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Our Team

Meet the Team!

It's official, Sustainable Seed Company is now a part of the Chico, CA community. With our expansion efforts we've brought on some new team members to add to our already amazing staff. Below is a bit about us. If you haven't signed up for our newsletter please do so at sustainableseedco.com. General questions or comments may be directed to admin@SustainableSeedCo.com. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. With our bigger staff we have lots of great new resources and information that will be coming along so please stay connected.








John (Founder and President)

A.K.A. "Farmer John" has been involved in sustainable gardening and agriculture nearly his whole life. He also has a keen insight for business – starting his first profitable venture at the age of 12. From managing his greenhouse to running a nursery, to a successful career in state government, his love of plants has presented him the opportunity to give back to society in the form of the Sustainable Seed Company. Through his unique and effective management style and vision, SSC came into existence. John believes that seed is the foundation of food and ultimately the foundation of civilization. John is a  leader in the food independence and seed preservation movements. John has been nominated for the 2015 Western Sustainability Pioneer Award for his work in sustainable agriculture. John is also a very talented photographer, you can see his work on Flickr under "Farmer John" Sustainable Seed Co.



Theo  (Vice President)

Theo is...well...what doesn't Theo do! Actually, none of the entire website here would be possible without him. He is a web and graphic artist genius. His talent has really put Sustainable Seed Co. out in the world to be seen. From this website to seed packages to banners and t-shirts. If it says Sustainable Seed on it, he created it!  Recently, he has been filming the workings at Sustainable Seed Company and sharing them with the world.

Without him phones wouldn't get answered, orders processed, seed packages filled, and on the story goes. This company would come to a grinding halt without all the hours Theo tirelessly puts into the company. Theo IS the Sustainable Seed Company. So when you are admiring those amazing veggies you harvested this summer, remember to send him a quick email and a picture to let him know how much you appreciate him!




Sharon  (Warehouse Manager)

My name is Sharon Barr. I am excited and delighted to have the opportunity to work for a company that’s mission is “Self sufficiency though Food independence.” During my time in college I spent countless hours studying the social injustices in this world. One of the biggest injustices in this world is the horrible reality of the how our food is produced. Graduating with a BA degree in Cross-Cultural studies and Transformational Community Development I wanted to spend my life being a mover and shaker in this world (aka World Changer).

I am excited to be working against the food injustices in this world. People in today’s world are so disconnected with where their food comes from.

Food security is important to me. Working for sustainable seed Company is allowing me to learn a great deal about saving seeds, growing food, and so much more.

I am glad to work for a company that is giving people a chance to grow their own food.  With family in Covelo, my journey in life has lead me to this wonderful small town and to Sustainable Seed Company.  With wonderful owners, co-workers, and opportunity to learn and grow I feel fortunate that life has lead me here…to work with and for people who are dedicated to making a difference in this world through food security and sustainability.


Leyla  (Seed Curator)

Leyla holds an M.S. degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a B.S. degree from Humboldt State University, both in the field of botany.  Her research experience is inspired by a deep interest in the interplay between plants and human culture, and includes the evaluation of plant species for rooftop gardens and bioenergy production, surveys of culturally significant wild plant populations, and interview-based research on plant use in immigrant communities. 

 The desire to preserve crop diversity and associated traditions has been a thread in Leyla's life from an early age, which she has explored through internships with the Seed Saver's Network, Australia and the Green Foundation, India, and involvement with the Hawaii Public Seed Initiative.  She returned to California in 2013 to pursue a career in the organic seed industry, and since joining the Sustainable Seed Company, has spent her first full season on a working farm.

Leyla is SSC's liason to our farm contractors and collaborators in the field of seed conservation.  She supervises on-farm production and is responsible for farm recordkeeping, post-harvest seed processing, and quality control.  She manages the company’s extensive collection of stock seed, which is maintained for variety evaluation, production, improvement and preservation. 


Michael  (Warehouse Team Member)

Growing up with 4 siblings and a single mom, you gain a respect for food.  In my youth, I was mostly into intellectual and technological studies, being a farmer was the farthest thing from my mind.  Now with 2 kids of my own and feeling a lack of faith in the food I buy at the store, strongly getting into growing healthy food is forefront in my mind each day.

