Where did you travel to?
I am interning with the Earth Program through Iowa State University in St. John U.S. Virgin Island, located in the Caribbean Sea. As an intern, I am teaching children about sustainable agriculture in the Gifft High School (GHS). My focus is on teaching food production, plant-based environmental sciences, and advocating for agriculture. I am providing healthy,
locally grown food to the GHS community while using outdoor environments for students to learn and work to better their agricultural skills.
What's your background in agriculture?
I am a fifth generation farmer who grew up on a diversified family farm outside of Columbus Jct., Iowa. We raise hogs, cattle, sheep, and grain.
What is the most interesting agriculture industry you have seen on your trip?
Background: St John's main industry is tourism, the steep mountain slopes are not very good for cultivation. Therefore, agriculture practices are done on a much smaller scale. One of my favorite examples of this a local produce farm called
Josephine's Greens. Josephine (a great example of a FarmHer) (Great photo of Josephine on this website:
(http://blog.kathrynwagner.com/photographic-series/new-gallery-up-on-the-website-josephines-greens/) moved to St. John from Malaysia in the mid 80's where she managed large plantations. Currently, they grow over 90 varieties of vegetables, tropical fruits, and herbs on their 18 acres. Josephine's Greens have become a staple in local markets and are in demand from top restaurant chefs who place their order months in advance. In addition to produce, they also supply much of the island's landscaping needs with tropical plants, trees and flowers.
Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you?
I am a woman who has been active in the agriculture industry since I was able to pick up a scoop shovel and check cows with Grandpa. I want to continue our farming family tradition and give my children the same experiences and opportunities I had by getting my hands dirty in the field. My degree in horticulture has given me a better understanding of food production to feed our growing population. I love to advocate for this wonderful industry and showing the many beautiful aspects of a FarmHer.