To contact the Board of Directors, please email

Dave Sutherland


I was raised on a farm in Eastern Oregon which undoubtedly contributed to my choice of agriculture as a field of study in college. I worked for Oregon State University in plant breeding and then became employed as an agronomist for a farmer’s cooperative. As the years went by I couldn't help noticing the negative effects commercial fertilizers and chemicals were having on the environment. It became increasingly difficult to be involved in that kind of farming. As I educated myself and became more passionate about what I saw happening I decided to completely change my career direction. I then worked for the Nez Perce Tribe for 12 years in several roles, first as an environmental inspector and most recently as a biologist, where I was fortunate to spend a lot of time backpacking in the Frank Church, Gospel Hump, and Selway Bitterroot Wilderness areas. Our family moved to Moscow in 2009, since then my son Landon has apprenticed with, and worked for, Affinity Farm, while my daughter Elle worked for Pokey Creek Farms at the Farmers Market. Also, my son Rayn has recently worked at the Co-op. My wife Kim and I live on a small organic farm near Moscow.

I love Moscow and the Co-op, and enjoy hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and playing guitar.

I am excited to be serving on the Board of our Co-op. If you see me around and have questions, concerns, or suggestions please stop and share them with me.

Carol McFarland
Vice President


My love of agriculture was largely inspired by my grandfather. When I was 4, he was already teaching me about soil fertility with in-pasture lessons on nitrogen. At 12, he explained the meaning of “organic”, as we sold vegetables together at Hamilton, Montana’s first Farmer’s Markets. The impact of these early experiences didn’t resonate with me until I was college age. Spending time on a Biodynamic farm in Costa Rica supported my choice to pursue a B.S. in Agroecology from Montana State University in Bozeman (with its awesome Co-op where my husband, Shane and I often enjoyed shopping and studying together!) once I got home. After graduation, I was inspired to serve a two-year term with the U.S. Peace Corps, working for the World Food Programme, in Lesotho. Our life on the Palouse began in 2013 as we left Peace Corps for my research assistanceship studying soil acidification in the Crops and Soil Science Department at WSU. On our first trip to the Co-op and the Moscow Farmer’s Market, I knew I was really home again. Both have been an integral part of our family life since! In grad school, support from my advisor and our whole department allowed my passion for applied agricultural research, outreach, sustainability, community building, and leadership, to blossom. The birth of my daughter coincided with the completion of my M.S. in Soil Science. Right now, I am kept busy savoring every moment I have with her, while working as an Apartment Coordinator for WSU Family Housing. I am honored to have been chosen to serve on the Board, and I am excited to bring my experience and perspective to the governing table of this bastion for “good” food and community.  

Cheyne Mayer


I’m a Washingtonian in my mid-twenties who endeavors to be an engaged citizen and enjoys getting others my age excited about getting engaged too. I live in Pullman, but I spend nearly all my time in Moscow. Some of my favorite local spots to hang out are One World, Safari Pearl, and Planet 3. I'm an alum of Warren Wilson, a small work college in Asheville, NC, a place I absolutely adored and sorely hope to revisit someday. I’ve farmed in Spain, couch surfed across the US, and frozen my butt off in the Pacific Ocean. I find greatest joy in life indulging in good food, reveling with good friends, and romping in beautiful nature spots.

I moved to the Palouse shortly after college with my fiancée for her graduate program at WSU, and immediately became a member and applied to work at the Co-op. I started in the bakery and later became a cashier, only leaving in late 2017 to begin working at my current job as an Americorps member with local nonprofit Backyard Harvest. During my time as a Co-op employee, I gained a wealth of first-hand experience of what it currently is like working on the floor of the Co-op on a day-to-day basis, and I am pleased to bring that level of understanding to the Board.

Food co-ops have been a central part of my life since my childhood. I grew up snacking on organic produce and other goodies from the Olympia Food Co-op and even had my first job experiences there volunteering as a grocery stocker (alongside my Dad, who has worked there my entire life). Over the years, I absorbed a lot of values from the people that worked at and frequented the store, and, to this day, food co-ops are places where I personally feel at home. I know I can count on finding communities of like-minded people at co-ops who value good food, social and environmental justice, and collaboration. Co-ops are truly some of the most important places in my life, and I am honored and invigorated by the chance to help safeguard and guide our Co-op as a member of the Board.

Laurene Sorensen


Laurene is a lawyer, mediator, and life coach. She joined the Co-op days after moving to Moscow in 2003 and has served in a variety of volunteer roles, including barista, burrito wrangler, sample server, and committee member.

To stay energized, Laurene teaches and practices yoga, slacklining, skiing, dance, and her passion, AcroYoga. She loves to travel, eat, drink, dance, and entertain.

Laurene and her herd of cats live in her dream house on Hayes Street in Moscow. Her favorite foods from the Co-op include Panzanella rosemary flatbread, cream-top milk, and satsumas.             

Rob Ely


I’m a faculty member in the UI math department, and I moved to Moscow in 2007. I grew up in Colorado and did a stint in the Midwest for grad school in Madison, WI. It was tough to give up the fireflies and fried cheese curds, but I was glad to come back west where it is dry and you can see the stars. One of the main reasons my wife Nicole and I moved out here was the Moscow Food Co-op, and how central it is to the social and economic life of the community. I love that I can swing by the coop while biking home from work, grab some tasty local food to cook for dinner, and get snagged in a conversation with a friend. I joined the co-op board to help out however I can with keeping this place thriving. In the rest of my time I like playing Irish tunes on the hammered dulcimer, singing with my sea shanty band and our local song circle, playing games with friends, and tromping around in the woods with Nicole and our greyhound Sabine.

