MS Soil Science
As a community-based food systems program organizer for the Minnesota nonprofit Land Stewardship Project, van Schaik catalyzes farmer initiatives related to buying and selling good food grown close to home, focusing on distribution and infrastructure. She coordinates events that encourage eaters to buy that food—as parents, school cooks, food service workers and chefs—and trains farmers to take better advantage of the national interest in buying from them. “My driver is land use fueled by a zeal for practical applications that work for ordinary people and the myriad of small- and mid-sized farmers who raise a lot of food we ought to be eating,” she says. In her free time, van Schaik and her family raise grass-fed sheep.