Staff & Leadership Team


TT profile photoDeb Dorman - Campaign Coordinator:  
Deb Dorman is a descendant from the Bois Forte band of Ojibwe in Minnesota. She completed nursing school in 1993 and worked in that field for 10 years. She also worked for the city of Fargo as the Native American Liaison to the Gladys Ray shelter where she dealt closely with the Native homeless population bringing guests medicine picking and to sweat lodges along with various other cultural activities. During this time Deb also organized several events for Idle No More, VDAY, and One Billion Rising campaign. She was an activist at NoDAPL Standing Rock with her daughter in 2016 and has spent a lot of time organizing on the ground. 

Deb is a proud mother of four beautiful children and loves to spend time in the Minnesota forests medicine picking and foraging with them, some of her favorite past times are on spending time at the lakes in Minnesota with her feet in the hot sand. 


Zachary Paige - Administrative Coordinator:


Kaitlyn Grenier - Grant-writer/Development Coordinator:
Kaitlyn has worked for the White Earth Land Recovery Project as a grant writer for almost 2 years. Prior to her employment, she volunteered at White Earth Land Recovery Project and Red Lake Nation intermittently since 2011. She resides in Bemidji in the summer and Chesapeake Beach during the school year where her 3 children attend school. While on the east coast, Kaitlyn managed a small organic Community Supported Agriculture farm. She is passionate about land stewardship and cultural revitalization, and excited to start her work with Toxic Taters in November of 2017. 


Advisory Committee

Carol Ashley: 
Carol lived near potato fields by Park Rapids, MN for about 18 years and suffered from pesticide drift most of those years. She started working on this issue in 2004.  She finally decided she had to move in spite of living within walking distance of aging parents and in spite of having a 38-year connection to that particular 15 acres of land where she gardened and ran a small business. She continues to live in the Park Rapids area though further from the fields.

Beverly St. John:

Denis Liftin: 
Denis is a retired high school teacher/coach/administrator from three different Minnesota public schools. Served in the U.S. Army.  Lost my wife to cancer 3+ years ago, has a daughter and a son, both living in the Twin Cities area.  Served on various boards,  councils, and committees in the public sector. Presently I have a home on Crystal Lake, West of Hackensack and also in  Ironwood Township in the U.P.  of  Michigan and  I divide my time between the two, year-round. I enjoy the outdoors all seasons and most of my reading centers on non-fiction books, periodicals, and the internet. I am interested in guarding our environment and wildlife from the ravages of corporate greed and maleficence as well as from the negatives of population intrusion into the North woods.

Leadership Team

Toxic Taters is a grassroots organization.  That means that we are led by the people affected and staff is really just there to support the work of the community.  Everyone is welcome to take part in our monthly meetings which take place in Park Rapids, Pine Point, and Wadena.  In order to vote individuals must have attended at least 2 prior meetings. (Staff is not allowed to vote.)  For those unable to attend meetings there are many other ways to get involved.  Just contact us and we'll find a way to work together. 

The following are our core leaders:

Norma & Don Smith:
Norma & Don moved their family to a small farm in Otter Tail County in 1976. They bought their first sheep the next year and for 18 years sold enough lambs to make their farm payment. In 1995, 11 irrigation systems were installed in a 4 square mile area and potatoes planted all around them. The fields were sprayed every week by an airplane. They soon experienced hundreds of dead birds. Frogs disappeared and the bee population declined.  Their lambs began to die.  With effort, they finally got someone to respond to their calls at the MN Agriculture Dept. and were told that a million-dollar potato crop was worth more than their little flock of sheep.


Fiscal Sponsor Liaison

Toxic Taters works closely with our fiscal sponsor Pesticide Action Network with support from their Minneapolis office. Our fiscal sponsor also does not have a vote in meetings. 



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