Owner | Farmer
I grew up on a homestead in rural Vermont. My parents had a dream of living off the land and my siblings and I were part of the work crew. I couldn’t wait to get away and I went as far as East Africa where I spent my first two years after college working as a small business advisor in the Peace Corps. Since then, I’ve enjoyed working in higher education, nonprofits, consulting and recruiting. My off-farm job involves advising on careers – pretty ironic for someone whose own journey has been anything but linear! My favorite part about farming is getting my hands in the dirt (despite my hatred for dirt under my nails!) and watching seeds grow. I also love picking and eating the bounty and sharing it with the community.
I grew up in Salem, OH. My parents grew up on dairy farms and were adamant about my siblings and me attending college and getting real jobs. After majoring in mechanical engineering, I worked for nearly 25 years as a software developer, a job that paid well, but was never personally fulfilling. In 2007, after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, I decided I wanted to be a farmer. Through additional research, I learned farming doesn’t require hundreds of acres of land and large tractors. When I told my parents my new career goal, they told me I was crazy. My farm mentor tried numerous times to convince me this was a stupid idea because farming is too hard and doesn’t pay well. While there is some truth to that, I’ve never been happier in my life.
Assistant Farm Manager
Having grown up in the suburbs on the east side of Cleveland, farming was not on my radar as a child. Though I loved helping my father tend to his vegetable garden and digging in the dirt was a favorite activity of mine (and still is), my understanding of farming and all that it could entail was pretty limited. As a fourth grader, I remember taking a career aptitude test, and shuddering upon seeing “Farmer” in bold letters as my result. After graduating college with my degree in Anthropology and Studio Art, I was faced with the daunting task of deciding what I wanted to Do With My Life. I decided that whatever direction I went, it would have to be something I was passionate about. So, I joined AmeriCorps and for two years served in West Virginia and Southern Ohio working with organizations focused on community development and conservation. It wasn’t until I found the New Farmer Academy with Countryside Food and Farms, that I fully revisited farming as a tangible career path. By that time, my understanding of farming had grown considerably, but I never knew how to pursue it. Through that training and experience, I found myself at Bay Branch Farm and dove into the world of sustainable agriculture. I have loved every moment of it since!