Each month we will ask a new eco-maven 18 questions about his or her life, occupation and advice for other like-minded people. This month we were able to sit down at the Natural Products Expo East with Glenda Yoder, Associate Director at Farm Aid. Her part in this dynamic, forward-thinking community, is leaving an impact on farmers–and consumers–across the country.
2. What is your occupation?
Associate Director at Farm Aid, (sometimes the “Marketing Director”). I work on promoting food from family farms.
3. Do you have a “green” memory growing up?
I grew up on a farm where we raised or grew almost everything that we ate. We had a garden, cattle, chickens, and one milk cow—so I ate all those foods directly from the farm. I’m very thankful I have a strong and healthy body, and I credit the delicious food I ate as a child.
4. What’s your favorite meal?
My favorite meals have been with a farmer at the table who grew what we’re eating! It’s such an element of pride for them and exciting for us to share the food with the farmer. Add some witty conversation, and then we say–This is the best meal in (wherever we are) tonight!
5. Who/What inspires you to be more “green” in your life?
At Farm Aid I’m surrounded by amazing individuals and a real team-oriented staff. Carolyn Mugar, the director of Farm Aid has been there from the beginning. I’ve learned so much from her. I am inspired by farmers who persevere no matter what. And then there are artists who make music that opens up the world and pries open hearts and minds.
6. Where on the “green scale” do you fall?
Better on food and farming than in transportation, let’s say.
7. What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your job?
Farm Aid is often ahead of the curve, and sometimes it’s challenging to be part of the wake up call, but also terrific to be able to be surrounded by fearless pioneers and forward thinking people.
8. Where’s your “greenspot”: food, body care/beauty, oceans, home or neighborhood, explain
I really like food and home. Some of the rituals of my childhood I still do, like cutting off corn on the cob and putting in the freezer so I can have the taste of fresh corn in the winter. Also I pick pounds and pounds of lovely organic strawberries in Vermont, make jam, and freeze berries for winter. It’s fun to have the tastes of summer during the Boston winters.
9. Where do you turn for your news?
I read blogs, the Boston Globe, The New Yorker. And we’re lucky to have a listserve called COMFOOD, from Tufts University, that’s resource for people working on food and farm issues.
10. What is one environmental change you vow to make in the next year?
Being outdoors more, walking.
11. If you could trade places with one person from any time in history (past or present) for one day—who would it be and why?
Even though I’ve been lucky to be around some extraordinary and famous people, I know people can have fulfilling lives as individuals nestled in community. I aspire to be an integral part of a community rather than a heroic individual. I would rather participate as part of a group effort and share the success that comes with the effort. How’s that for a non-answer!?
12. You have a meeting with the leader of every country in the world. You have 30 seconds to tell them anything you want. Go!
Use your power for good.
13. You have the chance to send one tweet to all the tweeps in the world. Let’s hear it in 140 characters, or less!
Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.
14. If there is one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?
Transportation is a really important issue. It’s very important to get around! I’m a traveler, so I wonder how can we find more creative ways to travel.
15. Where in the world would you most like to be right now?
Ecuador. I always love being there.
16. What is the best book you have read recently?
I read The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes, because he was born in Kansas, which is where our last Farm Aid concert was. I was trying to know Kansas.
17. What makes you cringe?
Seeing children drinking sodas.
18. What do you want your legacy to be?
To be a trustworthy member of a community that lives well and happily and changes the world.