Co-founder, Farm Director
Susan Willsrud is the Farm Director. Her responsibilities include implementation of the Farmer Training Program, oversight of farm production, educational program planning, annual budgeting, program evaluation, workshop instruction and CSA operation. In 2008, Susan started developing Calypso’s Seed Garden. She is currently developing Calypso’s 2017 Farmer Training Program.
Susan has a BA degree in Zoology from University of California, Davis and a MS degree in Plant Ecology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She has 16 years of organic farming experience working on several farms in California and Alaska. She co-founded Calypso in 2000 with her husband Tom and has been the lead farmer here since. Susan is an enthusiastic advocate for local food and has worked extensively with other organizations and community leaders to forward sustainable agriculture in Alaska.
As the Assistant Director at Calypso, Christie is a true “Jack-of-all-trades,” having been involved in every aspect of Calypso programs and operation since 2001. Currently, she is focusing on farm production and marketing, assisting with the development and teaching of the Farmer Training Program, assisting with annual fundraising, overseeing the production of school gardens and doing the farm bookkeeping.
Christie has a BS degree in Natural Resources with a focus in Environmental Education from Ohio State University. Christie also has extensive experience in environmental education in Fairbanks. She started Calypso’s School Garden Initiative and EATinG program and has worked in all aspects of farm production and marketing at Calypso.
Co-founder, Ecology Center Director
Tom’s responsibilities as the Ecology Center Director include environmental education planning, soil fertility management, ecological farming instruction and consultation, farm infrastructure planning and development, and community outreach. He also cares for the farms various animals and is the farm’s sheep shearer.
Tom has a BS degree in Geological Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a MS degree in Soil Science from Utah State University. Tom has wide-ranging experience working with diverse agricultural systems. As a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa he designed and developed a Sub Saharan fruit orchard and nursery and worked to develop home gardens. In California, he worked as an intern on a 200-acre organic farm, where he worked in all aspects of production including: marketing, general field labor, sheep management and use of farm machinery. In South-central Alaska, Tom managed a group of eight interns on a 2-acre organic farm. In 2000, he co-founded Calypso with Susan and continues to dedicate his efforts to creating a healthy, diverse farm system.
2017 Seasonal Staff
School Garden Manager
Jesse was born and raised in Fairbanks and recently graduated from UAF with a degree in Spanish with a minor Mathematics. She has a great interest in locally sourced foods as a way to support the local economy and sustainable living which is one of the major reasons she loves working with Calypso. She is the mother of a beautiful and very social little girl, Raven, who just started kindergarten at Pearl Creek Elementary. Jesse loves to play music, canoe, hike, travel, snowboard, laugh with friends around a fire, star gaze and delve into the culinary arts. This is Jesse’s third season working with Calypso!
Community Outreach and Fundraising Assistant
Originally from Minnesota, Hillary moved to Alaska in 2015 to participate in Calypso’s Farmer Training Program. Outside of her work at the farm, she keeps up her art practice and teaches elementary art classes.
Peter is responsible for scheduling and organizing on-farm field trips, Farm Camp and school garden LEAF Camps, as well as rallying our amazing docents who volunteer their time to educate visitors.
Field Trip Assistant
This is Amelia’s second season at Calypso, working with field trips, Farm Camp and school garden LEAF Camps.
School Garden Caretaker
Josh is back for a second season as caretaker in the school gardens at Hunter, Pearl Creek and Woodriver Elementary schools.
School Garden Caretaker
Suzy is working with the school garden team this year to prep, plant, cultivate, harvest, run farm stands and more at Hunter, Pearl Creek and Woodriver Elementary.
Building & Forestry Assistant
Benoit is our do-it-all farm staff this season, working on building projects, cementing, animal fencing, field bed reconstruction, and much more!
Assistant Field Manager
Greg is working hard in the field with us this season, working alongside the Farmers in Training and managing a team of friendly field hands this spring!
Southside Community Farmers Market Assistant
This is Daisy’s second season with us at the Southside Market. A resident in the neighborhood and retired teacher, Daisy runs the information booth at the market, handles food benefit transactions, and visits the farm to help with field trips from time to time.
Board of Directors
- Margaret Eagleton (Finance)
- Josh Steadman (Technology)
- Erin McIntire (Fundraising)
- Lynn & Charley Basham (On-Farm Education)
- Bill Wood (Infrastructure)
- Jessica Garcia (School Gardens)
- Dillon McIntire (Youth Seat)
- Susan Kessler (Community Outreach/Social Justice)
- Vacant (CSA)
- Vacant (Board Development)
- Christie Shell / Susan Willsrud (Staff Liaison)