Most of my studies have focused on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Justice. This is a passion born of my upbringing in a family that grew our own fruits and veggies, and valued daily home cooking. As a freshman in college, I volunteered with The Grain Project helping out at the office and at the market and developed an appreciation for the importance of local direct-sale markets.
In my classes, I wrote papers on topics like international food security and the controversy over the genetic patenting of seeds. I became deeply interested in the work of Dr. Vandana Shiva. For a great into to her work, check out Stolen Harvest.
I received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to pursue this academic work in India. I spent one year at the Tata Institute of Social Science, where I was able to study social entrepreneurship and urban development as it relates to food systems. I spent my summer volunteering at Dr. Shiva’s farm – Navdanya Ecological Farm and Research Center. I spent my mornings harvesting seeds for the seed bank (which preserves thousands of Indian heirloom varietals) and my afternoons conducting personal research. I was also an active volunteer with the Education program, helping to give presentations on food security at local school and planning an Earth Day celebration which brought 150 kids to the farm (check out the photos!)