SRAP Adds Two New Team Members!

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SRAP is pleased to welcome two new employees: Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, operations assistant, and Robyn Hill, development manager.

Mercedes’ earliest memories is helping her grandfather chop sweet corn from the garden before feeding them to cattle on his farm outside Goddard, Kansas. Mercedes was a market farmer in the 1990s before she became manager at the farmers’ market in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. As the Local Food Project Director for Kansas Rural Center, Mercedes introduced SNAP access at farmers’ markets—she even launched a statewide program called “Our Local Food.”

Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, operations assistant

Mercedes’ most recent career focus includes grant writing and communications for Kansas Farmers Union where she helped lead the organization’s “Amazing Grazing” project and food safety program before returning to college to study accounting.

Mercedes is a fourth generation Kansan, and a third generation Jayhawk. She was born in Cape May, New Jersey, and lived in six U.S. states before landing in Lawrence for college. She and her husband live in a circa 1902 farmhouse in southeastern Jefferson County. Mercedes enjoys volunteering on issues of local, sustainable agriculture and visiting farmers’ markets in her home state, as well as nationwide.

“Having witnessed the power of SRAP’s resources to the community of Tonganoxie, Kansas, it’s a privilege to join the team. SRAP provides much needed resources for communities in developing grassroots resistance to the destructive impacts of CAFOs on the environment, and the quality of life for nearby residents. Corporate agriculture has so much on its side–lawyers, money, and often local and state economic development. SRAP is important to help balance the scales and give communities a fighting chance to block this extractive industry. I’m looking forward to supporting the team that helped our Northeast Kansas community beat back a poultry industry giant.”

Robyn Hill, development manager

Robyn comes to SRAP with over 25 years in the nonprofit sector. As her career has evolved over the years, so has her passion for fundraising. This passion has driven her to focus on creating opportunities for community impact through philanthropy. As a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, she recognizes her responsibility to ensure that needed resources are vigorously and ethically sought and that the intent of the donor is honestly fulfilled.

She is committed to the belief that people are resourceful and have strengths, and that collectively we can find solutions and create a society where we are all able to thrive.

Robyn has been a director of development for a homeless shelter for women and children, an executive director for a Native American youth organization, and an Urban 4-H agent. Her broad experience has equipped her with the tools needed to be a thoughtful storyteller, creating a landscape of hope for those giving their time and resources.

Robyn currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she revels in the beauty of the mountains but looks forward to being near water again. Fun fact: Robyn sits on the board of directors for the Friends of Smokey Bear Hot Air Balloon and is the driver for their 1949 fire engine chase vehicle.

“I am thrilled to be on the SRAP team! Having been in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years, it’s refreshing to be a part of such a unique organization,” says Robyn. “Hearing stories of how SRAP is positively impacting communities excites me to be able to create opportunities for folks to give and support the necessary work of empowering people.”

SRAP informs and educates the general public about the negative effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)—also known as factory farms—while working directly with U.S. communities impacted by this destructive form of industrial animal agriculture. Through public education, issue advocacy, and local community organizing, SRAP empowers rural residents to protect their public health, environmental quality, natural resources and local economies from the damaging impacts of factory farms. For more information on SRAP, visit www.sraproject.org.