Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeOrganic FarmingMary Oldham ’06 – Dickinson School Natural Farm

Mary Oldham ’06 – Dickinson School Natural Farm


Though the Dickinson School Farm existed solely as a backyard whereas Mary Oldham ’06 was a pupil at Dickinson, her involvement with this system sparked a ardour inside her that has formed her profession. Mary describes, “I didn’t know a factor about agriculture earlier than I began working on the backyard at Dickinson, and I discovered it to be the place all of my pursuits and passions collided.” Underneath the mentorship of Jenn, Matt, and plenty of space farmers Mary started to acknowledge the significance of meals, folks have to eat. This want has been the driving power of her ardour for agriculture.

After Dickinson, Mary engaged herself in agriculture by means of quite a lot of contexts, each in the US and internationally. The Dickinson backyard impressed her to farm and to work to reinforce sustainable farming as a rural financial improvement alternative. She mixed her curiosity in rural agriculture with an curiosity to observe in Jenn Halpin’s footsteps, Mary served as a volunteer within the Peace Corps in Honduras. She was working with a ladies’s farming cooperative to assist them get their mini-farm plots set as much as earn them some earnings by promoting to grocery shops. Constructing off of her time in Honduras, along with her involvement with the backyard at Dickinson, Mary utilized her curiosity in rural agriculture to communities of West Virginia. Most lately, she has additional explored her curiosity within the financial facet of agriculture. In 2013 she acquired a Grasp’s Diploma in Agricultural and Useful resource Economics from West Virginia College.

Mary works part-time as a Regional Coordinator for the Pure Capital Funding Fund’s Worth Chain Cluster Initiative (VC2), a grant-funded undertaking that gives enterprise improvement help to meals and farm enterprise and organizations in [West Virginia]. Via this place she works to attach companies in search of to develop in meals or agricultural fields with professionals from associated backgrounds to supply needed coaching and session. Mary and her husband additionally run their very own 3-acre farm, Mountain Harvest Farm, on rented farmland outdoors of Morgantown, West Virginia. As part of their enterprise they develop produce for greater than 50 CSA members, native farmers’ markets, and space eating places. In discussing the advantages of renting land, it helped them be taught and make quite a lot of errors and not using a huge funding in land or infrastructure. 

Wanting again on her time at Dickinson and involvement with the backyard, Mary acknowledges that the alternatives she was uncovered to had numerous purposes. Whereas from a tutorial standpoint, Dickinson praises itself on interdisciplinary studying, Mary notes that her time with the backyard program proved to be the epitome of an inter-disciplinary expertise and balanced pupil way of life. All through her time with the Dickinson backyard program, Mary engaged in the local people, by means of work with Undertaking Share and connecting with space farmers, and carried out analysis, which related her tutorial pursuits to agriculture. She feels it impressed her and the abilities she discovered would have been helpful it doesn’t matter what profession she selected. The Dickinson backyard and what Mary discovered from Jenn Halpin and Matt Steiman and the do-ers they uncovered her to had been the foundation of her curiosity in agriculture, perception in its significance and potential for rural communities, and starting of her expertise constructing and information base round it. 


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