Ellen Gray Gregory grew up in the small town of Lancaster, South Carolina, but spent much of her childhood in the Lowcountry and Western North Carolina. She attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and graduated with a degree in Literary Studies. After graduating Ellen Gray applied to join the United States Peace Corps and was invited to serve as an English Teacher and Teacher Trainer in the Kingdom of Cambodia. While serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer on a small Island in the Gulf of Thailand, Ellen Gray was disturbed by the ecological issues affecting this tiny island community, especially those pertaining to food and water security. Upon her return to the US, Ellen Gray felt compelled to pursue a career in conservation and environmental stewardship. Before accepting the position as Outreach and Education Associate with the Polk County Office of Agricultural Economic Development, Ellen Gray worked on trail maintenance projects on Mount Mitchell and spent several weeks working on a homestead in Vermont. She is looking forward to continuing to learn about sustainable food and local food systems in Polk County!