Advisory Board

Barbara Dilly
Rural Policy Program Committee
Locale: Omaha, Nebraska.
Barbara, an Iowa resident, has been involved in rural activism since the 1980s, and is an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Creighton University. She researches and teaches rural subjects related to sustainability, health, food, and community life. Barbara has been a member of the advisory board since 2014.
Cait Caughey
Farm and Community Program Committee
Locale: Hancock, Iowa.
Cait and partner Tyler Magnuson operate Botna Burrow, a diverse, small-scale farm nestled on the edge of Hancock, Iowa. They are a certified naturally-grown farm and produce high quality vegetables and herbs. Cait works off farm at The Big Garden in Omaha, Nebraska, as education cordinator and is an active advocate for beginner farmer issues. She was elected to the Center board in 2016.
Charles Shapiro
Farm and Community Program Committee
Locale: Wayne, Nebraska.
Jason Rippe
Rural Policy Program Committee
Locale: Geneva, Nebraska.
Jason works full-time as a facility director for Bioiberica Nebraska, Inc., a pharmaceutical company in Geneva, Nebraska, and has a strong interest in rural matters. He says rural economic development and rural talent retention are vital to growth in rural areas. Jason has served on the advisory board since March 2017.
Leisha Roberts
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project Committee
Locale: Axtell, Nebraska.
Mark Epp
Rural Policy Program Committee
Locale: Henderson, Nebraska.
Mark is a retired farmer with plenty of hands-on experience in rural advocacy at home, and around the world. He was a rural organizer and educator in North Carolina, a non-governmental organization (NGO) administrator in Bolivia, and a Farmer Coop Agronomy department manager. Mark has been on the advisory board since 2009.