stand on her farm. Angela has been working at Lincoln University since February 2021, serving the small farmers in Lawrence, Dade and Barton counties.


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Miranda Duschack

Small Farm Specialist – East Central Missouri

St. Louis County and St. Louis City

(314) 604-3403

Miranda Duschack is the Small Farm Specialist and East Central Region Coordinator of the Innovative Small Farmers’ Outreach Program, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE). Miranda has been with LUCE since 2010. She came to Lincoln University with several consecutive years of small-scale agriculture production experience and dual majors. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, in 2003. Her past projects include working at a goat dairy crafting artisan cheese, slaughtering homegrown turkeys, and maintaining the 80-acre Conservation Reserve Program Iowa Tallgrass Prairie. Originally from the rural township of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, where her family has lived since the 1870s, Miranda was inspired to practice sustainable agriculture by encounters on her aunt and uncle's dairy farm, in her parents' large gardens and with the family's "hobby" beekeeping business.

Miranda is the co-owner and operator of Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers, located in St. Louis and established in 2012. She grows specialty cut flowers, ginger and keeps honeybees. As of 2021, Miranda serves as the 1890 Land Grant Institution Representative on the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Administrative Council. Miranda's areas of expertise include: season extension, market farming of specialty crops, business development, grant writing and grant management.


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Susan Jaster

Farm Outreach Worker – West Central Missouri

Lafayette, Johnson and Ray Counties

(816) 589-4725

Susan Jaster began a career in dairy farming in the early eighties in Arizona on a large commercial dairy. She continued dairy farming in Missouri on the 150-cow dairy she co-owned with her family. She was also a radio broadcaster and farm news reporter for a small radio station in southwest Missouri during her dairy career. Susan and her family participated in the 4-H program for many years, celebrating 25 years of service in 2017. She has always had a garden and cared for many livestock species throughout her life. In 2010, she began raising American Blackbelly sheep and practicing adaptive grazing techniques for soil health and water quality conservation. 

Jaster has been assisting farmers and ranchers in West Central Missouri with practical, biological, resilient solutions to agricultural issues and product marketing since 2009 for Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Innovative Small Farmers’ Outreach Program and Missouri AgrAbility Project, in Lafayette, Johnson, and Ray Counties. 


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Nalee Yang

Farm Outreach Worker – Southwest Missouri

McDonald, Jasper and Newton Counties

(479) 502-0378

Nalee Yang attended the University of Minnesota – Duluth, majoring in Political Science and International Studies. She has over 17 years of contract poultry growing experience, five years as a farmers’ market vendor and, seven years of educating and providing support for minority farmers on sustainability and financial independence. Nalee has worked on behalf of farmers with the Arkansas Farmer Creditor Mediation Program as an advocate in foreclosure prevention. She has also been active in food-farm-related work with the Arkansas Agricultural Department, the National Farm to School Network, University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Extension Services, and with local farmers’ markets to address issues Hmong farmer vendors are facing. Nalee has also worked closely with USDA agents to help farmers navigate through USDA programs and services and with language assistance and translating materials into Hmong. She has been with the ISFOP team for over a year, working with farmers and helping them to continue to be viable with new and proven research and innovations. Moreover, she provides guidance to help farmers overcome challenges, whether it is knowledge as a beginning farmer or language barriers for minority farmers. Nalee’s unique experience is helping farmers navigate USDA programs services and breaking down language, financial and social barriers. 


Photo of Mary Bolling

Mary Bolling

Farm Outreach Worker – East Central Missouri

Franklin, Jefferson, and Crawford Counties

(314) 972-2670

Mary Bolling comes from a long line of farmers in the Midwest and grew up learning about farming from her grandparents’ farm in Nebraska.  After studying Environmental Science at the University of Nebraska, she worked for the University of Missouri Extension Family Nutrition Department for seven years, teaching gardening and cooking classes to the public.  Mary has always had a garden and enjoys growing her own food.  Along with her partner, Brian, Mary owns and operates Harmony Hills Farm near Leslie, Missouri, in Franklin County, where she is working to create a silvopasture and practices rotational grazing with cattle, sheep, chickens, and pigs.  Harmony Hills Farm specializes in direct-to-consumer grass fed beef and lamb. 


