Oregon Aglink is staffed by a small, dedicated team focused on sharing ag’s story. In order to reduce spam, their email contacts are not typed out below, but each can be reached by using their first name, followed by @aglink.org.
Mallory Phelan – Executive Director
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Growing up in Albany, Mallory spent high school summers playing basketball and driving a tractor raking grass straw on farms around the Mid-Willamette Valley for her dad’s straw business. After graduating from West Albany High School, she moved into the Mehling dormitory at the University of Portland where she studied Global Business, Spanish and Entrepreneurship. She jumped at every opportunity she could to travel around our country and the world with the University, making it to six states and four countries during her four years on the Bluff.
Shortly after graduating with a BA in Business Administration in 2010, she returned to Albany and learned the paperwork side of the family straw business. She helped coach the girls’ basketball team at her high school alma mater and spent lots of time with her family, most notably spoiling her niece.
After receiving her TESL/TESOL/TEFL certification, she seized an opportunity to teach English in the Sacred Valley in Peru and moved to South America for 8 months. She traveled around Peru, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia before returning to the United States. In addition to traveling, Mallory also loves baking, sewing and doing any number of outdoor activities including biking, hiking, camping or disc golfing. She is slightly obsessed with her Alaskan Klee Kai pup, Drex.
Mallory’s favorite part of working at Oregon Aglink is the connections she makes with farmers. She loves helping them share their stories and facilitate the conversations between urban and rural populations in hopes they can better understand one another.
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Susan is the financial consultant and lead contractor responsible for handling our finances and record keeping. She brings over 25 years of wide-ranging experience in her field to Oregon Aglink, and has been with us since September of 2000.
A native of Vancouver, Washington, she left briefly to attend school at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. After graduation, she returned to Vancouver to establish her business and marry her long-term sweetheart of seven years.
In addition to her time spent with us, as well as other clients, she and her husband enjoy traveling, watching old movies, and messing with computers, which they freely acknowledge as their quasi-children.
Allison Cloo – Director of Membership & Programs
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Allison has lived in Oregon her whole life: born in Klamath Falls, raised in Corvallis, educated in Portland and Eugene, with lots of visits to family throughout the rest of the state. She loved field trips, fairs, and any chance to be near livestock from an early age and always wished she was cool enough to earn an FFA jacket. She didn’t come back around to that early passion for animals until she had nearly finished a graduate degree in literary studies at the University of Oregon. Several projects on the history of how urban populations perceive and write about rural and agricultural spaces led Allison to put down the old books and look at the present need for dialogue between urban and rural communities.
After six years of teaching writing and argumentation at the University of Oregon, Allison is excited to use her skills for some problem-solving in the real world. Plus, sharing good articles on farming and visiting fairs is part of her career and not just a hobby anymore!
All of the experiences in Portland, Corvallis, and Eugene have connected her with the urban and non-farming audiences that Aglink is working to reach. Assisting with Adopt a Farmer, contributing to AgLink magazine, and helping folks in the Aglink membership develop their social media savvy are just a few of the tasks that make her very happy to be part of the team.
Cate Stuart – Community Engagement Coordinator
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Cate grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where she was surrounded by the big city as well as endless corn and soybean fields. As a young girl, she spent as much time as she could canoeing with her father and riding horses at her aunt’s barn. Cate also grew to love volunteer work through a variety of young adult service projects, focusing on raised bed garden building in Chicago as well as feeding suburban homeless populations before school in the morning.
Cate moved away from the city and into southern rural Illinois where she attended Southern Illinois University. While attending school, Cate spent many weekends backpacking in the national forest and working on friends’ farms. It was through this love of food, community, and living an active lifestyle that lead her to moving to North Carolina to work on a small farm in the Appalachian Mountains. During her time in North Carolina, Cate taught gardening classes at children’s summer camps and grew multiple specialty crops that were sold at markets and to a local retreat center.
Upon returning to Illinois, Cate began working at a 1930’s living history dairy farm, where she designed and led educational classes as well as managed Jersey cows/heifers, Shropshire sheep, an innumerable amount of feisty chickens, and worked the fields with two Belgian draft horses, as well as antique tractors. After spending several Midwest winters in the calving barn, Cate decided it was time to move to a more mild climate and pursued a job as a farm manager at a medicinal herb farm in Bellingham, Washington. Although farming is one of her passions, Cate missed connecting with people and the community. It was exactly this sentiment that lead her to Oregon Aglink!
Cate is extremely excited to be working with Oregonian farmers and youth to bridge the connection between agriculture and consumable products.
In her spare time, Cate enjoys gardening, reading, canoeing, and spending as much time outdoors as she can with her adorable rescue pup, Moon and partner, Andrew.
Leah Rue – Program and Events Coordinator
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Bio coming soon.