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 teen-aged children, and a host of rabbits.


Haruko Ruggiero – Curriculum Specialist

Haruko Ruggiero has been teaching students of all ages in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis – St. Paul) for over ten years. She has been a patron of natural foods co-ops from very early on and has learned a great deal of the “how to’s” of eating natural, less-processed foods from her elders. She enjoys helping kids learn to make informed decisions regarding their food choices and delights in their enthusiasm for handling fresh foods. Some of Haruko’s favorite after-school activities include being with her young daughter, making tile mosaics, gardening, swimming, cooking, reading, and writing.

Emily Houser – Educator

Emily HouserEmily joined the Midwest Food Connection team in March 2015. Previously, she taught kids about nature, the environment, and sustainable agriculture in a variety of settings, including at nature centers, city parks, a national park, and an educational farm. In her free time, Emily enjoys riding her bike, playing violin, gardening, and cooking. She is excited to have the opportunity to share her passion for food and gardening with students in the classroom.


Molly Sowash – Educator

Version 2Molly has taught and learned from kids in the classroom, in community gardens, and on urban farms. She loves cooking and growing food because it connects us to the earth, creates community, and nourishes our bodies. She is particularly interested in how sustainable agriculture relates to issues of environmental and economic justice. Molly spends her free time playing folk music and writing poetry. She is grateful for this opportunity to bring food education into the lives of young people.

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