Originally from South Dakota, Brian graduated from Beloit College in 2012 with a degree in sociology. At Beloit, Brian interned with a youth gardening program, researched barriers to participation in a community garden, conducted an urban agriculture feasibility study for a coalition of non-profits, and orchestrated a meeting between local leaders to discuss regional food and job creation opportunities. He also participated in grassroots campaigns, including one to legalize backyard chicken-keeping. Brian has worked on two farms, where he planned and managed intensive gardens, sold produce through a farmers’ market, and worked with cattle.
Field placement: Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
Brian designed an outcome measurement process for a program that installs gardens at households with low incomes and provides free gardening workshops and materials to community members. He developed several outcome measurement tools, which include garden record-keeping forms and a pre/post survey, track changes in gardeners' food security, fruit and vegetable consumption, mental and physical health, self-efficacy, gardening skills, and peer-to-peer education.
Policy placement: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Brian researched the programs, passage and implementation of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in order to educate the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's member organizations about child nutrition policy. He also updated a guide to federal programs that fund sustainable farming practices, consumer food access, natural resources conservation, and economic development for rural and urban communities.