Celebrating 10 Years of the Fellows Program: Caroline Ferguson

Caroline Ferguson
Fellow from July 2016 to June 2018, in Seattle

(Then) Bon Appétit campus attended: Seattle University 

Current job: I work at 21 Acres, an educational nonprofit center in Woodinville, WA. We are a living laboratory that fights climate change through regenerative farming, soil restoration, and sustainable eating. I run 21 Acres’ Farm Market, which supports Washington’s organic farmers, ranchers, and producers as well as provides seasonal, local food to the community.

Skill/wisdom you gained from the Fellowship: I came into the Fellowship with a food writing and baking background. In retrospect, I didn’t actually know that much about food systems or sustainability when I started. Working for Bon Appétit was the best crash course I ever could have hoped for — I had to learn enough that I could teach others, and I had to do it quickly. I’m grateful for the macroscopic understanding of food system issues I gained, and the big-picture perspective I bring to my current work.

Any advice for current food-activist students? In many ways, the Fellowship made me more compassionate. As a young, fired-up college graduate, I was frustrated at the injustices I saw around me and wanted to dismantle everything and start from scratch. (This is a good thing — if you’re not frustrated, you’re not paying attention!) During the Fellowship, I met so many people working within the system who truly care, and who face incredible difficulty and opposition every step of the way. They taught me that It’s much easier to tear something down than it is to build something up. Be a builder, and find other builders to work with.

Read more Fellows 10th Anniversary interviews: