Planting seeds for change: New Assistant Director of Farm and Food seeks to increase student connection to food

New+Assistant+Director+of+Farm+and+Food+Lisa+Miskelly+brings+extensive+agricultural+experience+to+her+new+role.+Photo+by+Gaby+Tropp+20

New Assistant Director of Farm and Food Lisa Miskelly brings extensive agricultural experience to her new role. Photo by Gaby Tropp ’20

Gabrielle Tropp

Bringing an extensive agricultural background with experience farming vegetables and with dairy, egg and meat farms around the eastern United States, new Assistant Director of Farm and Food Lisa Miskelly is eager to begin her role managing LaFarm and strengthening its relationship with dining services.

Miskelly will work with the two LaFarm EXCEL scholars in the Vegetables and Community program this summer and the LaFarm farmer’s market, which runs on campus in the summer and early fall.

Miskelly hopes to use her position to bring more people to LaFarm, whether for one-time visits from classes, or on a recurrent basis as volunteers. She wants to work with faculty to have “ties-ins with different course work” as well.

In the long term, Miskelly said she hopes to reconnect students with the source of the food they consume.

“My hope and goal is not to turn Lafayette students into farmers but…more to connect students with agriculture in a tangible way, enliven that connection for students,” she said.

Lafayette and LaFarm interested Miskelly because there has recently been a lot of work and change put into the program, and she sees potential for expanding LaFarm activities by extending the growing season using a hoop house, or a greenhouse without a heat source where the plants still grow in the ground.

However, Miskelly wants to make most of her work here about the students.

“It’s up to us as a community to decide where to go…I certainly have my own visions and dreams…but my intention and my hope is to find out what people need from LaFarm…not come in and say this is what we should do, but find out what the student body wants and give support to that programming,” Miskelly said. 

Miskelly said she is also looking forward to finding a creative way to make the growing season overlap more with the school year so students are more easily part of the LaFarm supply chain, even if that is through eating the produce.

“I’m really passionate about food and I’m really passionate about farming,” Miskelly added.