Center for Environmental Studies

Liz Gleason '08 and Ben Swimm '09 on "Small Farm Economics: Exploring the Financial Viability of Small-Scale Agriculture"

Two recent Williams alumni spoke about their current careers related to the agriculture industry after romanticizing the idea of farming as Williams students.

Liz Gleason ’08 originally dreamed of being a cheese maker after Williams. However, she now works as a program coordinator for the Vermont Farm Viability Program (VFVP).  VFVP helps farmers create and carry out business plans that allow small-scale farmer to continue their business successfully. As a coordinator, Gleason connects farmers and business owners with consultants and those with the technical knowledge to explore the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that a farm may encounter. This includes thinking about the changing climate and also the future and welfare of the farmer.

Ben Swimm ’09 also dabbled with the idea of being a farmer after college. Instead, he is currently working for St. Lawrence University as a Homesteader-in-Residence in the school’s Sustainability Semester program, which allows him to farm but also educate others about farming. The Sustainability Semester is an immersive program for undergraduate students to study sustainability full time through four classes on site at St. Lawrence University. The courses focus on climate change, ecosystems, resource use of fine arts, simple living, and also think about professional development.

Ben Swimm ’09 and Liz Gleason ’08 at Log Lunch on September 20, 2013

Ben Swimm ’09 and Liz Gleason ’08 at Log Lunch on September 20, 2013