Center for Regional Food Systems
MSU Student Organic Farm - Educational Programs Manager
Katie grew up on 80 acres of woods and wetlands in SW Michigan and soon recognized a real need for forests and fields when she moved to Ann Arbor for college. This led her to work at organic farms in Tennessee, southern Michigan, Lansing, Grant and Jenison and to co-found Groundswell Community Farm with Anna Hoekstra in 2006. The farm grew from 2 farmers tilling bare land with hand tools into a viable business employing 10 farmworkers and 3 tractors to grow some serious quantities of vegetables. During that time, she also attended GVSU where she completed her MS in Biology and designed an on-farm research project.
After much thought and introspection in 2016, Katie and her husband Tom Cary listed the farm for sale, to pursue opportunities in farm education and advocacy. Teaching at the MSU Organic Farmer Training Program allows Katie to expand on the farmworker trainings she developed at Groundswell. She especially enjoys working alongside aspiring farmers to translate their skills and vision into attainable goals for real, working farms and agricultural endeavors.