Montezuma School to Farm Project’s new director will bring 35 years of organic farming experience to the group.
David Glenn, a fifth-generation farmer from Michigan, takes the reins in September. Sarah Syverson will remain interim director until then.
“I have been so impressed by the quality of staff and board members at MSTFP and especially the leadership and inspiration Sarah Syverson has given to MSTFP and the community,” Glenn said in an email.
Glenn and his wife own an 80-acre farm in northern Michigan and previously owned a farm-to-table restaurant, he said.
After an agriculture career through Michigan State University, Glenn worked overseas in Africa, Asia and Europe, he said. Currently, he’s in Kabul, Afghanistan, serving as a consultant for an agriculture project there.
“I look forward to meeting and getting to know the community, validating work currently being done and listening to ideas folks have and discussing new ideas and concepts,” he said.
Long-term funding also will be a priority.
Last year, School to Farm was unable to find reliable funding sources, and the group suffered financial hardship.
Glenn, a self-described “numbers guy,” said he’s confident in his development skills. Past experiences have offered similar challenges, he said.
Syverson said Glenn has a lot of experience grant writing and fundraising, especially with financially strapped groups.
She said the group thoroughly vetted Glenn and that he visited Montezuma County and met the School to Farm staff as part the process.
“We feel really excited about the opportunity to work with him,” she said.
Meanwhile, School to Farm staff will focus on developing leadership skills, Syverson said.
Former School to Farm Americorps staffers Christine Foote, Danyel Mezzanatto and Patrick Alford have stepped up as senior staff members in mid-management roles, Syverson said. The three showed leadership as the organization went through a troubled winter.
“I really admire and enjoy working with them,” she said. “They’re such a strong team.”
Community members also helped the group, and their support made her decision to continue as interim director an easy one, Syverson said.
“The community really wants us to thrive and continue,” she said.