Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The New Wilmington College Work Program

     This year Wilmington College has stared an entirely new program which has assisted Grow Food Grow Hope in filling the roles left by our AmeriCorps VISTA members. Three incoming freshmen students; Micaela Wright, Samantha Kremer and Tallia McCormick, have been selected to work in the Grow Food Grow Hope office. By doing this they are not only helping the office with tasks in need of being done, but they are also receiving a small portion of their tuition off, not to mention tremendous volunteer opportunities.Each of them are in charge of a specific area and have already helped with the Farm to Table Dinner, and are beginning planning their own events.

My name is Tallia McCormick, and I am in charge of Public Relations this academic year. I was born and raised in Clinton County, specifically Wilmington. Although my grandfather, Mike McCormick, was raised on a farm as a boy and has been a farmer his whole life, (as well as a preacher, alongside my grandmother Nancy McCormick), I have never really been good at the whole farming thing. So when I found out that I was working in the GFGH offices I immediately thought of the gardens and was overwhelmed from the beginning. Gladly, and to my surprise however, I was placed in charge of Community Outreach and my job actually suits me quite well. I have found that my area of expertise definitely falls under event planning and the contacting of other people, specifically for larger events. I especially like fundraising events, so it turns out this office was probably the best place I could have ended up. Being in this program has already taught me a lot about an office workplace, as well as an outdoors- workplace, and I am very thankful for that. It has taught me to be adaptable with wherever I might end up, I am sure there are people out there that have a plan that leads them to exactly the place they had in mind, and these people are probably very organized people that are very in-tune with themselves.  I, however, have come to find that I am not one of these people (those lucky people), so it is most definitely to my greater benefit that I landed this position. I will probably use the skills I learn from it for a very long  time, if not for the rest of my life. Plus the office at GFGH really is an amazing one, filled with truly amazing people that are very passionate about everything they do. This place is full of life and a want to help others in their every day lives, and it is so inspiring to come into work knowing I will be surrounded with this kind of attitude. I am so thankful that I ended up here.

The fall season is upon us and with a new season and school year, comes many new faces. My name is Samantha Kremer and I am a freshman  at Wilmington College, involved in our brand new Work Program. I am from Versailles, Ohio, which is a little less than an hour and a half northwest of Wilmington in good ol’ Darke County. I come from a family farm, where we raise brood cows, turkeys, and horses. We also farm approximately 600 acres of wheat, corn, soybeans, hay, and sorghum. My family owns the local feed mill and grain elevator in Versailles and it has been in the family for the past 40 years. I have a passion for agriculture and would love to go back to the family operations once I am done with my schooling. I am pursuing a degree in agriculture with a concentration in agricultural business. Using the skills I have learned at college, I hope to go back to the family feed mill, join in on the operations and to one day become an investor. Currently, I am the accounting assistant and I hope to become the operations manager someday. In 2011, my grandpa passed away after a long battle with cancer. He truly was the backbone of the company and his passion and love for the company really showed me what agriculture was all about.  It is because of my grandpa that I am pursuing a degree in agriculture with a concentration in agricultural business.I am currently serving as the Grow Food Grow Hope Garden Manager Student Associate. My job consists of managing 40 community gardens at the Friends of Hope gardens. The Friends of Hope gardens are located on the Wilmington College campus behind the Pyle Center. The position as Grow Food Grow Hope Garden Manager Student Associate is all new to this girl because I was never really around small gardening. Coming from a farm, I am used to planting acres and acres of corn, soybeans, etc., but, I am not used to planting a 12 foot by 4 foot raised bed. I am very new to this type of gardening so please be patient with me throughout the growing seasons. Feel free to drop by anytime to see what our gardeners are growing! Recently, our gardeners planted their cool season vegetables. These items include: kale, lettuce, onions, radishes, beets, cauliflower, turnips, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, mustard, and kohlrabi. I am excited to see what the gardeners can harvest this fall with their cool season vegetables. Being new to this, I had no clue that anyone planted things in the fall besides winter wheat, (for you farmers out there)! Hope everyone has a safe fall season and of course, happy gardening!

My name is Micaela Wright. I am the Youth Outreach Student Associate for Grow Food Grow Hope at Wilmington College. Some of my duties include providing lessons about gardening to children at K-5 schools in our area. I help to coordinate other children’s activities as well. My goal is to help educate children on the basics of gardening. My family has had a garden my whole life and it has taught me about growing my own food and how it is important to know where my food comes from. It is very important to teach children these basic concepts. This is my first year at Wilmington College and also my first year working with Grow Food Grow Hope, and I am very excited about the youth programs that we have. I am looking forward to going to schools to teach children some gardening basics and about where their food comes from. I am also very excited for the children’s garden that we will have in the spring at the Friends of Hope Community Garden. I look forward to working with the kids because it is rewarding to see how much fun they have learning and participating in activities.  I am pursuing a double major in Agriculture (with an Animal Science concentration) and Spanish with a minor in Sustainability and I hope to get my Master’s degree. My current plans are to become an animal nutritionist, but I am also interested in helping promote sustainable agriculture to help feed the world. Therefore, I am excited about this job and the opportunities that it has for me to gain experience. I have a passion to help others learn about growing their own food, teaching children about the food they eat, and helping to feed people in need so this job is a great fit for me.
 Tallia McCormick, Samantha Kremer, Micaela Wright, 2013 Fall Associates

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