ISFOP Staff Biographical Information
Nashon Bishop (Shon) grew up in southwest Missouri around small family farms. Since the age of nine he has been working for Bishop's Lawn Care and Landscaping overseeing both residential and commercial landscape designs and implementation around the southwest Missouri region. In 2011 Shon graduated from the College of the Ozarks with a degree in Horticulture. Mr. Bishop has been working for Lincoln University Cooperative Extension in the Southwest Region of Missouri since 2011, under the 2501 program (Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers). Currently, he is the Small Farm Specialist for the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program (ISFOP) which serves Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Jasper, and Greene counties. Shon also owns and operates Bishop Gardens L.L.C with his wife Heather, which sells early season tomatoes and strawberries, as well as cut flowers to the public.
Miranda Duschack, Small Farm Specialist and East Central Region Coordinator of the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE). Miranda has been with LUCE since 2010. She came to Lincoln University with several consecutive years of small scale agriculture production experience and a dual emphasis Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington (2003). Her past projects include working at a goat dairy crafting artisan cheese, slaughtering home grown turkeys for Thanksgiving sale, and maintaining an 80 acre CRP Iowa Tallgrass Prairie. Originally from the rural township of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin where her family has lived since the 1870s, Miranda was inspired to practice sustainable agriculture by encounters on her aunt and uncle's dairy farm, in her parents' large gardens and with the family's "hobby" beekeeping business.
Miranda is the co-owner and operator of Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers located in St Louis. She grows specialty cut flowers, ginger and keeps honeybees.
Susan Jaster began a career in dairy farming in the early eighties in Arizona on a large commercial dairy. She continued dairy farming in Missouri on the 150 cow dairy that she co-owned with her family. During her dairy career she was also a radio broadcaster and farm news reporter for a small radio station in Southwest Missouri. Susan and her family participated in the 4-H program for many years; celebrating 25 years of service in 2017. She has always had a garden and cared for many species of livestock throughout her life. In 2010, she began raising American Blackbelly sheep and practices adaptive grazing techniques for soil health and water quality conservation. Susan has been a Farm Outreach Worker for Lincoln University, since 2009, in the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program under Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, serving in Lafayette and Ray Counties, Missouri. Susan Jaster 816-589-4725 or email@example.com
David Middleton grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm near Laddonia, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Animal Science, and earned a Master's Degree in Animal Science from the same Institution. The project that David had started in FFA grew into internationally recognized swine herds of Yorkshire and Landrace that won many national and state shows and breeding stock sold to 38 states and 14 foreign countries. In 1986, a registered Angus beef herd was established and today embryo transfer is involved to develop superior breeding stock.
As agriculture has changed in recent years, "Middleton's All Natural Meats" was established to direct market beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey and eggs. Currently meats are sold at farmers markets, on farm sales and via internet. The Middleton farm is operated as sustainably possible with managed intensive grazing and use of renewable inputs. In 2008, the Middleton Family Farm was awarded the Grassland Farmer award for Lawrence County. David and his wife Cherri have 6 children and 3 grandchildren. David joined Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) in 2014 as the Farm Outreach Worker (FOW) for Lawrence, Jasper, and Greene Counties. His passion is to share his knowledge and see successful farms continue into the next generation.
Jim Pierce earned a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture studying fruits and vegetables from Northwest Missouri State University. He has 20 years experience raising small fruits, melons, tree fruit, and a variety of vegetables on a small scale. Selling at local farmers markets came as a result of growing produce. It was at the farmers market where he gained an understanding of how to market his products in an effective way. He has used his experience and education in the greenhouse to grow herbs and vegetables for retail. Through research and innovative ideas, he discovers ways to add value to the products produced by farmers. Jim is a Farm Outreach Worker for Clay and Platte Counties.
In his youth, Jim Pierce was inclined to find work on a Christmas tree farm, peach and apple orchard, a row crop farm, and a cow/calf operation. After a few years passed and some oats were sown, he quit an unrewarding manufacturing job and pursued a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture from Northwest Missouri State University for several years. The study of fruits and vegetables, as a ray of sunlight through a tall roiling grey bank of thunder clouds on a summer evening, shed light on a new path to wander down. Since that time, he has raised small fruits, melons, a wide variety of vegetables, greenhouse herbs, vegetables and ornamental crops, tree fruits, as well as raising broilers, pork and sheep on a small farm in Missouri. Jim brings hands on experience and education as a Farm Outreach Worker to the small farmers of Clay and Platte Counties.