The White House recognized UConn Extension educator Jiff Martin as a Champion of Change for Sustainable and Climate Smart Agriculture in October. The program features individuals who are doing extraordinary things to inspire and empower members of their communities, Martin was one of 12 individuals from across the country selected for this honor.
Jiff reflected on her role in sustainable and climate smart agriculture:
“When I came to Connecticut 13 years ago, I advocated on behalf of environmental leaders and farmers in Connecticut whose common cause was the preservation of working farmland. This coalition, Working Lands Alliance, taught me the vital link between our quality of life and the land that sustains us.
Now I work with Cooperative Extension, connecting people to the farmland, farmers and flavors of local food. I am just one of so many champions for change in our food system. Through our new farmer trainings, I have met bright, new farmers that are driven to feed their communities while sharing the realities of small-scale farming. I respect our partner organizations that use innovative food projects to improve their communities’ health and equity. And I am full of hope, thanks to the young emerging leaders that I meet through our AmeriCorps programs, FoodCorps CT, and Connecticut Food Justice VISTA Project.
In New England we have the capacity to produce and consume more of our own food through locally owned farming, fishing, and food enterprises. I see hundreds of endeavors across the region, from school gardens to incubator farms to food hubs to mobile markets. Without a doubt, our food system transformation is well underway.”
Jiff Martin is an Associate Extension Educator in Sustainable Food Systems, at University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.