The Foundation

Our Story

Farm Table Foundation supports soil quality, local farms, healthy food and rural communities. We believe that quality of life is directly impacted by the quality of local soil and an abundance of small farms. We make the connection between farm health and community well-being apparent. Our classes, events, and local food in downtown Amery all serve to highlight a central tenet: how we feed ourselves matters. The Foundation believes local food is fresher, carries more nutrients, keeps us working positively with nature, and provides an endless set of possibilities. The creativity drawn forth to farm and cook well is our eternal engine of ingenuity and culture. Join us in this adventure.

Farm Table Mission

Farm Table Foundation supports local food culture through education, training, and research.


With recent insights into food quality, microbial life in soil and the human body, bio-availability of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and the health profile of pastured animals and their products – there is clearly no end to research and discoveries regarding farm practice, food production, and human well-being. The Farm Table Foundation seeks to contribute to this body of research by working in the field and in the kitchen to pull together practices and trials that enhance small farms and their viability as businesses, as well as promoting habitat sustainability and community resilience.

Heritage Breeds


The value of genetic material in heritage breeds is of profound importance. Animals that have lived for hundreds of years supporting our ancestors, building soil, and becoming integral to the landscape are being lost in the current rush toward industrial farming practices. The Farm Table Foundation is undertaking a series of research projects to place, protect, and grow heritage breeds on small farms, where they have historically thrived along with the families that tend them. Come and visit us soon to take a tour of our research farm and learn more about how heritage animals are central to healthy farm ecology.

Seed Initiative


Seeds are one of the most compact treasure chests on earth, capable of transforming landscapes, culture, and human history while needing only a little care, soil, and water. Yet seeds are under threat from laboratory alterations, corporate control, and government regulation. The Farm Table Foundation works in the field every season growing, selecting, harvesting, and storing seed of ancient varieties that exhibit vigor, productiveness, and flavor. By doing so, the Foundation is driving our seed varieties toward regional specialties that are unique, resilient, and abundant. Join us soon for a visit to the Hungry Turtle Farm and see what a seed research project looks like up close.

Cluster Study


Recent decades have witnessed a decided change in how America produces, distributes, and consumes food by divorcing communities from their local food roots. The Farm Table Foundation believes using local food production as an economic driver in farming communities is more efficient and synergetic. To demonstrate this belief, the Foundation is currently compiling data about communities transitioning toward local farms as a coherent strategy for impacting the local economy. This is a multi-year study measuring the economic value of eating locally and revitalizing the landscape by bringing food production back to small farms.

Farm Table Foundation Training Program

Farm Table Foundation seeks to train people in the arts of growing soil health, food production, and farm research. Our programs are in their infancy, but if you are an individual who cares about soil health, local food varieties, food preparation, local food entrepreneurship, or research into heritage breeds and heirloom seeds, contact us about possibilities for interning and/or joining our team.


Terry Kelzer

Culture & Traditions

Sue Nielsen


Carolyn Smith

Culinary & Medicinal Herbs

Bob Wuellner and Earl Duckett

Learn to Hunt

Karen Schwarz

Yoga and Cooking

Katy Ellefson

Nutrition and Cooking for Kids

Kathleen Plunkett-Black

Seed Saving

Marty & Darrold Glanville


Nancy Graden


Mary Schieffer

Yoga for Kids

Mike Schut

Spirituality and Caring for the Earth

Our Team

Laura Phoenix

Executive Director

Mike Schut

Senior Director of Programs and Community Partnerships

Jill Ivey

Design & Program Coordinator

Karen Schwarz

Administrative Manager

Amber Evenson

Service Manager

Sarah Mittelstadt

Kitchen Manager

Sue Nielsen

Pastry Chef

Board Members

Kari Wenger

Co-Founder & Board Member

Peter Henry

Co-Founder & Board President

Soon Guenther

Board Member

Michelle Wuellner

Board Member & Secretary

Sylvia Burgos-Toftness

Board Member

David Toftness

Board Member


The Farm Table Foundation offers tours of our facility on an on-going basis.

To schedule a tour or arrange a group visit, please contact our Program Director at

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