Board of Directors
Alice Maldonado-Zahra, secretary
Rusty Ritchie, treasurer
Jon Zirkle is Bushelcraft Farm’s director, farm manager, and primary educator. He has been with Bushelcraft Farm since its founding in 2020. Previously, Jon worked for Southgate Crossing in 2019 and for six years with Goshen College’s Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center as farm manager and an educator. In 2015 and 2016 he directed the Agroecology Summer Intensive program at Merry Lea. In 2012-2013 Jon worked for Michigan State University Extension in St. Joseph County, conducting educational programs with row crop farmers to improve soil health and encourage cover cropping. Jon has a MS degree in Plant and Soil Science from University of Vermont. Growing up in southern and central Indiana, he’s now been living in Elkhart County for ten years and loves growing food and sharing his passions for education and food access.
Along with former director Stacey Holland, Jon helped co-found Bushelcraft Farm in January 2020. Jon and Stacey met at an Elkhart County Food Council meeting held inside the barn at Southgate Crossing in 2018 where Stacey cast a vision about utilizing the land nearby. Two years later, Bushelcraft Farm came to be.
What a year to start an educational farm! Still, in 2020, 18 classes were delivered and 36 households participated in our Summer and Fall CSA programs. Right before the pandemic set in, a public gathering held in March 2020 led to greater buy-in from the community. Soon thereafter, an interim board of directors was formed. Former director Stacey Holland stepped down during the pandemic but remains a supporter of Bushelcraft Farm through volunteering. Classes, tours, CSA, and community partnerships continued and will continue. As of January 2022, the organization just received a grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County! We are excited to launch an internship program for high school students.
Join us as we continue our work to become a destination and a source for education, outdoor opportunities in the soil, local food, and community building.