Agriculture & Food Production

 

Service members spend much of their time pulling weeds and watering school gardens – and many of them fall in love with growing, producing, and promoting local food systems. Our alumni become farmers, food entrepreneurs, and farm-to-institution professionals to help build the equitable, sustainable food system we know all kids deserve.

We continue to support them in their development as agriculture and food system professionals by building the network of alumni in this field and providing opportunities for career coaching.

Profiles

 

Marlie WilsonMarlie Wilson

Farm to School Program Manager, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture

MA ’13

After her three-year stint with FoodCorps as a service member (Boston) and fellow (IA), Marlie earned her Master of Science in Agroecology and Urban and & Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently serves as the Farm to School Program Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. In addition to organizing local food procurement trainings around the state, she coordinates the Wisconsin Farm to Institution Procurement Strategy, a grant-funded project to align the supply and demand for local food in Wisconsin’s cafeterias. Working all across the supply chain–with producers, aggregators, processors, distributors, and foodservice buyers–the project helps develop sustainable pathways for Wisconsin-grown products to reach school districts, hospitals, colleges, and other institutional settings.

My experience with FoodCorps motivated me to dig deeper into how we might develop more resilient, regional food systems that support both equity and ecological sustainability. The relationships I built as a service member and fellow continue to nourish me in the pursuit of social change. What can often feel like an uphill battle to create a healthier food system gets just a little easier when you can draw on the ideas and energy from such a magnificent FoodCorps community, stretching from coast to coast. – Marlie Wilson

Lauren RhoadesLauren Rhoades

Founder of Sweet & Sauer Jackson

MS ’15

After two years of service and one year as a fellow in Jackson, Lauren quickly established herself as an innovative, passionate entrepreneur who values local food, education, and community connection. She spends her days making kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented mustard, and kombucha for her business, Sweet & Sauer Jackson. Sweet & Sauer is more than just a business – it’s a vehicle for local economic development and for prioritizing health in her community.

“FoodCorps helped me grow as a leader and an invested member of the community here in Jackson, MS. I have found that the best way for me to lead is through entrepreneurship. Starting Sweet & Sauer has given me a voice to advocate for a food system that revolves around fresh, locally grown food. – Lauren Rhoades