Sumer Ladd spent the last two years working in school gardens as a part of her FoodCorps service, and was such a rockstar that we had to keep her in Georgia continuing her great work. Sumer is now working full time with FoodCorps in partnership with Georgia Organics, and will manage all of the FoodCorps service members who are doing the ground work to support Farm to School programs.
As with all new staff members, we sent her some tough, investigative questions. This is what we found out:
What was your previous job?
While studying Agricultural Communication at the University of Georgia, I was an intern at UGArden, a student run farm in Athens.
After college, I joined FoodCorps and completed two years of service. I did my first year of service in Habersham County with the Northeast Georgia Farm to School Program and my second year in Atlanta at Captain Planet Foundation. During my service, I taught gardening, farm to school, nutrition, and food justice based lessons to students ranging from PreK-High School.
Who/what inspired you to do the work you are doing for Georgia Organics?
I was raised by a single mother who came to this country in search of the American Dream. However, like many immigrants, she found herself working two to three food service jobs at a time, bringing food to that tables of many while struggling to bring food to her own.
I understand the importance of school food because I relied on free school meals growing up, and for many children, school lunch may be the only real meal they get all day.
I was inspired to work for FoodCorps and Georgia Organics Farm to School efforts because I wanted to advocate for children who are growing up like I did.
ALL of our nation’s children deserve to grow up healthy. This begins by making sure our children have access to healthy foods so that they have the opportunity to make a healthy choice, and teaching them about the importance of taking care of their bodies, the planet, and the people who feed us.
What do you want to accomplish for Georgia’s farmers?
I hope to advocate the importance of supporting our Georgia farmers. Every single person in our food system, whether they tilled the soil, planted the seed, processed the product, or brought it to our table, should live a prosperous life. When the people who feed us thrive, we can all thrive!
If you became a DJ, what would your DJ name be?
Funny you should ask! My friends call me DJ Biceps because at one point in my life, I had pretty impressive biceps. The biceps unfortunately didn’t stick, but the name did.