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Brooklyn Next-Gen Farmer Cohort 2018 - 2019

Square Roots | 01.31.19

Each year, a new cohort of farmers participates in the Next-Gen Farmer Training Program, taking a step along their journey to becoming leaders in urban farming. Here’s a glimpse into why they’re drawn to urban agriculture.

Square Roots' Season 3 Next-Gen Farmers: Daniel Silvia, Micah Helle, Eli Zimmer, Gianna Costa, Brandon Brones, Jacque Kirila, Emma Coz, and Colin Petry.

Season 3 Next-Gen Farmers: Daniel Silvia, Micah Helle, Eli Zimmer, Gianna Costa, Brandon Brones, Jacque Kirila, Emma Coz, and Colin Petry.

Daniel Silvia

I want to become a next-gen leader in urban agriculture because growing up, we’ve lacked leaders, and I want to pave the way for the next generation. Square Roots has given me the opportunity to build and expand my knowledge of urban agriculture, by using innovative technology to supply the thriving city of New York. Bringing local, real food by empowering next generation farmers fulfills my drive for nutritional change which I will continue to bring to underprivileged communities.

Micah Helle


I’m interested in being a leader in urban farming to build farm systems that increase bandwidth for the modern day farmer to deal with compounding issues (ie: environmental degradation), enable farmers to continue to bring local food to the table, and respect quality of life for all persons involved.

Eli Zimmer


I have a passion for sustainable agriculture and the specialized food industry. Becoming a next-gen leader in urban agriculture unites these core values in order to connect good food products to conscientious food consumers.

Gianna Costa


Food is a common thread in our lives — it can be drawn throughout families, friends, communities, environment, and the economy. As a society, we have taken advantage of the acceptable access to food and the ways in which we increasingly waste it. I look to explore and advocate towards safety standards and the increased success of local, sustainable, nutritious urban farming.

Brandon Brones


I want to be apart of the next generation of urban ag leaders because I want everyone, especially people of color, to have access to nutritionally rich foods and agency over their own health. I want to take the knowledge and skills I’ve learned throughout my farming experience and pass that on to folks who want the same for themselves as well as their loved ones. I believe farming is all about community and both food and knowledge should be shared freely throughout your community.

Jacque Kirila


I am passionate about connecting people to local and seasonal food through grocery and growing, creating community around wellness and sustainability through innovative food systems by building relationships with farmers, and creating opportunities to grow your own food.

Emma Coz


I want to be a part of the change in our industrial agricultural system, pursuing environmental justice and providing nutritious local sustenance to communities, instead of contributing to environmental degradation and the declining quality of food. Being a next-gen leader means participating in and experiencing these tangible and positive direct impacts that urban agriculture has on the health and well-being of city dwellers as well as the future of our food.

Colin Petry


I want a hands-on career where I can directly interact with living systems that positively impact peoples’ well-being and strengthens their connection to nature. I’m working to foster the relationship between people and locally grown, fresh food.

Learn more about our Next-Gen Farmer Training Program.

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