Uli Koester – Executive Director & Educator
Uli taught for six years in the Minneapolis Public Schools before starting full-time work for Midwest Food Connection. Over his years with MFC, Uli has become widely recognized as a master educator and expert on children’s relationship to food. He loves baseball, his cello, and traveling. Uli shares his garden at home with his wife, two sons, four chickens, and a host of rabbits.
River Ostrow – Program Educator
Three of River’s passions are teaching, the natural world, and food. She has brought these passions together in the past through work at environmental education centers and a farm-to-school organization. Most recently, River spent two years working at a nature-based preschool. River is thrilled to be living out her dream of becoming a food educator because she believes in the power of a deep relationship with food. River also volunteers on the board of the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE) and works at the Mill City Farmers Market. River loves to knit, write poetry, and play music, and her favorite local foods are tomatoes and kimchi.
Katya Wesely – Program Educator
Katya has over five years of experience teaching students to explore their gifts and interests, acknowledge individual and collective responsibility, navigate challenges, spark curiosity and grow to become resilient change makers who lead with integrity. Katya joined MFC in August 2019 and is excited to weave their passion for farming, food education, holistic health and environmental justice into the classrooms. They love growing and gathering around food because it connects us to our bodies, one another, community and the earth. In their free time, Katya loves to paint, explore the outdoors and cook nourishing meals with friends.
Bonnie Lohman – Program Educator
Bonnie has been teaching garden-based and food education throughout the metro area since 2012. She comes to MFC as a licensed agricultural education teacher with a background in horticulture, permaculture and farm to school programming. Bonnie believes that kids are naturally curious about food and enjoys using it to inspire excitement about learning, nutrition, community and themselves. She lives in south Minneapolis with her partner, son, dog and their large (overgrown) garden.