Billy Polansky (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 811) works as the Executive Director of Columbia’s Center for Urban Agriculture, leading the day-to-day operations. He moved to Columbia in 2008 to be with his now-wife and fellow CCUA team member, Carrie Hargrove. Before coming to Columbia, Billy spent time working at the Heifer Ranch educating people about agriculture and global poverty. He also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Missouri River Communities Network, where he worked on local foods projects. Billy holds a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and an MBA from Columbia College. When Billy isn’t working, you can find him at home reading, petting kitty cats or working in his garden.
Carrie Hargrove (email@example.com, Ext. 803) is CCUA’s Operations Director. She has worked with CCUA first as a volunteer in 2009 and 2010, and later as an employee since 2011. Carrie manages the Program Team which operates the Opportunity Gardens Program, PLANTS Program, Agriculture Park, Urban Farm, Kilgore’s Community Garden, Lucky’s Crates to Plates Garden, and numerous backyard and school gardens. She loves being outside, and wishes she could spend most of her time identifying the myriad of insects found at the farm. In addition to bugs and the outdoors, Carrie loves her husband, Billy, and Martin Scorsese movies.
Tony Minnick (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 812) is the Urban Farm Manager for CCUA and is a recent transplant to the city of Columbia. With several seasons of diversified farming experience in rural Missouri, Illinois, and New Hampshire, and a BS in Environmental Science from Loyola University Chicago, Tony facilitates volunteers in implementing the crop plan for the Urban Farm, Kilgore’s Community Garden, and Lucky’s Crates to Plates milk crate garden. From perennial fruit care to rotational livestock grazing and beekeeping, Tony is interested in producing all sorts of colorful, quality food and hopes to continue his path in outdoor educating. When his hands aren’t deep in the soil, he enjoys playing music, cooking with his wok, and watching films featuring morally ambiguous detectives.
Adam Saunders, (email@example.com, Ext. 806) as the Development Director, conducts outreach and promotional talks with local social groups, businesses, and potential partners. He also helps coordinate CCUA’s online outreach presence, strategic planning, and fundraising efforts. Adam has been involved in community, agriculture and environmental organizing in Columbia, MO, since 2005 as a student with Sustain Mizzou. He has been gardening since a young age, and, being the son of two teachers, Adam has considered himself an informal teacher his whole life. Within CCUA, Adam is able to combine these passions to connect the dots within the local food system – an exciting place to be working!
Justin Gregory, (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 802) as the Office/Volunteer Manager, Justin manages the general office operations, public relations, visual presence and CCUA’s volunteer coordination. Previously Justin was the Membership Coordinator at Columbia Access Television where he worked with non-profits and community members to help share their voice through digital media. His interest in the community has led to volunteering for Columbia Access Television, True/False Film Festival, Clean Up Columbia, Friends of the Library, KOPN and helping to form a local moped club. Outside of CCUA Justin enjoys music, watching and creating films, painting, disc golf and spending time outdoors morel hunting and hiking with his dog Martha. Justin looks forward to working with CCUA’s staff and volunteers in helping CCUA grow in the future.
Tamara Maddox (Tamara@ColumbiaUrbanAg.org) is CCUA’s Communications Manager, Tamara coordinates events, social media and fundraising for CCUA. Tamara relocated to Columbia from Springfield Missouri in 2018. Tamara graduated from Northwest Missouri State in 2010 with a Bachelors in Theater Communications. Tamara has worked and volunteered for several non-profits including Ronald McDonald House, Girls on the Run and Free Range Chicks. Her background is in event planning and event production on a varied scale. Tamara loves working for non-profits that support healthy living for her local community. In her spare time Tamara loves backpacking, cooking, and volunteering.
Katie Molitor (Katie@ColumbiaUrbanAg.org, Ext.808) is CCUA’s Assessment Manager, who spearheads program evaluation and assessment efforts. Katie moved to Columbia in 2009 to attend the University of Missouri to pursue her bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Psychology. Upon graduating, Katie continued her education at Mizzou and earned her Master’s in Public Health 2016. Katie then joined the Missouri Healthy Food AmeriCorps program as a Garden Educator at the Southern Boone Learning Garden in Ashland, MO from 2016-2018. After completing two years of AmeriCorps service, Katie worked as a Program Coordinator for Mizzou’s Office of Service-Learning and for Missouri River Communities Network. Katie is passionate about Columbia’s local food system and improving the health and opportunities of all people in the community. In her free time, Katie serves as a board member for Sustainable Farms and Communities, working to alleviate food insecurity and promote health through the Access to Healthy Food program. Katie also enjoys gardening, camping, and spending time with her husband and her dog, Peaches (named after her favorite fruit!).
