Introducing…

… this year’s AmeriCorps Service Members!  Amy and Alex will be serving at the Polk County Office of Agricultural Economic Development for the next year and will work to preserve farmland, support beginning and experienced farmers, and strengthen ties between farmers and consumers in the county.

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Amy DeCamp – Farm & Consumer Outreach Specialist

Amy grew up in a small beach town on Long Island, NY where she was taught to swim in the frigid waters of the Long Island Sound alongside prehistoric horseshoe crabs and gelatinous jellyfish. She was also lucky to have spent her childhood camping in the Catskill Mountains – floating down the Delaware River and singing songs while bald American eagles soared overhead. She developed a deep respect for the natural world at a young age as a result of these experiences. Amy went on to attend the University at Albany, State University of New York, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. From there, she spent several years working as an executive recruiter in New York. While recruiting provided Amy with valuable skills and experience, she ultimately realized that she wanted to transition her career to focus on environmental conservation and advocacy. Most recently, Amy has worked on small-scale organic farms throughout the South and in Western North Carolina to promote sustainable agricultural practices and to support local food systems. She is excited to be serving as Farm and Consumer Outreach Specialist this year!

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Alex Kazer – Conservation Education & Outreach Coordinator

Alex hails from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in International Affairs and Arabic, he spent two years researching and working on refugee issues in Jordan and another year teaching at the American University of Iraq –Sulaimani. Seeking a change of scenery, he left the Middle East to explore the hidden corners of Europe. During his wanderings, he discovered a passion for farming while working on a goat dairy in Sweden. Alex spent the next three years in Washington state learning to farm and gaining a deep appreciation for responsible land stewardship. He is excited to work with the farmers of Polk County to help preserve the agrarian traditions of the area and to bring more young farmers on to the land.