Tell us a little about your RIT career.
I began at RIT on April 29, 2019 so I have only been here for a short time so far. I work in dining services as the farm manager.
What do you enjoy most about your role as farm manager?
As farm manager, I get to participate in all aspects of the farm process from selecting, scheduling and planting seeds to managing the plants throughout the growing cycle and then finally harvesting and delivering them. I enjoy that many parts of the job are hands on, but there are also lots of opportunities for research and creativity. Of course the role is all centered on growing great food and the opportunity to do so for the passionate and talented dining and catering staff is something I really enjoy.
Additionally, I enjoy being a part of something so new for RIT and for campus dining programs in general. There is so much potential here and so many possibilities exist for further development. Even though we are in the very early stages, the excitement and support that this project garners from both the staff and administration is very encouraging.
Tell us a little about who you are outside of your RIT experience?
I am a Rochester native, having attended West Irondequoit high school prior to college at the University of Vermont. It was in college that I met my wife Nikki, together we have a son named Benjamin who is just a couple months old now. At our house in the Finger Lakes we have a market farm specializing in growing salad greens, herbs, tomatoes, cut flowers and many other vegetables which we sell at farmers markets. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, hiking, skiing and making things in my workshop.
What is your favorite RIT event and why?
Since I am a very recent hire, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience many RIT events. I have enjoyed the staff appreciation events and am looking forward to next year’s Imagine RIT festival.
What is your favorite/best RIT memory?
Seeing the farm container be delivered and installed stands out as a special moment. While I have only been here for a short time, I know that many other people have worked hard for years to get this program running. To see it finally arrive and become reality was an important milestone in the creation of the program.
What is a project that you are most excited about lately?
I have always loved building and making things in a variety of media (wood, metal, glass, leather) and have the goal of making and growing all the components for a gourmet meal. That would include building the tables and chairs, cutting boards, knives, growing and harvesting the food, brewing the beer and then preparing it all and enjoying it with family and friends. Food brings people together in such a simple yet profound manner and I am lucky to have so many interests that relate back in some way. To have all those varied interests culminate in one great meal is a personal project that I am really excited about.
To date, what are you most proud of?
I am proud to have pursued and continued in the field of agriculture for the past decade. Farming is hard work and the lifestyle isn’t always glamorous but I enjoy the variety of tasks inherent in the job, the independence, the problem solving and the satisfaction that I get while working with my hands. So, in an era when the global demand for farm products is rising but the supply of farmers is falling, I am proud to be a part of a new group of farmers trying to lead the charge.