Interim Executive Director
Kari Bersagel Braley is one of the co-founders of GROW. She has worked in education for 12 years as a special education teacher, elementary classroom teacher and a literacy teacher. She is a mother and wife who feels passionately about buying and eating locally grown food. She believes in the benefits of educating her own children and the children in the community about healthy living and working to ensure that all children have access to healthy food. In her free time Kari enjoys hiking in the bluffs with her family, practicing yoga, and eating delicious food around the table with good friends and family.
She brings skills from past experiences such as: marketing, event planning, volunteer organizing, and graphic design. She is passionate about enriching the lives of children through providing hands-on educational activities. As a leader and volunteer in her children’s school PTO and 4-H club Bonnie has been able to help provide enrichment events and travel experiences for children. It was through these roles that Bonnie became familiar with GROW. She is excited to be a part of an organization that is making a positive impact on the lives of children.
Linda returned to the La Crosse area after spending 10 years in the pacific northwest. She attended Western Washington University where she received her Bachelor's in Education. Linda comes to GROW with a passion for education, especially hands-on learning. As Maintenance Director she leads after-school programs and supports the school gardens. Linda also leads lesson curriculum development. She shares her energy through teaching lessons at many of our La Crosse school sites.
Amy grew up on a family farm where gardening and a love of the outdoors were a part of life from her earliest years. She went on to earn a Bachelors in Animal Science from Iowa State University. Over the past five years she has gained experience as a substitute teacher. She loves helping children grow through experiential learning and watching their eyes light up with new information. As a mother she will often be found in the family garden with her boys. Providing fresh veggies for the family and neighbors and helping others grow is a favorite family pastime.
Farm Experiences Director
Ana Skemp’s background in biology/ecology allows the farm program participants to experience learning about their food and where it comes from an in depth level. For example children will learn how plants turn sun into energy during photosynthesis. Ana has experience teaching in a school setting and has led cooking classes for youth. She is a farmer and the owner of Deep Roots Community Farm.
Farm Camp and Education Leader
Josh is the lead teacher for the School of Technology and Arts II, School District of La Crosse. He is an avid home gardener. Josh has taught GROW cooking classes at the YMCA, summer school classes at GROW school garden sites and leads farm experiences. He also helped build the outdoor pizza oven at the farm.