Photo of Izula Maximillen

Izula Maximillen

Farm Outreach Worker – West Central Missouri

Jackson, Cass and Platte Counties

(816) 738-2346

Izula Maximillen is a Farm Outreach Worker in West Central Region. She is also the CEO of SOULutionary Wellness, LLC, Chapter Organizer and Activist for HIP HOP is GREEN in Kansas City. Additionally, Maximillen volunteers in the Kansas City area as a community and home garden outreach coordinator, bringing her passion for social justice and 20 years of experience in community herbalism, urban organic agriculture, permaculture, beekeeping, and holistic wellness into recovering green spaces and fortifying urban gardening to restore the community from the roots up. Since 2018, she has been active in the local food systems, organizing Black and Indigenous growers for racial justice and food sovereignty as well as tending a medicinal herb garden for pollinators. 


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Margo Jakobi

Farm Outreach Worker – Central Missouri

Cole and Callaway Counties

(573) 833-0767

Margo Jakobi is a Farm Outreach Worker for Central Missouri, serving Cole and Callaway Counties. She graduated from Lincoln University with a B.A. in Health and Wellness. She and her partner built a geodesic dome from scratch and started an aquaponics hobby farm in their backyard in Jefferson City from 2013-2017, raising tilapia and assorted herbs and vegetables. Now they are homesteading on their 20-acre woodland farm outside of Jefferson City, raising Dwarf Nigerian goats and continuing integrative farming/gardening methods. Ms. Margo excels at connecting small farmers and growers with valuable resources and information with the Lincoln Extension ISFOP Team. 


Photo of Deangelo White

Deangelo White

Farm Outreach Worker – Southeast Missouri

Dunklin, Stoddard, and Pemiscot Counties

(573) 246-4399

Deangelo White was born and raised in Southeast Missouri and graduated from Clarkton High School in 2008. He spent the last 8 years with the Missouri Rice Research Council as one of their Rice Techs. Some of his duties included: Crossbreeding rice to create a new variety, maintaining the greenhouse and crops, milling rice, and showing demonstrations of the milling process to name a few. He also has years of traditional farming experience.


Photo of Demetrius Moore

Demetrius Moore

Farm Outreach Worker—Southeast Missouri

New Madrid, Pemiscot, and Scott Counties

(573) 521-8376

Demetrius Moore is a Farm Outreach Worker in Southeast Missouri; he grew up in Southeast Missouri also. He grew up in a family that always had big gardens or maybe you could call them small farms. Demetrius was introduced to the garden at a young age, which allowed him to acquire basic knowledge of crop production. Demetrius graduated from high school in 1991 from New Madrid County Central High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1992 until 1996 and was medically discharged after being injured in the military. Demetrius helped to assist in the hemp project in Sikeston, Missouri, and thinks it’s a successful project. Demetrius has been working at Lincoln University since May of 2022, serving the small farmers in New Madrid, Pemiscot, and Scott Counties.


Photo of Haze Gaddie

Haze Gaddie

Small Farm Specialist - West Central Region

Kansas City and Jackson County

(816) 294-8977

Haze Gaddie was raised in St. Joseph and attended Missouri State University in Springfield. There he obtained bachelors degrees in both biology and Spanish, focusing on pollinator conservation and public outreach. During college, he worked at the Roston Native Butterfly House, and traveled through central Mexico with Springfield Sister Cities. He moved to the Kansas City area for work at Powell Gardens, gaining experience with annual and perennial food crops. He has interests in arts, nature, and sustainable agriculture. Haze serves the West Central Region as a Small Farm Specialist.