Yes, farming has always been part of my life, but not a part of my career until the past 3 years.
I grew up on a hobby farm, meaning my family raised animals and grew food for our personal consumption and learning. This gave me a basic understanding of farming and where food comes from. In college, I focused on business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. While I was always conscious of the food I was eating and how it was affecting my health, I didn’t make the connection to my farmers until I graduated. As I started to support my local farmers through my own cooking and consumption, I recognized that being directly involved with farming was a career I wanted.
Based on this passion, I went to work for a company in Columbus, Ohio called Little Eater. Here, I purchased local and seasonal produce from farmers and artisan makers, which connected all of my passions. The respect I have for farmers comes from how they are able to build and connect a community, which is what sparked my interest in becoming one. Last year, I moved to Jamaica to live on a farm for three months. This experience brought me to a culture that valued farming in a whole different way than we do in the US.
I grew up in a small rural town and didn’t know a lot about the AgTech industry, but by following my passions, I was able to find the Next-Gen Farmer Training Program with Square Roots. Moving from Columbus, Ohio (a farm town and capital of a farming state), people think I am crazy for moving to New York City to become a farmer. There is no conventional path or road to get into farming, or any career for that matter, but thankfully I had the willpower and curiosity to find the career and lifestyle that would be right for me.