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Our Future Food System

by Liz Lyon | If you’re reading this journal post, you’re probably aware of the myriad issues surrounding the way much of America’s food is currently grown, distributed, consumed, and wasted. When I get bogged down in these issues, I remind myself of the future I’d like to see. 

This is a future where land is stewarded in a way that cares for all of its inhabitants; where everyone has access to safe, nutritious foods; where workers are paid living wages. I believe that all of us can play a part in working toward this vision.

So many backgrounds and skills lend themselves to creating this future food system. We’ll need educators, policy makers, communicators, farmers, food processors, distribution hubs, local markets, and so much more. I’ve been fortunate to work toward improving the food system in the Chicago area for the past six plus years. I ran a farmers market, volunteered at several urban farms, supported local urban agriculture initiatives, and witnessed so many inspiring food and farming projects unfolding. Doing this work reinforced my optimism for building a better food system, and showed me that each of us has a unique role to play. 

After years of working with farmers and local food producers through a small farmers market, I had the opportunity to complete a farming internship at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, Michigan in 2018. Over the course of six months, I experienced the joys and hardships of organic farming. I also learned just enough to know that I have a lot more to learn when it comes to farm work and local agriculture systems. 

To me, these past experiences demonstrated that farming is a way to care for the land and its inhabitants. This is why I’m so excited to work at  Gwenyn Hill Farm in the Organic Vegetable Farm Manager Apprenticeship Program this summer.

I’m looking forward to learning everything I can from the all-star crew, spending more time working outdoors, having access to super-fresh produce, and being closer to my family and my roots in Southeastern Wisconsin. 

I look forward to meeting you at the Brookfield Farmers Market or at CSA pickups, and to hearing your thoughts for  improving our future food system! 

Liz Lyon most recently worked for Plant Chicago as their Small Business and Circular Economy Manager.

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