I am from Jasper, Al. where I have lived all my life. I have always had a passion for helping others and when I graduated form high school I immediately enrolled in college. I received my LPN nursing degree from Bevill State in 1993. I then went on to receive my Registered Nursing Degree from Bevill. I have specialized in cardiac care, home health and hospice. Taking care of others is my passion.
I live in Jasper, with my husband and out two adopted children. Mason and Lila. Adoption hold a special place in my heart. I am very active in my church and community. I love to travel, read, crochet and learn new things.
I grew up in the small town of Berry, AL where I roamed the woods and creeks surrounding our house and fell in love with being outside. After high school, I attending the University of Alabama and finished my degree in early childhood and elementary education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For seven years, I taught fifth grade at Avondale Elementary school where I first began using farming as a way to educate. I then transitioned to Woodlawn High School to take the role as High School Program Director for Jones Valley Teaching Farm where I taught environmental science as well as developed and oversaw the programing and growing at our two acre sustainable behind the high school for four years. As part of this program, I ran an internship with high school juniors and seniors growing and selling produce to the surrounding community while cultivating curiosity, hard work, and self sufficiency. What drew me to Camp was the overall beauty and peacefulness of the land as well as the opportunity to live and work amongst a community of caring individuals with like minded goals as well as continue to work with students to understand how amazing the world around us is. My wife, Julie, and I have been married nine years and have three children, Samuel (5), Betsy (3), and Susanna (1). I'm really really psyched about learning, climbing, exploring with my family, and getting my hands dirty in southern soil.
After scouring the nether regions of our planet and beyond in search of Utopian habitation, Andrew has returned to McDowell. Most recently working as a goodwill ambassador of the island of Hispaniola, his diverse career path has led him to the understanding that the heart of nurturing change lies in the grumbling belly of us all. With the benefit of the history behind us, the land and its inhabitants, and a future that is yet to be determined, he hopes to create a vision of the way things ought to be, right here. His door is always unlocked, keys in the ignition.
Why are you passionate about farm education? The farm is the place where our connections to the land is most readily apparent. When we take time to observe and nurture the relationships we create here, we find ourselves happier, healthier, and at a greater understanding of what needs to be done for one another and our planet. If you plant, you grow.
Now our Farm Manager, Aubrey came to McDowell Farm School in 2017 as a seasonal instructor and Livestock Educator. She has worked on a wide range of farms around the world, including countries like Chile, Thailand, Ireland, and the U.K. Her passion for experiential education was born out of her work as an environmental educator aboard historic wooden sailing ships in the Puget Sound and on the Hudson River. She's thrilled to be able to combine her love of farming and education here at McDowell Farm School. Aubrey loves the work and lifestyle of farming, as well as its unique potential to connect us with where our food comes from, and to illuminate our role as conscious consumers and stewards of our environment.
In addition to farms and sailing ships, Aubrey has also lived in Brooklyn, NY where she was the Community Engagement & Education Director at POV, the award-winning documentary series on PBS. Along with her team, Aubrey developed national engagement campaigns for POV documentaries, produced film-specific discussion guides and lesson plans, and facilitated 600+ free screenings and discussions across the country every year. In total, Aubrey has been involved in campaigns for more than 70 documentaries. She has also facilitated events on Capitol Hill and served as a juror and panelist at a number of film festivals and screenings.
Music is a big part of Aubrey’s life and, wherever she is in the world, you can usually find her playing her mandolin at bluegrass jams.
Carol Ann Head
Carol Ann came to McDowell in the Spring of 2018 as a seasonal instructor. Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, she spent childhood summers at camp before moving with her family to West Tennessee. She grew up with a love of science, music, books, and the outdoors. After graduating from Sewanee with a degree in Biochemistry, she worked in the restaurant industry as a manager and new store opener, during which she had the opportunity to travel and train many groups of young people.
In her time at McDowell, she has been most excited to learn about food production and processing. She enjoys making things, especially farm meals, goat cheeses, goat milk soaps, pottery, and music.
Livestock Assistant & Instructor
One of Charlotte's favorite moments at the Farm School is when students realize the connection between pigs on the farm and bacon on the menu! As Livestock Assistant, she finds satisfaction in the daily routine of farm work and in helping provide meat, milk, and eggs to the McDowell community.
Returning for her third season, Charlotte is proud to be part of this team of farmer-educators. Her previous experience in agriculture includes working in urban crop production and at farmers markets around New York City, caring for dairy herds in upstate New York, and learning how to grow rice in Korea and Japan through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). Before joining the McDowell team, Charlotte taught English as a Second Language in New York City and South Korea, and is currently dreaming up ways to combine ESL instruction with farming.
