Allegheny Mountain Institute in Highland County Has a New Farm Manager


Allegheny Mountain Institute in Highland County is an educational non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate healthy communities through food and education.  The organization has two farms, Allegheny Farm in Highland County and one at Augusta Health in Fishersville.  Adam Fisher recently became the new Manager at the Allegheny Farm.

“I’ve been a lover of plants my whole life,” says Fisher.  “I grew up on multi-generational land in North Carolina and was engaged in gardening and hunting and food preservation with my grandparents from before I can remember.  So, I’ve always had a love of nature and plants and food and then in 2012 I received an Associate Degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Central Carolina Community College in North Carolina and immediately began farming full-time as a career, doing mixed vegetable production there.  Then I spent a few years there and moved to Floyd and worked for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations in Floyd.”

In Highland, Fisher will have a variety of responsibilities – planting the garden and organizing the Community Supported Agriculture Share Program, where customers buy a share and get fresh vegetables throughout the year.  He will also be overseeing AMI’s participation at the Farmers Market, organizing donations of extra produce to various causes in Highland and he will also work with the students who attend the AMI Fellowship Program to learn hands on about farming, food preservation and more.

“I view food as medicine,” says Fisher.  “What comes into our body can affect us now and down the road and so having healthy, clean food can nourish the body and has the ability to prevent illness down the road, which can help alleviate the pressure on our health care system and reduce the cost of living due to poor nutrition.  So, I think that that is a fundamental reason it’s important.   I think as human beings we should all have a right to healthy, clean food and water, as a human right.  In addition to that, the practicing of organic agriculture helps maintain a clean ecosystem and that ties back into keeping the water clean and it also increases soil health.  Having a healthy ecosystem to produce this nourishing food is really important, more so now than it has been.”

Fisher started at AMI in mid-February and how’s it going so far?

“I love it, I think it’s great,” says Fisher.  “I think that AMI has a wonderful team.   I feel completely supported in all aspects of my position, which is a really good and warm feeling.  I think that the location here in Highland County is incredibly gorgeous and I really enjoy and embrace the rural lifestyle and I think that there is potential for really good community engagement here and I look forward to getting out in the community and meeting people and putting names with faces and making new friendships and building relationships.”

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Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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