Director & Produce Ambassador
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.
Annaliese is embarking on her fifth season at McDowell Farm School. With a background in environmental sociology, lots of teaching experience, and her past seasons at the farm, she is looking forward to another exciting season at McDowell! She is passionate about sustainability from the local to international level and loves the connections students make between food grown at the farm and how food interacts with their daily lives.
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.
I’m from Double Springs and have been a nurse for 21 years. My husband’s name is Shane and we have one son Tyler who is 10 years old. We also have an Australian shepherd named Savage. (Don't worry, he's actually the sweetest thing.) I spend most of my free time at the baseball fields or other sporting event that Tyler is involved in. I enjoy reading and gardening. I’ve recently become interested in researching medicinal plants from this area!
Carol Ann has been working with food in various roles since she was 15. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she grew up in Tennessee and since then has had the opportunity to travel and work in different cities teaching about food and business operations from a the point-of-view of a restaurant opener. She is excited to return to Camp McDowell - where she has spent many summers - to both teach and learn about farming and food from a completely different perspective.
Hello, I’m Grace! I am from Birmingham, Alabama. I am thrilled to be at McDowell Farm School this season. I am amazed by all of the good work being done here, and I am so grateful to be a part of the team. My greatest passions in life are hiking, cooking, and planting vegetables. (In addition to reading novels,) I’d say this is what I hope my days consist of. Oh! and every now and then I love a really great dance party. I am continuously amazed by all of the lessons I learn from plants; namely patience and resilience. And I’m inspired every day by all of the hard workers who get food to our tables!
Audrey grew up in the heel of the boot Louisiana, where her first memory of planting and caring for a plant was with a row of sunflowers outside her window. Since then she has found a love of food systems due to it being a connection between science and nature to people in communities. The connection between the past and present, and the story that the land tells. She has been engaging that community and history by working with a food hub, school garden club, community garden, at Bethlehem Farm, and now McDowell Farm School.
My name is Sabol Payne Rodgers and I was born and raised in Huntsville, AL, but have lived in Tennessee, Hawaii, and New York as well. I grew up exploring caves, creeks, trees, vines, and cattle pasture. I love being outside! I am lucky to have followed my grandfather around his garden and for that to have sparked a lifelong love for food and farming. I love cooking with and for my family and friends. I especially enjoy fermenting foods. One food I really enjoy is a peanut butter and pickle (or pepper jelly) sandwich. My idea of a perfect day might include long steady rain and a great book or movie series, a full and delicious day on a farm, or packing a PBP sandwich for a long hike or bike ride towards some refreshing body of water.
Charlotte first volunteered on a farm in 2011 and has been finding ways to learn about sustainable agriculture ever since. While teaching English in Asia after college, she was hosted by organic farmers throughout Korea and Japan, who patiently taught her to appreciate the meditative aspects of farm chores. Prior to moving to Alabama, Charlotte taught English as a Second Language at schools in New York City, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is overjoyed to have the opportunity to combine education with the outdoors at McDowell Farm School, where she hopes to inspire a connection to the rhythms of nature in students of all learning styles. You’ll usually find Charlotte riding a bicycle, practicing yoga, or voraciously reading the newspaper, but probably not all at the same time.
Kate Yeater grew up making inedible chalk Kool-Aid, riding bikes, and playing pinecone factory on her family’s farm in rural Ohio. In college she discovered a passion for sustainability, conservation, and community capacity-building after working with an indigenous community in the Brazilian Amazon and researching tropical deforestation. After finishing her anthropology degree, she started post-grad life in the mountains of central Idaho. Kate is excited to continue working outdoors and learning with and from the students and staff at McDowell Farm School!