Meet Katelyn Repash ‘11, an environmental studies major and the Procurement Manager for Lancaster Farm Fresh! Katelyn got involved on the farm through volunteering for Weed N’ Feed her sophomore year and working on the farm full time over the summer. She fell in love with the long days in the dirt and enjoyed how much the crew was able to learn while working. She continued to work on the farm during the school year and was an apprentice after graduation. During her senior year, Katelyn also worked with Farm Director, Jenn Halpin, and the Dickinson Dining Hall to develop seasonal recipes focused on bringing more farm produce to campus.
After the college farm apprenticeship, Katelyn apprenticed on more sustainable farms and learned as much as she could. She worked making cheese, with heritage breed pastured livestock, pastured dairy, and on another diversified vegetable CSA. Eventually she moved to Philadelphia and worked as an urban farmer at Greensgrow Farms for a few years. Katelyn currently works as the Procurement Manager for Lancaster Farm Fresh, a farmer cooperative of organic growers. She says that it has been a rewarding experience to see the scale of which they can support local farmers while they transition to organic growing and to see how much they can really shift the food system toward local and organic produce.
Katelyn is appreciative of all the knowledge she gained while working at the college farm. She learned so much about teamwork, grit, and remaining a sense of humor which she says has been incredibly valuable throughout her entire post-college career. She also deeply appreciates the strong work ethic that Jenn and Matt and everyone at the college farm helped her to develop during her time there. Katelyn says that she is so grateful she got to work somewhere that fostered such a strong sense of learning while working and credits the college farm with igniting her passion for sustainable food and a sense of direction for her long term career. One of Katelyn’s favorite college farm memories is of the Anything Floats Boat Race at the Children’s Lake. To make their boat, the team used clamps to attach two sheep water troughs and used an oar and a shovel as another oar. They didn’t test the boat beforehand and it took on water as soon as they got in the lake. Katelyn says it was an experiment in trying something new and having a lot of fun despite being less than successful! She also has fond memories of long days spent hand weeding carrots and having conversations with the crew while they worked.