When it comes to the division of labor on the farm, you’re most likely to find me with the petals or pigs. Or newborn anything.
Hard to believe that after a career that spans trading Eurobonds in London to creating public relations campaigns in New York, I am most challenged and engaged by our organic farm here in Austin. Sustainable farming, I’ve been delighted to discover, is surprisingly complicated and rarely dull. One of the most frequent questions I hear is how did I go from working on Park Ave to raising Pigs? This essay gives you a little background on how it all began five years ago.
But the deeper question of “how do you stay motivated?” is simple and goes back ten years to when I joined the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Hired to direct national communications for public health experts creating cancer control initiatives, I was fortunate to work with exceptionally committed and intelligent people. My job was to take their science and make it widely understood. What stuck was this:
Two-thirds of cancer can be prevented.
That hit me like a thunderbolt. You mean people don’t have to suffer this miserable disease? Why wasn’t someone shouting this from the rooftops? I was stunned to learn that such simple lifestyle choices — eating, exercising, smoking — could be so powerful.
On the farm, we put this knowledge into practice. We open the door for citizens who want to take control of their health — and environment and community. This is deeply humbling and rewarding work. Thanks for the opportunity.