By S’ra DeSantis
We talked to Chris Waters, a student in the UVM Farmer Training Program, about his lifelong dream to be a farmer and his plans to apply all he’s learned about sustainable agriculture back home in Colorado.
Where are you from?
I live and play in Fort Collins, Colorado, a town with a very similar vibe to Burlington. We like beer, bikes, and bluegrass.
What is your favorite vegetable?
Definitely asparagus because it’s the first veggie I look forward to in spring and it gets me excited about the upcoming bounty of summer.
Why are you in the UVM Farmer Training Program?
My passion for beautifully grown food started a little late in life and was seeded while working on the retail side of the business. While visiting farms that we sourced from and interacting with their producers, I quickly began to fall in love with the idea of getting my hands in the dirt and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.
I also had a faint memory of being a young child and telling my family that I was going to be a farmer when I grew up. I knew something as a little tot that somehow fell to the wayside and had to be reignited. Now that I am an adult, it is once again my dream to farm and to do so in a sustainable way.
For me, the Farmer Training Program is the stepping stone for the next chapter in my life. The knowledge of our instructors and other mentors, the breadth of material covered, and the experiential learning environment at the Horticulture Farm has exceeded my expectations.
Vermont is a leader in sustainable agriculture, and my plan is to bring back the skills and knowledge gained in the Farmer Training Program to Colorado to make the community a healthier and happier place.
-S’ra DeSantis, MS is co-director of the UVM Farmer Training Program.