by Katy Shetler, Eva Faison, John Mark Lampley, and Peter Davis
The former University farm manager, Gina Raichovich’s resignation was met with campus-wide uncertainty and confusion, opening up many questions regarding the future of the University farm. Her path towards sustainability and agriculture helped strengthen Sewanee’s farming program and encouraged student and community interaction.
However, Gina’s resignation does not by any means conclude the future of the farm. According to Marvin Pate, the Director of Sewanee’s sustainability integration assures that the search for a permanent farm manager is in the process. As of now, interim farm manager Tray Moore has taken the fate of the farm under his wings, keeping it in tip top shape.
The hiring process has now commenced, with the hope of acquiring a farm manager that will foster the same zeal for the farm demonstrated by Gina, and also go above and beyond by hopefully broadening volunteer opportunities and promoting further student involvement. An interesting approach would be to integrate the farm into the curriculum at Sewanee, giving the students a chance to experience courses that would couple Sewanee’s love of literature as well as a focus on sustainable and environmentally conscious lifestyle behaviors. Maybe one day Sewanee students will be able to partake in classes such as Literature and Agriculture.
Another feat would be to offer more housing near the farm for students with environmental or agricultural studies could live closer to the farm and truly immerse themselves into the wonderful farming lifestyle. Before these dreams can be realized, it is pertinent that this kind of student action begins now with the involvement in the hiring process for a full time farm manager position. A fantastic way for students to become involved in the selection process would be to hold a student panel. This kind of forum would help the hiring team know what the students and the community are looking for in a farming program. Taking an active role in this process would make huge strides in personalizing our farm and furthering it to its utmost potential.