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’ 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.”