Heather provides insights into the dynamics of farming with an institution, including how the CSA program and the farm developed in a vacuum left by previous programming and how the farm became a focal point of the Ignatius Centre’s identity. We discuss how her role has changed through the years from the initiation of the CSA program to its current ten acres of production alongside of 250 acres of additional farm production as part of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre’s larger mission.
We also dig deep into Ignatius Farm’s process for hiring great employees and interns, from advertising and interviewing through the onboarding process and beyond. Heather helped to start the CRAFT program for Southwest Ontario, and she shares the ways that her farm provides a mission-driven internship program that also provides for the needs of the farm.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
[The Catholic community in Guelph] is a big community, and it’s important for us as farmers to be part of that, to be able to speak to it in ways that engage as many people as possible with the land and with the food.
You can only run one year on adrenaline, and after that you have to change your systems.
The biggest skill I’ve built is hiring – knowing how to select people that I want to work with, and knowing when… a decision needs to be adjusted.
An internship is just like a new worker. And a new worker, or a young worker, is the person who is most likely to get injured on the job, and is most likely not to know their rights, and is most likely to not ask all the questions that they need to know to be sure that this is the right job for them.
Heather was involved in the founding of the CRAFT program in Southwest Ontario.