CSA Manager update

Hello CSA members! Tiffany here.  I am writing with bittersweet, but very exciting news: I have left my position as CSA Manager and Kristi Durbin has taken over!  Kristi is a Sustainable Agriculture graduate, completing her student apprenticeship at the farm in 2012 and has been on staff at the farm ever since.  She has already planned new and exciting things for the upcoming season and I am confident that the UKCSA will continue to provide quality organic vegetables to our members.  I am thrilled to watch her grow, just as I did, in her farm managerial skills.  Joining her are returning staff members Aaron German, Katie Fiske, and Alex Goodman led by our fearless leader Dr. Mark Williams.

Although I will no longer be managing the CSA, I am still working closely with Mark to complete my Master’s degree focused on an economic analysis of the UKCSA operation. My goal is to provide benchmarking financial numbers that may be helpful to beginning farmers. At the end of January, the UKCSA hosted a farm tour in conjunction with the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group 2016 Conference (http://www.ssawg.org/january-2016-conference/) to share our farming system with farmers from across the south. Opportunities to share ideas with other farmers who are making locally-based agriculture viable in their communities is always inspiring.  I am ever more passionate about sustainable agriculture transforming the way we feed our communities and am grateful that I have been a part of that movement at UK. The hands-on experience I received through my position has given me the confidence to run my own farm one day and the CSA-model has shown me that growing good, healthy food is transformative for people’s lives (both the farmer and the member).  I have loved every minute!

This year I will be joining my fiancé Alex Hessler in Blacksburg, Virginia who is a faculty member in the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech and also manages the Virginia Tech Dining Services Farm.  Needless to say we never (ok I admit-always!) have the topic of vegetable production as a conversation between us.  After finishing my Master’s degree, I will be looking to lease farmland in the Blacksburg/Roanoke area-so if any of you have any contacts, pass them along :).

A few memories through the years my years at the UKCSA:

Tough-looking crew, 2011:

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Planting potatoes, 2012:

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Organic team meeting, 2013:

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Tiffany and Kristi harvesting fall broccoli,  2013:
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First CSA harvest, 2014:

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Fall broccoli harvest, 2014:

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Planting potatoes, 2015: Aaron, Katie, Alex, Tiffany, Kristi:

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Final CSA harvest, 2015:

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8 thoughts on “CSA Manager update

  1. Tiffany, thank you for your leadership! You have been a consistent force and a smiling face at each distribution. My husband and I have been transformed in many ways by our membership in this CSA, we joined at a time when we were both committed to improving our diet – and the abundance of each week’s harvest made it very easy to significantly increase our consumption of delicious fresh vegetables and fruit. It has also challenged me as a cook, to learn how to prepare food items that I had no experience with.

    Best wishes to you as you transition to Virginia.

    Sincerely,
    Marian Guinn

    • Thanks so much Marian. I (and the rest of the farm staff) always appreciate comments like yours. We love the impact that this program has had on our members. It makes a big difference knowing who we are growing for!
      -Tiffany

  2. Tiffany if this gets to you many best wishes to you in your new venture….including the move to Blacksburg, VA. I know things will go well for you as you have done such a tremendous job with CSA here.

    Take care and am looking forward to the new season here. Tina Peter

  3. Sorry to see you go, as your leadership has been instrumental in the growth of the CSA. But understand wanting to be with family!!! Good luck!

    Ashley A Montgomery MD
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
    University of Kentucky
    (O) 859-218-2894
    (P) 859-330-2243

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