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Lora Lea Misterly


LORA LEA and RICK MISTERLY purchased land near Rice, Washington, in 1981, inspired in part by Lora Lea's upbringing on her family's dairy farm in Leavenworth. Six years later the Misterlys received a license from the Washington State Department of Agriculture to produce farmstead cheese and started the Quillisascut Cheese Company. Today they still make cheese with the milk from their herd of 35 dairy goats. The pair had a dream that they would one day be able to share the farm lifestyle with others, an idea that evolved as chefs and food lovers began to visit the farm. In 2002 they founded the Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts, with a focus on teaching culinary students and professionals about the farm-to-table connection. Now, more than 80 student and professional chefs visit their farm each summer.

Sustainable Northwest, a Portland, Oregon-based organization, named Quillisascut Farm a "Founder of the New Northwest" in 2003, and the following year Lora Lea and Chef K̭ren Jurgensen developed a small book with practical tips for cooks on sustainable practices, called Rethinking the Kitchen: The Sustainable Kitchen Handbook.

Lora Lea is also a member of Tilth Producers, Rural Roots, Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network, Chefs Collaborative, and Seed Savers Exchange. She is a founding member and leader of Slow Food Upper Columbia, as well as a team member for the Northwest RAFT, Slow Food's Renewing America's Food Traditions project.

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