I’ve worked in food service from bussing tables to managing, built and repaired computers, worked in construction (building multi-million dollar homes from the ground up) in the San Juan islands, as well as running a landscaping business for those same people whose homes I built.  I’ve enjoyed learning in each of my jobs, and look forward to the near infinite things there are to learn here at the seed company.  I am both proud and overjoyed to get to bring my skills to what I can honestly say is the BEST and most honest place I have ever worked.

“There seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.”  Benjamin Franklin


Kelli (Administrative Specialist)

Kelli joined Sustainable Seed Company in February 2015 as the Administrative Specialist.  She was one of the first employees hired at the Chico location to assist in the relocation and expansion of the company.  Kelli is the executive assistant to the president and head of Human Resources/Administration.  She has an extensive background in administrative management and sustainable practices.   Kelli is responsible for establishing and maintaining policies and procedures within the company.  Her goal is to create a healthy and happy work environment with good camaraderie.  She wants to see Sustainable Seed Company as a destination location for Chico both in sustainable practices and teaching; as well as best in employment practices and community involvement.  In her spare time Kelli enjoys bike riding, swimming, hiking, riding motor cycles, yoga, writing, traveling, trying new experiences and hanging out with her friends and family.


Dan (Warehouse Team Member)

Dan was born and raised right here in Northern California. His father was a farmer and he grew up riding on the tractor with his dad as early as age six. When he was age eleven he was put on a D-7 caterpillar tractor to help prepare the ground for planting. Having been around farming all his life Dan brings a great deal of experience and a hard work ethic to his new venture here at Sustainable Seed Company.


Gabe (Crop Sciences & Land Management)

Before starting at Sustainable Seed Company, Gabe worked on an heirloom vegetable farm that sold to local markets and restaurants. He has a passion for good food. Gabe's studies are in crop sciences and land management at California State University, Chico. In his down time Gabe is a devoted lacrosse player and coach, and an avid outdoors man. Gabe brings a great deal of real hands on experience to Sustainable Seed Company and you might see him at the shop planting our lettuce not lawns garden here in Chico.



Mat Jordan (Animal Science & Biology)

Mat was born in the bay area and grew up making wine with his family in Gilroy. Mat has always been into eating healthy, organic, homegrown foods when they are available. Mat is a Chico state graduate with a major in Animal Science and minor in Biology. In his free time Mat plays lacrosse. Mat looks forward to the future of Sustainable Seed Company and putting his farming experience and new degree to work out in the fields.




Comments on Our Team

Jennifer Fischer 02-07-2015 07:24 AM
We live in West-Central Alabama. The philosophy and sustainable processes used by your company are largely nonexistent in our area. We share and admire your green philosophy and resources. It is our pleasure to support your efforts and actually get a great product in return.
Georgia Keeran 09-10-2012 03:18 PM
What a great site, great philosophy, and great inventory! It's so nice to find a small and personal organic seed site. My husband I live off the grid in the Sierra Foothills (23 years up here after moving from Palo Alto, CA). We are happy to support Sustainable Seed Company with this first order. We will definitely be back for more. Congratulations on putting together such a nice site and such a friendly company. The best of luck to you all!
Sandra Dattoli 04-17-2012 07:23 AM
I am so excited about finding your site. I ordered some "supposed" heirloom seeds from another company a few years ago, and was very disappointed with both the germination rate and the resulting veggies they created.

I will be placing an order with you guys in about a week. I am so excited--I can "feel" the exuberance of your "team" jumping through the pages! It is catching.

Good luck to all of you and I so look forward to working with your seeds and then sending you positive feedback about them. I love what you all are doing. What an exciting future for all of you and your customers.
Lisa 02-09-2012 05:56 PM
1. Start early. Smaller seeds like tmaetoos, peppers and tobacco take time to germinate.2. Use peat pots and a porous soil mix for proper breathing.3. You can use the cardboard egg cartons if you have saved enough of them4. Create a little greenhouse by covering with plastic in a sunny window5. Be careful not to over water–as so many of us are “overcaring”
Joy Ching 08-25-2011 12:08 AM
great website

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