Gillian Welch ’19 prepares butternut squash for winter storage in a greenhouse at COA Beech Hill Farm.Gillian Welch ’19 prepares butternut squash for winter storage in a greenhouse at COA Beech Hill Farm.

Ivy Enoch grew up in western Maine hearing stories from her father, paternal grandfather and great uncles about their family farm back in Oklahoma.

“My dad’s family is all from Oklahoma and for hundreds of years lived on the same farm there,” Enoch said. “I was raised with a love for western Maine and on paternal family stories of the farm in Oklahoma.”

That farm fell out of the family’s hands in the late 1980s when the country was hit with a downturn in the agriculture economy sparked by the United State’s 1980 grain embargo against the former Soviet Union.

“I was the first generation out of four or five [generations] that did not grow up on a farm in Oklahoma,” Enoch said. “After the [grain] embargo was put in place, the farm sort of died a slow death.”

The family stories Enoch heard painted a lifestyle that was tied to the land and planted a seed within her that eventually led Enoch to College of The Atlantic, and its farming and food systems program.

“Food is fundamental to human existence,” Ivy Enoch ’18 says. “It is so important and the policies around it are so important that you really have to study history, ecology, economics, and sometimes even religion to get a grasp on food systems and agricultural practices.”

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