Hard Working Farmers
Every member of our Board of Directors is a producing farmer who has first-hand knowledge of the joys and challenges this lifestyle brings. They are hardworking members of the community, dedicated to providing guidance and leadership to CHS Northwest. Board members are elected by co-op producer members and serve a 3-year term.
Rod Tjoelker, President
Rod and wife Sharon, are third-generation dairy farmers. They have operated RTJ Farm for the last 25 years, 10 years in partnership with Rod’s parents, Ray and Gert Tjoelker. RTJ is a mid-sized dairy that farms enough acres to feed the herd. Rod and Sharon’s four daughters, three son-in-law’s and extended family help with fieldwork, harvest and day-to-day operations.
Bill Swanson, Secretary
Bill Swanson was born and raised south of Mount Vernon. He feels blessed to be living on land that his great-grandfather cleared and settled in the early 1880s. Bill and wife Rebecca (a Ferndale native) have six children. Bill spent 20 years as an agronomist in Eastern Oregon and Western Washington. During that time, he came to know most of the farmers in Skagit, Island and Snohomish counties. In 2012, Bill teamed up with a former customer and launched Skagit Valley Farm growing broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, sweet corn, silage corn and alfalfa.
Galen Smith, Director
Galen is a managing partner of Coldstream Farms. Galen, and his wife, Laura, raise four energetic boys in the South Fork Valley in Deming, Washington. Galen is proud to be a lifelong resident of Whatcom County. Galen and his family operate a 3,000 animal dairy and crop production farm near Acme.
Steve Vander Haak, Director
Steve grew up in Lynden and is a graduate of Washington State University. Together, with his wife, Jewell, Steve is raising 3 children, Elijah, Ruby and Josiah. Steve runs Vander Haak Dairy.
Julie Enfield, Director
Julie and husband Adam Enfield, who along with his dad and brother own and operate Enfield Farms in Lynden, WA. Julie manages Northwest Plant Company (owned by Enfield Farms), which propagates and sells raspberry plants to the local industry and is also involved in raspberry variety development through their on-farm breeding program. They live on the Birch Bay Lynden Road west of Lynden with their three sons and a few dogs, chickens and sheep. She loves living in rural Whatcom County and is passionate about agriculture and raspberries.
Paul Sangha, Director
Paul Sangha is a farmer and value-add agriculture services provider in Whatcom County. He is the owner of Mountain View Berries and Whatcom Berry Co. All of Paul’s early schooling and extended education was in Washington state. Paul, his wife, kids, and parents, appreciate all that farming, and agriculture has to offer. From an early age, Paul looked for ways to help the community. Being part of the CHS Northwest Board of Directors will allow Paul to continue to contribute to the community he loves.
Todd Van Mersbergen, Director
Todd Van Mersbergen is a 4th generation raspberry and blueberry farmer located in Whatcom County. His farm is Markwell Farm. Todd and his family started out in the dairy industry and has since transitioned into raspberry and blueberry production.