Alice Ma

Alice Ma crop.jpg

I grew up near Salt Lake City, UT and received both my bachelor's degree (exercise science) and Master's degree (dietetics) from the University of Utah.  After receiving my Registered Dietitian certification, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and signed up for an AmeriCorps term of service. I was placed in Ellensburg, WA to serve with their community action center and food bank. Although a bit of a culture shock at first, I ended up loving living in a small college town. In October of 2015, shortly after my 10-month term of service ended, I moved to Moscow for my current position as the dietitian for Washington State University Dining Services. I'm grateful to have a position where I have been able to utilize my passions for plant-based food, food recovery, and nutritious and inclusive options to make a difference for students and the community. 

I had never heard of a Co-op prior to moving to the Palouse, but after learning about our Co-op and becoming heavily involved teaching the Healthy Eating on a Budget series, the Co-op has become my second home in the area. I'm so glad I have a place that aligns with my values of healthy eating, making vegan food delicious, being able to shop zero-waste, and a concern for the community. Being selected to serve on the board has been the most surreal and humbling experience, and I am so honored the community believes in my ability to serve a leadership role within our wonderful Co-op. 

Besides all things Co-op related, I also enjoy hanging out with my dog, experimenting in the kitchen, playing board games, brushing up on my Chinese language skills, and writing rhymes and poetry.

Ken Hart

Ken moved to north central Idaho with his spouse (Gail) and young daughter in 1979 to begin a career in agriculture. Now, 40 years later, his life revolves mostly around agriculture and food systems. He and Gail own and operate Lolo Breaks Farm near Weippe. Ken is an Extension Educator with University of Idaho Extension, working in crop production, farm management and youth development. Ken has been a member/owner of the Moscow Food Co-op since 2000 and a member of other cooperatives dating back to 1979. He has extensive specialized training and experience with cooperatives. Ken worked as an agribusiness volunteer in Moldova in 2012, focusing on the structural problems experienced by many of their cooperatives. Ken completed an internship with the NW Cooperative Development Center in Olympia, WA, during a 2016 sabbatical to study cooperatives and local food systems. He worked with farming cooperatives in Angola (West Africa) as part of his sabbatical work and followed this up with a volunteer assignment in Malawi working with two cooperatives whose members were subsistence farmers. Ken learned that universal cooperative principles and effective member participation, education and governance are critical to the success and mission of cooperatives worldwide.

The success of the Moscow Food Co-op benefits the community of Moscow and surrounding areas very directly, but it also supports the development and success of other food system co-ops around the region and encourages small acreage farmers producing local food. In this way Moscow Food Co-op acts like a hub for information on cooperatives and an example of cooperative success. Ken is excited to serve on the Board of our Co-op and play a role in the future of the Co-op and would love to share “Co-op shop talk” with anyone…anywhere…anytime.

Mark Thorne

Mark Thorne zoom.jpg

I am very excited to be elected to the Moscow Food Co-op Board! Ever since I first frequented the Moscow Food Co-op, I knew it was a very special business. This was back in the early 90s when it was located on 3rd street. I very much appreciated the nice selection of bulk items and different coffees and teas. And, it was nice to experience a friendly, socially conscious environment. My spouse and I left the Palouse in 2001 for the eastern U.S., but returned in 2015 to find the Co-op in a great new location. I am excited to be part of the Board and part of a great organization that is unique and serves a very important need in the community. Also, it’s a great gathering place for the community! It is my desire to see the Moscow Food Co-op grow and continue as a source of good local food, healthy alternatives to commercialized products, and a place where people want to go for a welcoming friendly atmosphere. I have been on the production as well as academic research side of agriculture and have a strong awareness of the need for conservation, diversity, and productivity. My experience as a farmer will help me understand the issues that growers face in supplying food products to the Co-op. My experience in research has taught me the importance for objective critical thinking to make informed decisions. In all of my activities, I have worked with others in a variety of ways. On the farm, I was a part of and led crews to take care of livestock and farm production activities. As a researcher, I have organized or oversaw field research work with cropping systems and weed management, and have pursed my own interests in disturbed land restoration. While living in Ohio, I volunteered with the Ohio Invasive Plants Council to help organize the 2007 Ohio Invasive Plant Research Conference. Through these experiences, I have seen differences of opinions and perspectives, but have also seen that consensus and listening are important attributes for attaining a greater good.

Isabel Gaila Barbuto

Isabel Gaila Barbuto.jpg

Isabel loves to eat delicious-nutritious food, and especially with a group of new and old friends at the Moscow Food Co-op in the dining area. If she’s not somewhere in the Co-op, then she’s most likely at a hot yoga class, at the dog park, or in her private practice office as a Mental Wellness Coach and Consultant. 

Isabel holds both a Doctorate (PsyD) and Master’s (MA) degree in Counseling Psychology, a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and is a certified Hypnotherapist (CHt), Reiki Energy Master, Kundalini Yoga Teacher (IKYTA-200), and iRest® Integrative Restorative Yoga Nidra Meditation Teacher. Her passion for optimal mental wellness also includes current and continuing education through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). It is through the use of these integrative East-West approaches including evidence-based traditional and alternative modalities, lifestyle coaching, and nutritional education, that she serves to help others find their joy by alleviating stress and a wide spectrum of common behavioral and thought addictions.

As a Board member, Isabel has a special interest in working with others to create dependable models of responsible business practices that serve to grow a prosperous community where well-being flourishes for all. 

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and then most recently Seattle, Isabel and her husband Stephen now call Moscow home, along with their three miniature-pinscher dogs, and three very courageous indoor cats.