Meet our 2016 UFTP Student Farmers!

Ellen Carey: Ellen is excited to be part of the Urban Farm Training program for 2016.  She is passionate about good food, sustainable business and all things outdoors. As an international development consultant focused on impact investing, Ellen has worked all over the world and is now eager to make an impact locally. She and her husband live in Clinton Hill.

Rahmein Hill: When asked by the Rockaway Youth Task Force if he wanted to help bring Growth in his hometown of Far Rockaway, he simply replied… “You guys have a chicken coop?! I get to have my own chicken?!?…” Sadly they replied no, but instead lead him to The Youth Farm. To Guide him on his pursuit to Farm for Rockaway!

Chloe Hirschorn: Chloe is a native New Yorker who is settling back home after years of exploration. She has a masters in Public Health and spent nearly 3 years building health systems in Southern Africa. Somewhere between digging backyard gardens in the Kalahari and picking tangerines in Malawi, she realized her public health passions were food and community. She has spent the past 6 months with Local Roots NYC gaining perspective into the local food movement in New York City. She hopes to gain hands on experience with urban farming and food justice issues through the Urban Farm Training Program.

Sarah Hung: Sarah’s interest in agriculture first developed while growing up in rural Minnesota where she helped to plant and harvest her family’s gardens. Her interest only grew after she moved to Seattle where she met like-minded folks who had a love for organic produce and healthy living. While in Seattle, she also received a certificate in permaculture and did a workshare on a biodynamic farm. Being a recent transplant to New York, she is looking forward to growing food in the city and to educating others about urban ag.

Laura Hurst: Laura Hurst graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH in 2015 with a BA in Environmental Studies and International Studies. She spent last summer as a WWOOF farmhand on small organic farms in Germany. She moved to NYC in the fall and worked in the solar industry but is eager to learn more about the social and ecological aspects of farming and can’t stand working at a desk any longer.

Shannon Lai: As a recent graduate of New York University with a BA in anthropology and studio art, I aim to pursue a future in environmental landscape design with hopes to address pressing issues concerning food justice and sustainability by making agricultural practices visible and accessible throughout urban landscapes. The Urban Farm Training Program experience will provide extensive knowledge and practice that will help me achieve future goals in designing sustainable green built environments.

Tommy Le: As the child of immigrant parents, Tommy learned the value of service and hard work growing up in a working-class and immigrant Los Angeles neighborhood. Before coming to NYC to pursue his masters in Food Studies at NYU, Tommy worked as a non-profit and labor organizer in Oakland, CA. Through his studies and the UFTP, Tommy hopes to become an educator and compelling advocate in the context of food and policy. On his down time, you can try to catch Tommy exploring NYC finding places to hike, eat, and dance!

Kara Li: Kara moved to New York from North Carolina several years ago to work in the commercial art world, specializing in the Chinese art auction market. She’s very excited to join UFTP to explore her interests in sustainable farming and food education. In her spare time, Kara spends her time as an aerial dancer, yoga teacher-in-training, and international travel and food enthusiast.

Falilou Fall Thiam: I’m from Senegal, West Africa. I live in New York with my family. I love eating healthy food and living in a sustainable environment. That is why I joined the Urban Farm Training Program. Looking forward to gaining new experience.

Hi, I’m Emily Pek and I love food. I come from a long line of wonderful home cooks who have instilled in me the importance of family tradition, nutrition and using food to bring people together. My love of cooking and learning about food has taken me on a journey through many food systems. My background in retail has allowed me to learn a tremendous amount about our current food system. It has opened my eyes to the many inequalities among people that are caused by these systems. My passion for food goes beyond enjoyment for myself. I want to leave this world a better place where everyone gets the opportunity to take part in cultivating their own nutritious food. After living in Ohio most of my life, I moved to Crown Heights less than a year ago to pursue opportunities within my passion. I am thrilled to be apart of The Youth Farm to grow and learn more about creating a sustainable food environment and community space.

Mallory Watts: I’m a Michigan native and University of Michigan alum who loves to cook and be outdoors with family and friends. I’m looking forward to meeting a new group of people as we learn more about urban agriculture!

Denise “Sakara” Salaberrios: A Native of New York,  I have always had a passion for the Arts. Having a natural affinity for writing I majored in journalism and communications. I have worked in industrial and commercial media as a coordinator for several years until becoming a healthy eating restaurant entrepreneur. This business helped me to build a large client base. I then began to promote and provided “healthy lifestyle” retreats which turned out to be a huge success. From this fundamental experience I was able to put my communication skills to work, building an even larger, global, network base. I currently accept freelance or seasonal community garden positions, such as with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as I am looking to further build and facilitate the communities connection with healthy lifestyle choices and the importance of  local, community, organic gardens and farmers markets. I also, provide independent community services that includes, brand development and ambassadorship,  urban marketing and promotions as well as, campaign funding for children’s art and garden programs.