Muir Ranch depends on the involvement and guidance of many individuals. We are a team of dedicated teachers, staff, and volunteers, working together to make a difference in students’ lives and in our community. Learn more about all the different people who work to make Muir Ranch and its students thrive…
Mud Baron, Program Director
Doss Jones, Program Instructor
Doss Jones is a biology, chemistry and biotechnology teacher who joined the Muir High School faculty in 2004, retired in 2010, and has taught as a teacher volunteer at Muir Ranch since she retired. Doss is also a Muir alumni class of 1966. She graduated from UC Irvine with a MSc in environmental biology and her lifetime teaching credentials.
With a desire to travel, Doss joined the Peace Corps and spent 4 years in Lesotho, Africa gaining an invaluable global perspective and experience as a science teacher trainer. The Peace Corps experience ignited a new interest in world hunger and food justice, which lead her to obtain her Masters Public Health in Nutrition from the University of Hawaii.
The desire to start a family brought her back to Pasadena. She put her degrees and experience to work, enjoying a 22 year career as a registered dietitian at the VA Hospital in Northridge. After being a mentor teacher for student dietitians from CSLA and CSUN, Doss decided to teach science in High School.
She loved her 8 years of teaching, but retirement gave her the opportunity to become a Master Gardener and start working with the program’s instructor, Mud Baron, as his oldest intern.
Doss believes that all of the skills and experiences that she has had in her life have lead her to Muir Ranch and wants to teach students environmental science through the hands-on work on the farm. Doss enjoys being able to work with students, giving them project- and work-based experiences. She believes that students will become more engaged in school when they see the connection between using their critical thinking skills to problem solve on the farm and what they are learning in the traditional classroom.
Erika Redke, CSA Manager
Erika is a Pasadena native. Although she doesn’t talk about it at Muir, she is a graduate of Pasadena High School. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Public Health and a particular interest in community health. Upon graduating, Erika became more and more intrigued by the idea of “Building Healthier Communities;” literally, how can communities/cities be planned and built to encourage healthier ways of living? Returning home to Pasadena, Erika found a perfect opportunity to get her hands dirty and participate in the exciting good food movement when she met Mud Baron and Doss Jones at an LA Food Policy Council meeting in early 2012. Ever since then, Erika has been very actively involved in the Muir Ranch program, launching the CSA in May 2012. Erika enjoys teaching youth about community resiliency and providing an environment for them to achieve a healthier relationship to food and nature.
Shante Chaney, College Intern: Assistant Farm Manager
Shante has been involved with Muir Ranch since it was just a school garden. She was a junior at Muir when she heard that there was going to be a garden class starting up. She has always been a “nature girl,” so she decided she definitely had to sign up. When the class started her senior year, there were four students in the class and Ms. Doss Jones was the instructor. In a few months they had about four rows planted with winter veggies like kale, carrots and some corn still holding on to life. Starting with this small garden and even smaller class size, Shante never imagined the garden class would become the Muir Ranch.
Now Shante is the college intern and the assistant farm manager on the ranch. She does a weekly walk through with Mud and basically does whatever needs to be done on the site. Since there are also classes shaped around the ranch, Shante also works with and manages students, who help get everything done. She enjoys everything about the program and feels honored that she got to be apart of everything from the beginning. Shante feels that she benefits from the program just as much as the students and community, because she wants to be a farmer.
Kristen Farley, Volunteer
Kristen’s career currently involves a number of things that build on her two passions: Environmental Science and Public Health Nutrition. She teaches several different Environmental Science classes at Pasadena City College. As a public health consultant, she is involved with program design, implementation, and evaluation. She has taught a lot of nutrition and cooking classes, but lately she has been evaluating Breakfast in the Classroom programs throughout the region. She loves Muir Ranch because it sits right at the intersection of both her interests: healthful food grown in a way that respects the environment and connects people with their food. Although quite busy with an assortment of jobs and activities, she tries to do anything she can to help Muir Ranch and its culinary program move towards fulfilling its exciting vision.