Each month we recognize an AmeriCorps member serving in Utah for going above and beyond the pledge they took to “Get Things Done.” This month we are proud to recognize Sam Fitch who is serving as the Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) Urban Community Farm (UCF) Farm Manager in Logan, UT.
Sam graduated from Utah State University (USU) in May 2020 with a BS in Plant Science and a double minor in Biology and Sustainable Systems. She has dedicated much of her time the last couple years serving as an AmeriCorps member with UCC through the USU Student Sustainability Office where she hosted and led events that sparked student interest in sustainability. This included (but was certainly not limited to) planning and execution of USU’s Earth Week, serving at the USU Student Organic Farm and Farmers Market, and overseeing operations at True Blue Reuse, a USU campus thrift store. In her current AmeriCorps position at the UCF, Sam oversees farm operations, planting, harvesting, installation of new fencing, construction of raised beds and high tunnels, and so much more!
The future is looking bright for Sam as she dreams of continued involvement with the local food movement and food security. Food sovereignty and community accessibility to good food are the focal points of her post-AmeriCorps career. More than anything, she wants to continue to be the boots on the ground, strengthening local communities through food.
We’d like to thank Sam for taking time to answer a few questions about her AmeriCorps service:
Why did you choose to serve as an AmeriCorps member?
I chose to be an AmeriCorps member because it was meaningful, community-based service. I saw it as an experience that differs immensely from the average 9-5 “normal” job. This AmeriCorps position requires a lot of self-motivation and self-governance, and I thrive in that kind of environment. I get to make things happen and it feels so meaningful!
What has been your biggest challenge?
Working at the UCF has been a huge challenge because I have never overseen a project this big. The farm was in dire need of upgrades and I have really taken that challenge as an opportunity to go all out. The farm has been growing and taking shape through my service and that of our volunteers, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the progress that has resulted from everyone’s hard work and dedication.
What has been your biggest motivation?
It’s easy to be motivated when you’re growing food. You get to see (literally) the fruits of your labor, and the progress is tangible. In my time at the UCF, I have also realized that the farm still has an immense amount of potential, which means that it will have an even bigger impact in the community in the years to come. That long term vision definitely makes it all worth it!
How has your AmeriCorps service helped you prepare for your career?
Trial by fire. I was entering into this position at a time when planning desperately needed to happen for the 2020 growing season. Many things around the farm were in disrepair and in need of serious attention. I hit the ground running and have developed personally and professionally in a position of leadership. I have learned to handle problem solving and quick decision making. I have to make sure that every day is planned and that volunteers are trained and have organized projects to complete. Every day of service has included some component of professional development.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining AmeriCorps?
There are AmeriCorps opportunities in seemingly every imaginable field and the positions are unique and wide-spread across the nation. Service provides members with a chance to explore, learn, grow, and find their passion. The service is meaningful and you meet so many other like-minded individuals focused on involvement, community, and service. Joining AmeriCorps is absolutely worth it!
We extend our congratulations to Sam for being recognized as the AmeriCorps Member of the Month and thank her for her dedicated service to Utah communities and lands.
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is your moment to take the path less traveled, to break the status quo, to stop talking about the problem and be the solution. Join AmeriCorps and you can mentor and tutor kids, rebuild a community after disaster, help veterans, or work with local communities to alleviate poverty. There are thousands of opportunities to choose from, find the one that fits you.