January 12, 2011
Lecturer, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Alumni, 2008 Public Policy Internship
When I became a Michael Fields Agricultural Institute Public Policy Intern in January 2008, my goal was to discover how I might combine my academic background and research interests with my passion for farming and food politics. The Michael Fields internship provided me with numerous opportunities to meet farmers, activists, and policy-makers from around the nation. The impact of those encounters confirmed my desire to gain experience as a grass-based dairy farmer. To realize this goal, I subsequently enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Farm & Industry Short Course and School for Beginning Dairy Farmers http://www.cias.wisc.edu/dairysch.html.
In April 2009, I began working at Northwood Farm, a 45-cow organic dairy in Wonewoc, Wisconsin operated by Jim, Rebecca, and Francis Goodman, three farmers active in the local sustainable food movement. Under the mentorship of the Goodman’s, I gained first-hand experience in grass-based dairying and the humane production of milk and beef. In May 2010 I completed my Ph.D. in Anthropology and am now lecturing at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The Michael Fields internship was not only an enormously rewarding experience; it gave me the tools and ideas to pursue my interest in farming & food politics. Today I am applying my MFAI knowledge and experience to the classroom by teaching undergraduate students the important relationship between food, environmental sustainability, and social justice.