Amanda Stoelb

Interim Executive Director

(612)872­-4226 x 702

Amanda started working at Youth Farm in 2004 as an Americorps member and continued that work for two years. She was the West Side Program Director from 2007 – 2011. During her time as Program Director, Amanda became an accomplished organizer with youth, developed Youth Farm’s in-school and after-school greenhouse programming, and was the driving force behind the development of Youth Farm’s progressive programming model. She was hired as Youth Farm’s first Associate Director in 2011 and has been a key element in Youth Farm’s expansion into new neighborhoods in 2011-2012. In 2012, Amanda was a part of the After School Matters Practitioners Fellowship. Originally from Sheboygan, WI, she is a graduate of St. Thomas University with a degree in Justice and Peace Studies/Spanish.

Sarah Sarzoza

Associate Director

(612)872­-4226 x 703

Sarah was hired in summer of 2014 as the Frogtown Program Director and became the Director of St. Paul Programs in 2016. She has a wide repertoire of youth development work in the Twin Cities under her belt, but her love for Saint Paul and strong desire to foster leadership in young people brought her back to the Frogtown neighborhood. Sarah is a long time friend of Youth Farm and a trained Community Organizer. She is excited to be a part of the dynamic work being done by Youth Farm. In her spare time she enjoys cooking up storms of good food with her family, teaching yoga to toddlers, and traveling to warm places. She has an extensive collection of earrings from around the world that she takes great pride in. Sarah graduated from University of Minnesota Duluth in 2007 with a degree in Spanish Studies and Psychology.

Marcus Kar

Director of North Minneapolis Programs

(612)872­-4226 x 704

Born in West Africa, raised in Minneapolis MN, Marcus Kar is using art and music to help grow a healthy North Minneapolis while providing community access to locally grown produce throughout the Northside area. Kar’s aim as the Director of North Minneapolis Programs is to work with Northside youth to implement a village concept and start a movement. This movement engages a larger community by connecting and collaborating with diverse organizations, communities, artists, and individuals working in the MN Food Fight (Food Justice) to build a healthier North Minneapolis. Within Youth Farm culture, we farm to grow. We grow young leaders, we grow food, we grow community, we grow progress. Youth Farm promotes food justice by growing new relationships between youth and food. This both meets the wellness needs of our communities and recognizes the historical narratives and current exploitation within the food system.

Heather Wiitala

Business Director

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Heather started as a student intern in 2000 from the University of Minnesota. From 2000 – 2005 she worked in the Lyndale Neighborhood Youth Farm as summer staff, serving as the Assistant Lyndale Program Director in 2002, and became Business Director in 2002. Heather provides strong business and financial leadership with the executive and program staff, as well as the Board of Directors. Originally from Mt. Iron, MN, she is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Sociology.

Jesus Perez

Program Manager

(612)872­-4226 x 705

Originally from Michoacan in the western part of Mexico, Jesus has been involved with Youth Farm for more than 10 years and has participated in every level of our progressive programming model, from Youth Farmer, to All Star, to Project LEAD staff, to Farm Steward, to now Program Specialist that focuses on School Partnership. Jesus loves that at Youth Farm he can actively help his community through supporting youth with different skills. Jesus knows that he is a role model for all the youth in the neighborhood and takes that role on with seriousness and pride.

AJ Zozulin

Program Manager

(612)872-4226 x 707

AJ started his work with Youth Farm in 2011 as an intern during the Frogtown neighborhood’s first year of summer program. Since then he has returned as a summer staff in 2012, 2013, and 2015. AJ's Program Specialist position is focused on supporting our greenhouse and farm growing. AJ graduated from Macalester College in 2014 with a degree in Classical Languages, which on the one hand is not a field he will ever go into, but on the other hand has led him to the place he is today. It's a good place.

Malakai Greiner

Development & Communications Manager

(612)872­-4226 x 706

Malakai started with Youth Farm in the spring of 2022 as Development & Communications Manager. Originally from Iowa, Malakai moved to Minneapolis in 2015 to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. They graduated with a BFA in Web & Multimedia Environments and a passion for community building - especially through food, art, and education. They are honored to be a part of resourcing Youth Farm's vital work building systems of support for young people to thrive. When they aren't working, you can find Malakai volunteering in their neighborhood, working on artsy & crafty projects, or exploring river banks looking for rocks with their partner & their dog.