Eileen Horn

Sr. Project Manager

Eileen Horn is a total food systems policy nerd. She recently served in the Kansas State Legislature, where she served on the Agriculture, Rural Revitalization, and Health committees. Today, she works with food system partners and local food policy councils to create strategic food system plans, secure funding, and implement innovative and inspiring projects.

Prior to joining the New Venture Advisors team, Eileen served for seven years as the Sustainability Director for the City of Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas where she founded the Douglas County Food Policy Council, the first in the state. She led the Council to national recognition for its accomplishments – including an innovative urban agriculture program on city-owned property, the establishment of a regional food hub, and the first SNAP matching program in the state.

In her role as Sustainability Director, Eileen oversaw a comprehensive, nationally-recognized food system planning process for Lawrence and Douglas County that engaged diverse voices in developing a robust local food system.

Eileen serves on the Advisory Board for the Kansas Healthy Food Financing Initiative to advise food system financial investments for the state. She also serves on the board for Growing Food, Growing Health, a youth-led school gardening initiative. She is past president of the board of directors for the Merc Co+op grocery store. Her husband is a chef who pioneered the use of local food in several downtown Lawrence restaurants, and her two young sons love to plant vegetable seeds in their garden and then impatiently harvest them before they are ripe.

Eileen recently relocated to New Mexico from her native state of Kansas. She holds an M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, and a B.S. in Biology.


 Whatcom County Food System Plan

In 2021, the Whatcom County Food System Committee conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors partnered with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan focuses on five key goals for building a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system, and was informed by an inclusive community engagement process. The Food System Plan will provide the county with a policy roadmap that will strengthen the local food system for years to come. (2023)

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a collaborative production kitchen benefitting food access, school system, and community organizations. The goal is strengthening Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. The facility will also feature an incubation kitchen, demonstration kitchen, event and classroom space, collaborative office and conference facilities, and housing.  New Venture Advisors developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development through engagement and operational development. (2023)