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!