WHERE we came from
Agricultural Connections started in January of 2010 when founder Andrew Adams recognized that there was an un-met need in the community of Bend: people wanted fresh, local, organic food year-round. Once the farmers market, CSA and gardening seasons ended, there was nowhere to find it. Andrew set out to find sources and create relationships with farmers in our greater region to satisfy this need. The program started off with produce boxes, a few a la carte items and one weekly pickup location in west Bend. In fall of the same year, Andrew shifted his roots to eastern Canada and Elizabeth Weigand was hired to keep the business running while Andrew started a new life chapter.
About a half year later Elizabeth became the new owner of Ag Connections and ran it solely with a few key, exceptional part-time employees for the next six years. In the summer of 2016, inspired by Agricultural Connections' mission to be the catalyst of a food system that honors the farmer, the consumer and the land equally - Manya Williams came on board with the business and joined Elizabeth as a business owner and partner in spring 2017.
Since 2011, Ag Connections has grown as a tiny and mighty team that has steadily fostered a more extensive list of farm partners, a growing restaurant client list, an online platform dedicated to commercial client order management, various retail pickup locations throughout Central Oregon, a warehouse/office location, a contracted valley courier and delivery driver, two employees, and an 18ft refrigerated truck.
AC has grown to be a staple Bend company that represents the integrity and authenticity of local food. We are excited to keep growing with you!
WHO we are
Elizabeth (Liz) Weigand grew up on a farm north of Madras and was blessed to be introduced to nourishing food by her mom at a young age. She's always had a love for plants and gardening and nurtured her roots with a graduate degree and career work in landscape architecture, food systems and planning. She believes in a community vision where local farmers are recognized heroes for every meal we eat! Liz continues to be active in the local food community, working with Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) on various food projects, speaking in classes at COCC, consulting about the development of local food systems, and serving on the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance Board. When she's not surrounded by veggies at the office, Liz is concocting yummy food at home, paragliding, backpacking, dancing, skiing, crafting, traveling, paddle boarding, and hanging out with her partner Bryan, friends and family.
Manya Williams is a health and wellbeing guru who has inspired countless others through her personal journey with food and mood. Her friends lovingly call her "the folk remedy woman" because she believes, despite our technological advances, we have forgotten how to take care of ourselves. Manya developed her passion for plant based food + yoga, as a means of finding balance. It was with this work that she saw sustainable and local food as an ally to transformation. In addition to coaching private clients and serving as a wellness expert and private chef, Manya also founded and operated JuiceWell, an organic cleanse cafe and eatery in NYC and NJ that became a community hub for clean eating and higher thinking. In 2014, Manya moved to Bend with her husband, Josh and seven year old son from NYC and is so happy to call Oregon her home. These days, when not out connecting with clients over local veggies, she can be found adventuring in Oregon or creating seasonal culinary art in her kitchen.