McFarland hails from Iowa and has earned degrees from Central College in Pella (B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies) and Iowa State University (M.S. in Environmental Science/Water Resources). She spent five years with the University of Idaho Extension as a county Extension education and area natural resource educator.
As the center coordinator at Chatham, McFarland provides an important link between campus-based faculty coordinators and the implementation of programs and oversight of operations at the center and throughout the U.P. She also works to increase visibility of the center and build relationships with stakeholders.
Ashley is an Extension Educator and the Center Coordinator at the UP Research and Extension Center. Her position is split 50% /50% AgBio Research and Extension. Ashley's work at the Center with regards to local food systems focus is on connecting food producers throughout the UP to local demand. Her research centers around identifying potential crops that could be successfully integrated into the regional food chain by UP agriculture producers.