As the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program Assistant Mary will focus on supporting various aspects of the BFR program, including helping manage the Farm Link Montana website and assisting with program promotion.
Mary grew up in several small farming communities across the Midwest, amongst long rows of corn and soybeans. She received her B.S. in Biology at a small liberal arts college in Chicago where her research focused on invasive species and conservation biology.
Her work in food systems first began when she helped revitalize student gardens and a compost system on her college campus. This experience motivated her to move West after graduation to work on a small farm in the mountains of Washington. She then spent two years serving with AmeriCorps and FoodCorps managing small high school farms in Oregon and helping farmers sell their produce to local schools.
Interest in deepening her knowledge of sustainable farming and food systems brought Mary to the University of Montana, where she recently graduated with her master’s in Environmental Studies. Her master’s research focused on programs that help producers protect wild spaces and species, while also growing food for their communities.
Mary brings 5+ years of experience working with farmers in many different capacities. Mary loves exploring the outdoors, growing food in good soil, and plant puns!
She is really excited to begin her work at CFAC and looks forward to supporting local farmers through CFAC’s new and established programs.