Alumni Spotlight: Lizzie Wilford ’16
Lizzie Wilford graduated from Dickinson College in 2016 with a Studio Arts degree. As a student, she was excited about the College Farm. She became friends with a lot of student farmers and was a loyal supporter, attending every Pizza on the Plaza and other Farm-sponsored events on campus. Following graduation, Lizzie got the chance to further involve herself in farm happenings as the Education and Outreach Coordinator. She was looking forward to the balance between outdoor and indoor work that the position offered and found herself happiest when she was outside, helping on the farm, getting her hands dirty, and playing with the animals.
She says her path since graduating Dickinson has been anything but straight and narrow. Following her EOC days, Lizzie joined fellow DCF alum Megan Moody in the Adirondack Mountains – at Craigardan, an artist residency program that also boasts a small farm on their property. Her work week was split between farm and property chores and personal art projects. As a former TA in the Dickinson clay studio, she was excited to get to work with ceramics again. During this time, Lizzie also started working for another local farm, running their farmer’s market once a week. At the end of her residency, Lizzie continued working full-time for the local farm, attending five markets a week and handling wholesale deliveries through October 2018. She was happy to stay in the idyllic Adirondacks and got to bring her golden retriever along for the ride.
Lizzie then transitioned into construction with friends from Craigardan, and later into maple operations, working with a local farmer whom she connected with through the farmer’s market circuit. As their manager, she oversaw the sugar bush made up of over 1,500 sugar maple trees. When there was a leak or gap in the tubing system (this could happen due to a number of reasons – one being a pesky fisher cat, which she recommends looking up if you’ve never seen one before), she was responsible for locating the problem area. Her golden retriever sidekick never failed to support her endeavors and loved any opportunity to come play in the snow with her. Another perk of this job was helping out in the actual syrup-making!
She’s dove into flower farming and gave jobs as a barista and HVAC technician a shot. She’s even worked for herself as a personal landscaper. Before moving back to Maryland where she’s originally from, Lizzie returned to Craigardan as a special projects manager, helping them with various building projects on their newly acquired property.
In Maryland, Lizzie spent 10 months working at a native plant nursery and small farm before getting hired as a Middle School Art Teacher in a neighboring county. She’s very happy in this current position and looks forward to one day pursuing a graduate degree in Education. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her bike, being on the water, creating art, and playing with her two cats, Pickle and Porkchop.
When asked to share her favourite Dickinson College Farm memory, she says, “During senior week of my senior year we had a concert at the College Farm and it was one of my favorite bands at the time (Parsonsfield). I was surrounded by my friends and classmates with good food, good beer and good music and we were sitting on the framing of the timber-framed barn. I was sitting with one of my classmates who had been a student farmer but was moving away after graduation and he just looked at me and said, “you are so very lucky to be spending the next year here,” and man was he right. I’ll forever be grateful for my time with the College Farm and I always look forward to returning and visiting.”
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