Allegheny Mountain Institute Open House

“My name is Jamie Rudd and I am the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Allegheny Mountain Institute. This summer I’m also serving as the Interim Fellowship Coordinator while our Fellowship Director is out on maternity leave.”

Ms. Rudd filled us in on the details about AMI.

“So AMI is a nonprofit that was founded in 2011, by Laurie Berman. Our mission is to cultivate healthy communities through food and education. And we do that in large part through our 18 month fellowship program. AMI was founded in 2011, so we welcomed our 11th cohort this year.”

“So, the first six months always take place up here in Highland County at our Allegheny Farm. In those first six months, fellows really have an experiential learning opportunity to, you know, dig into farming, help run our farm and also learn about a variety of food system issues. Following their farm and food study. fellows go on to share their learning during a community action year. During that year, they’re paired with local nonprofits and partners, and help support their food system initiatives.”

She talked more about the fellows’ experience on the mountain.

“So the fellows come each year, there’s usually between 8 and 10 that come from around the country. They come in mid-May and stay through the end of October. While they’re on our mountain farm, they’re working on our farm, so growing food sustainably, learning a variety of different growing practices. They also are learning about different food system issues and have workshops with local facilitators, so they’re doing a deeper dive into things like herbalism and beekeeping, mushroom, cultivation – those sorts of things.”

“And then they’re also spending a lot of time cooking the food that they’re growing. So they’re expanding their cooking skills too, and learning to eat seasonally and healthily.”

If you would like to see the fellows’ experiences first-hand, an opportunity to do so is coming up.

“So our annual Open House is coming up on August 20th. – so that will be from 1:00 to 5:00 pm up on our farm. At the Open House, you’ll have opportunities to tour the farm, meet our fellows, as well as staff and Board members, hear about the fellowship experience, and also learn more about our partners throughout the region. And of course, taste some of our food.”

“It’s a free event, you don’t need to register ahead of time, you kind of just can show up. There’s more information though, on our website and – directions to the farm, more specifics about what to expect, those sorts of things.”

She concluded.

“If you want to learn more about AMI, visit our website or follow us on our social media.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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