About Us

Farm Foundation Staff

Our team is passionate about food and agriculture and works hard every day to build a future for farmers, our communities and our world.

Meet the Team

Staff Photo (2)

Executive

Shari

Shari Rogge-Fidler
President and CEO

Shari Rogge-Fidler joined Farm Foundation as president and CEO in 2019. She has a unique perspective, developed through her experience as a fifth-generation farm owner and operator, entrepreneur in the organic branded food industry, and founder of an agribusiness consulting firm.  Shari was also CEO of a group of companies serving 1,000 farmers.  She has lived and worked abroad for many years, including London in financial services and across Europe with the Boston Consulting Group.   Shari has served on several corporate boards, including Farm Credit Mid-America and Coastal Pet.  She currently serves as a trustee for The Nature Conservancy, on the Soil Health Institute Board, the Illinois Agrifood Alliance Board, and advisory boards, including Lewis & Clark Agrifood Venture Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Shari has a B.Sc. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Innovation and Education Campus

Todd

Todd Price
Vice President, Innovation and Education Campus

Todd Price came to Farm Foundation after two decades of leadership in the agricultural education field. This included time at Living History Farms, The Museums at Prophetstown, and Wagner Farm as founding director. Prior to joining Farm Foundation, Todd was superintendent with the Glenview Park District. Todd was raised on his family’s Iowa grain and livestock farm. Today, he is part-owner of the farm, which was established in 1853. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Simpson College, and he is a graduate of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation program. Todd volunteers with the Glenview 4-H club and local FFA chapter and is on the board of directors for Cook County Farm Bureau. 

Liz

Liz Wilkin
Administrative Associate

Liz Wilkin started working for the Farm Foundation in the spring of 2023, supporting the CEO, the vice presidents of the Innovation and Education Campus, and finance. She has experience in several different sectors, including insurance, IT, education, and wellness. With Liz’s assistance, the cutting-edge Innovation Campus will make its debut in the latter half of 2023. Liz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Northern Michigan University in Marquette. Liz enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing tennis in her spare time.

Programs and Projects

Martha

Martha King
Vice President, Programs and Projects

With a passion for innovation and ideas, Martha King is excited to bring her years of leadership experience and knowledge to the Farm Foundation. While working in academia for more than a decade, Martha led several initiatives for provosts and deans that streamlined processes and brought enhanced reporting and technology to administrative areas. Now in agriculture, Martha is excited to continue to lead projects and programs that bring together and accelerate both people and ideas. Martha’s connection to agriculture runs deep, as she currently serves as co-owner of her family’s Illinois farm. Martha holds an MBA with a focus on Information Systems Management from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Saint Louis University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in German and Political Science from Purdue University.

 

Morgan

Morgan Craven
Senior Manager, Events

Before joining the Farm Foundation team in the fall of 2015, Morgan Craven served as the conference and events manager at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL. She also worked as a premium hospitality game day staff member for the Chicago Bears. Morgan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, in recreation, sports leadership and tourism management.

 

 

Jenna

Jenna Wicks
Program Manager

Jenna Wicks comes to Farm Foundation with over a decade of experience working with young leaders. She taught high school agriculture science and was an FFA chapter advisor for two years. Over the last ten years Jenna has worked at Kansas State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and University of Kentucky developing student leaders and hosting on-campus events. Jenna has earned her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Systems and her Master of Science in Higher Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Katie

Katie Merkle
Programs and Events Specialist

Katie Merkle joined the Farm Foundation team in 2023.  She began her career in hospitality with an emphasis in culinary arts, cooking in restaurants throughout the Chicagoland area and eventually expanding into planning events, serving as senior events director at a full-service catering and event planning firm for nearly a decade.  Katie’s curiosity for all things food and agriculture led her to a position as resident chef at a historically preserved gentleman’s farm in the Chicago suburbs, working in the fields of a certified organic farm, and as a garden educator for a boutique organic gardening firm.  Katie attended Western Illinois University and went to culinary school at The Cooking and Hospitality Institute, Le Cordon Bleu.  In her free time, she can be found lost in the garden, cooking, or hiking with her husband and rescue pup.

Development

Tim

Tim Brennan
Vice President, External Relations

Tim Brennan joined the Farm Foundation staff in May 2013 . Prior to that, Tim spent the majority of his career at the University of Chicago, working in a variety of roles at the  Booth School of Business, Law School and College. He also served as the director of alumni relations and marketing for Northwestern University’s School of Law.  Tim has also worked with a wide range of non-profits as a consultant and board member.  He grew up on a small farm in Northeastern Ohio, and currently lives on a hobby farm in the Chicagoland area.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA.

 

 

Amanda

Amanda Martin, Ph.D.
Manager of Annual Giving

Amanda L. Martin joined the team at the end of 2022 and brings a diverse perspective with a mix of agriculture, leadership development, fundraising, and education. Over the past decade, Amanda has worked in various leadership roles in higher education and agriculture. Working within the colleges of agriculture at Auburn University and Louisiana State University, Amanda most recently served as an Assistant Dean at LSU. Prior to making the move to Farm Foundation, Amanda worked with the executive team at the American Egg Board. She began her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at Auburn University, finishing her degree at Louisiana State University. She holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Agribusiness Economics.

 

Operations

Amy

Amy Keane
Vice President, Finance

Amy Keane became a full-time staff member at Farm Foundation in March 2019. Since May 2009, she was an independent contractor with the Foundation, providing accounting, tax and consulting services. Prior to starting her own firm, Amy worked in public accounting as a manager with Coopers & Lybrand, serving non-profit clients as well as publicly-traded for-profit companies. Amy graduated from St Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN, with a degree in accounting, and is a certified public accountant.

 

 

Marketing and Communications

Naomi

Naomi Millán
Marketing and Communications Manager

Naomi Millán joined the Farm Foundation team in December 2021. She was previously the senior writer at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and spent 13 years as an editor of Building Operating Management, a monthly trade magazine focused on large-scale commercial facilities. She is interested in urban agriculture, keeps chickens in her tiny Chicago yard, and started out life on her grandfather’s coffee and sugarcane farm in Puerto Rico.

 

 

Ellen

Ellen Prather
Marketing and Design Coordinator

Ellen Prather joined the Farm Foundation team in November 2022. Her background covers multiple disciplines including, graphic design, marketing, communications, and photography. Her previous position was as the marketing and development associate at JOURNEYS | The Road Home, a non-profit agency that provides both shelter and social services to the homeless. She holds a degree in general studies with certificates in graphic and web design.