Matthew Dolan (email@example.com, Ext. 810) is CCUA’s GardenPro Manager. Previously working as an AmeriCorps member in CCUA’s Opportunity Gardens Program and at the Urban Farm. Having graduated with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from MU he spent two years working in Panama for a nonprofit that provides mentoring in aquaculture and agriculture techniques. He loves cross-cultural experiences and enjoys getting to know the diverse group of people that CCUA works with. In his free time Matthew likes playing his accordion, having esoteric conversations with his brothers and friends, and visiting the swimming hole.
Clint Brinkley (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 809) is CCUA’s PLANTS Program Manager, previously serving as an AmeriCorps member with CCUA, Southern Boone Learning Garden, and the National Civilian Community Corps. Clint is a Missouri native hailing from the northern half of the state, and loves his Missouri roots. He moved to Columbia in 2015 to pursue a career in outdoor education. When Clint isn’t teaching or gardening with CCUA you can find him cooking a favorite recipe, enjoying some live music, or riding his bicycle.
Saxon Brown (email@example.com) is a PLANTS Program Educator with CCUA. She has spent a great deal of her life working in both education and farming and she enjoys figuring out ways to combine the two. Saxon is from Columbia, via Mexico, MO. She started working with children when she was a preteen and has since gone on to teach at The Community Montessori School and Grant Montessori Preschool. Growing up, Saxon was surrounded by two generations of farmers and gardeners, and as an adult she has worked on organic farms in Kentucky, Maine and Missouri (Happy Hollow Farm!). She has a B.A. in Education Studies with a minor in Agriculture and Natural Resources from Berea College in Kentucky and is a certified Montessori Preschool Educator with Hope Montessori Educational Institute. Saxon enjoys spending time at home with her boyfriend and their cat, growing plants that attract monarchs and butterflies, cooking, making art and watching movies.
Dustin Cook (Dustin@ColumbiaUrbanAg.org) is CCUA’s Veterans Urban Farm Manager. Dustin previously worked in various roles in public education around Mid-Mo, to include serving as Americorps PLANTS Educator at CCUA in the 2019-2020 season. Prior to becoming a teacher, he served nearly a decade in the U.S. Army. Dustin is a Missouri native hailing from the Ozarks, where he spent his childhood developing a deep love of nature and a passion for growing healthy food. He is dedicated to the idea that everyone should have access to nutritious, local, sustainable food. Dustin is passionate about working with theTruman VA Hospital and other organizations to help improve the lives of veterans in mid-Missouri. His hobbies include blacksmithing, woodworking, historical reenactment, and being out in the woods as often as possible.
Adam Villanueva (Adamv@ColumbiaUrbanAg.org) currently serves as the Urban Farm- AmeriCorps position, aiding the farm manager in leading volunteers and completing tasks around the farm. Adam was introduced to CCUA through a project with the National Civilian Community Corps and though it would be great exposure to both community engagement and where healthy food comes from. Adam have a degree in Environmental Science focusing on Ecology. Over the last few years Adam have become more and more invested in nature and what that means for people living in a given community. Adam’s other interests are in cooking new recipes, reading Sci-Fi and fiction, and nature walks.
Lance Gregory (Lance@ColumbiaUrbanAg.org) currently serves as the CCUA’s Garden-AmeriCorps position, aiding the Opportunity Garden manager with the day to day tasks for the program. Lance is from Columbia, Mo. He graduated from Hickman High School in 2003. Lance has spent some time in college at the Art Institute of Seattle and at AIU of South Florida. Lance has spent a lot of time traveling the country both living and working in multiple cities and embracing many different cultures along the way. Lance had a wide variety of jobs over his lifetime and has spent significant time working with at risk children and in the transportation services. Lance is very excited to be working with AmeriCorps at CCUA and is ready to take on the challenge of learning, growing and helping others to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Urban Agriculture.