And with the complexity of the challenges facing us now- from crop disease to lack of secure land tenure, compounded by debt burden and destabilized climate- it is clear to me that the future of Featherstone Farm rests with a team effort. Fortunately, I believe we have a fantastically talented, dedicated group of people working at the farm now, who will collectively carry us forward into our second 20 years in business.
Working with this great group is one of the best- most enjoyable and most satisfying- parts of being the owner and operator of Featherstone Farm. I’d like to take a moment now to introduce a few of these folks, so that you can get to know them a bit yourselves, and understand why the future of the farm is in such good hands!
I’ve thought long and hard about how many of the farm’s 50+ employees to feature here (try and get representatives from the shop and office and field and warehouse equally, or focus on leaders, or some other strategy for narrowing down). In the end, I’ve opted for a straight seniority deal; I’ll introduce the 12 folks that I believe have worked here the longest*, out of respect to the heart and soul they’ve already invested in making Featherstone Farm what it is today.
So here are a dozen+ of the reasons I am confident that Featherstone Farm will reach even greater heights in its second 20 years:
So this is what I talk about as the future of Featherstone Farm… this team of people, represented by these select, short bios. The experience and dedication, the smart decision making, the heart and soul that I see these folks bring with them to the work of organic agriculture… sometimes it takes my breath away. THIS is why I am so optimistic about the future of Featherstone Farm, despite the challenges we face (together).
Many of you reading this may have visited Featherstone Farm and met some of these people, at CSA events or commercial customer field days, or as casual visitors. You are part of the FF community as well, and your engagement and support of all that we do here is equally vital. Without you we would not be able to close this vital circle of farmer> farmworker> consumer; FF would be less sustainable in the long run.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am to the broader community of people that hold and sustain Featherstone Farm day-to-day, year-to-year, in its youthful exuberance (read: idealistic foolishness?) and in its emerging wisdom (still learning…) alike. It is this community that makes me sure in my gut, that the next 20 years will be even stronger, less stressful(!) and more life affirming than ever!
*I’m going by memory here, not employment records. Please excuse me if I get details (even some of the people) out of sequence