Garden Assistant & Instructor
Chesney grew up with a country home life and an urban school life near Nashville, TN. She has grown to appreciate that balance more as she’s moved on. After moving to New Orleans for college, she connected to the land through urban farming. Beyond the technical skills of growing food, Chesney has learned many life lessons by spending time in the garden. In the broadest sense, sustainable farming/gardening has taught her respect, patience, and awareness. She has continued to seek out ways to learn from the land and recently, has been studying herbal medicine in northern Alabama. Chesney is thrilled for her second season working with a team at McDowell to introduce students to the many lessons the garden holds for us.
William grew up in Houston, Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University while studying Anthropology and Geology. He loves to canoe and has spent most of the past two years working for a paddle swamp tour company based in New Orleans. He has also spent many summers taking youth on canoe trips in northern Minnesota. He enjoys spending time outside and expanding his knowledge of plants and fungus, as well as sharing the joy of the natural world with students. William looks forward to working with students on a farm to promote the importance of our natural world in relation to food production.
My mission in this life is to connect as many people as possible back to nature through the process of learning how to grow organic vegetables and fruits. The growing, sharing, and preparing clean, nutritious food creates health minds and healthy bodies, and that makes for healthy decisions. Food is not only medicine, it is an important part of fostering a sense of community. Food also plays a role in our collective healing.
Nicole has worked on several organic farms. She has served as an Urban Farmer for the U.S. National Arboretum in several District of Columbia Public Schools and the District's Dreaming Out Loud food hub. Nicole holds degrees from Hampton University and the Howard University School of Law.
Emily grew up in Mobile, Alabama. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Montevallo where she studied biology and environmental studies. She later moved to Birmingham for a year to work with Jones Valley Teaching Farm, which altered her perception on the origins of what we eat. Emily then moved to Marquette, Michigan to complete her master’s degree in biology, where she studied evolution of African freshwater crabs while also instructing introductory biology labs. She is happy to move back to a warmer climate, and she anticipates getting back into the process of growing food while teaching. Emily enjoys fried rice, riding her bike, playing games on her Switch, and spending time with her sister.
Jordan recently graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Horticulture. She has always enjoyed the outdoors but didn't realize her appreciation for growing crops until after an internship at Jones Valley Teaching Farm. Through that program, as well as her time at school, and working in her local community garden, her love for getting her hands in the dirt has really grown. She also believes that there is so much you can learn from nature and one of the most rewarding experiences is being able to see the actual fruits of your labor. She is excited to be able to grow even more at Camp McDowell Farm School and in turn share that knowledge with those around her. Some of her favorite things include bike rides with friends, climbing, journaling, or just running around with her dog Shug.
I grew up around Boston Massachusetts where the winters are quite cold.
Both of my grandmothers worked for the department of transitional assistance for much of their lives which has inspired me to continue the work that they have done in the past.
I have always had a fascination for machines, my first word was "car". I went to a technical high school for automotive technology. There I played football and lacrosse and gained interest in Diesel technology. I was a part of a club called Skills USA which helps develop high school students to become professionals in their respective trade. I then worked as a technician, helping to build police cars and fire trucks.
I carry the skills that i learned into the field of agriculture because as one of my mentors has said "a good farmer must be a good mechanic". But also, both trades require professionalism and tenacity to find success.
I then decided to attend the University of New Hampshire in Durham New Hampshire. I had grown up in a pretty urban environment most of my life and it was only after helping my best friend's mother in her small backyard garden that I realized how incredible it is to grow plants yourself. Before then I didn't know what organic meant and my diet was mostly highly processed foods. She taught me a lot about gardening and good food.
I decided to change my major while at UNH from engineering to Sustainable agriculture and food systems as well as Eco-gastronomy. I became very interested in the plant sciences while studying at UNH. I find agroecology and regenerative agriculture particularly fascinating.
Through my wide array of experiences I have become a skilled horticulturist, soil scientist, ecologist, microbiologist, chef, entrepreneur, and gourmand. I still love working with machines and tractors as much as I can and i have learned the skill of coffee roasting as well. I also love fine art and painting.
During my time at UNH I also became a leader in the New Hampshire Outting Club which is older than the national park service itself (fun fact). Being a leader in the club has taught me many lessons and I have had the great opportunity to have hiked much of the White Mountains of NH. I also have had the amazing opportunity to have studied abroad in rural Italy, where I studied the language, food and history of the country; which greatly influences my outlook on food and our food system as a whole today, especially when comparing the food policy's of the European Union and the United States.
I'm excited to impart some the same excitement that I feel towards agriculture and good, clean, and fair food to the students at McDowell. I am also excited to learn more about traditional southeast cuisine! Let's plant some stuff!