NATIONAL FARMWORKER JOBS PROGRAM
What you do in your spare time: I enjoy trying out new places to eat around town, playing games on my Nintendo Switch, and going to the gym.
Favorite Produce Item: I enjoy anything coconut flavored or has coconut itself because it reminds me of the foods that I’ve eaten while growing up. One of my favorite dishes is called “Nam khao” which is crispy red curry rice mixed with fresh herbs, fried chili peppers and has a refreshing sour taste from the squeezed lime juice, but my favorite ingredient in this dish happens to be the freshly grated coconut that gets fried. Once everything is mixed together, the coconut gives the dish a slightly sweet taste which I believe really brings the dish come together.
Des Moines, Iowa
Hero/Heroes: My grandma used to spoil me all the time.
Favorite Produce Item: Lime! I pretty much use it for everything in my life.
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Favorite Proteus Memory: I’ve enjoyed each participant that I’ve been able to help pursue a new and successful career. I enjoy seeing updates from them on the great changes they have made.
Favorite Produce Item: The vegetables used in a pot roast (carrots, potatoes, onions) always remind me of weekends at my Grandparents’ house.
Favorite Proteus Memory: Connecting a young patient to a community resource that assisted her with cleft palate revision. The young patient’s mother was overjoyed knowing her daughter would finally get the help she needed to lift her out of her depression.
Favorite Produce Item: Cilantro, it’s versatile and adds pizazz to many dishes. I have fond memories of cooking with my mom rolling up taquitos filled with chicken, cilantro, and onions! Yum!
Brittanie Van Reese
Career Coach BrittanieVR@proteusinc.net
Iowa City, Iowa
What you do in your spare time: Reading, travel, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.
Favorite Produce Item: Tomatoes – there are infinite ways to prepare and eat them, they also make me think of my Grandma.
What you do in your spare time: bike, hike, and/or work out.
Favorite Produce Item: Watermelon is my favorite produce item. A neighbor grew watermelons and then would invite all of the neighborhood families over for a watermelon feed.
Program Specialist TamaraR@proteusinc.net
What you do in your spare time: My favorite thing to do in my free time is spending time with my daughter and two Siberian huskies.
Favorite Produce Item: My favorite produce item is corn! because it is used in so many different dishes and even on its own as a Mexican street corn style, it is one of my favorite snacks!
Favorite Proteus Memory: My favorite memory is when I was at a health and safety training. I had been working with this particular group of workers from Mexico for several years. One of the workers came up to me at the start of the presentation and told me he only spoke English. I panicked for a minute because the training was in Spanish and frantically started explaining this to him in English. The man and group of 100 workers started laughing and that was when I realized they were all playing a joke on me. I have appreciated all of the relationships with workers I have developed throughout the years.
Favorite Produce Item: My favorite produce item is the avocado because it’s the most universal produce item. It literally goes with everything from toast to tacos. Plus, when an item is full of fat but is considered a healthy item it has to have a special place on my table.
Hero/Heroes: My Mother – She never gave up on anyone. She was bold, smart, and strong. No matter what she would say, “It was a good day.”
Favorite Produce Item: Tomato – My Father was a small vegetable farmer and My mother would work, when I was little, in the summers sorting tomatoes at a local cannery before she went to nursing school.
AGRICULTURAL HEALTH PROGRAM
Caroline Johnson, FNP-BC
Favorite Proteus Memory: Helping a patient carry her two sleeping children back to their room at the camp we were at. The child was completely out and unexpectedly heavy!
Favorite Produce Item: Tomatoes – they are versatile and delicious
Agricultural Health Program Assistant
What you do in your spare time: Spend it with family and friends
Favorite Produce Item: Garlic, it makes just about any dish taste great.
Bilingual Health Team Lead, Des Moines, IA
Hero/Heroes: My Parents. Hearing the struggles they had to go through as immigrants in this country, but still having a smile on their face and being the loving parents I know them as.
Favorite Produce Item: Avocado, if it’s used in Mexican food, I’m game.
Family Nurse Practitioner, Fort Dodge, IA
Favorite Proteus Memory: There are so many already! Having a patient bring a warm chocolate flan cake to us during the clinic.
Favorite Produce Item: I love all veg and fruit. A favorite is sweet red pepper- I love the flavor and will eat them like an apple.
Bilingual Health Team Lead, Fort Dodge, IA
What you do in your spare time: Exercise, write, fish, box, and ride my motorcycles
Favorite Produce Item: Peanuts, because Peanut Butter! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are what I survived on in college.
Family Nurse Practitioner, Iowa City, IA
Favorite Proteus Memory: My first clinic was sitting outside at a picnic table doing exams. It was a beautiful day and the fields around us looked so picturesque. It was my first interaction with our patients after they had been out working all day – yet they were all still so friendly, grateful, and pleasant to be around.
Favorite Produce Item: Peppers – so versatile. Love eating them raw and adding them to dishes.
Bilingual Health Team Lead, Iowa City, IA
Favorite Proteus Memory: Going to Conesville with Dr. Claudia Corwin and experiencing and watching our first “round” of farmworkers being vaccinated in mid-March 2021.
Favorite Produce Item: Cucumber (with lime, salt, and sometimes Tapatio) – a snack my mom used to make us growing up and one of the produce items my dad would grow in his mini-garden
Project Coordinator, Des Moines, IA
Hero/Heroes: First responders, healthcare professionals, and farmworkers are my heroes. I admire and respect their hard work. My parents are my heroes too. They have taught me the importance of having compassion and doing what you can to help those in need.
Favorite Produce Item: Ever since I can remember avocados have been enjoyed in my family. My grandparents and aunt have avocados trees in Mexico and it has become a tradition to pick off avocados whenever we’re over for the holidays.