Sign up for News & Updates

Meet the Farmer Training Initiative Team!

Shelbie Blank, Program Manager

Shelbie hails from Kalamazoo, Michigan, a place which instilled her deep appreciation for Lake Michigan and craft beers. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University where she double majored in Biology and Environmental Studies and found her calling in the local food movement. When she’s not helping farmers at the Learning Center, Shelbie enjoys listening to tunes (which includes attending lots of concerts), traveling, cooking, baking, spending time with friends, and hanging out in nature — especially with her dog Murdoc. Fun Fact: Shelbie has worked with the farmer training team since 2013!







Danica Hoehn, Farm Viability Facilitator

Danica loves the spaces in between people, community, food, and the natural world. She holds a M.S. in Environmental Education, a B.A. in Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology, has owned/operated a small direct-market produce farm, and directed our Rockford Roots & Wings Program from 2009-2017. She began working with Farmer Training in spring 2017. Danica brings extensive experience with group facilitation, environmental education, bio-intensive farming, and addressing social justice through food system issues.





Sheri Doyel, Stateline Farm Beginnings Facilitator

Sheri grew up on a conventional citrus and olive ranch in California and there developed a love for rural living. She holds a BFA in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA, and an MA in Art History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her foray into arts administration strangely led to flower gardening, a Master Gardener certificate, and then to growing plants which produce food. Sheri combined her experience in non-profits and farming to work as the Farm Forager for the City of Chicago/Green City Market, before coming to work at AOLC in Farmer Training in 2009. After living in Chicago for 15 years, she returned to rural life, this time in Lake Geneva, WI where she owns Tiny Tempest Farm and farms part-time.



AJ Boucek, Program Assistant

AJ graduated from Augustana College in 2014 where he studied political science and environmental studies. He started working at Angelic Organics Learning Center in January 2018. In his free time, he enjoys music, movies, photography, and exploring the outdoors on his bike. He lives with his wife and their beloved cats, Buffy and Leo.