What is your personal vision for the craft malt community?
When I first applied to join the Board of directors three years ago, I wanted to see the malt community expand and mature, and I hoped to see the continued education of the craft beverage community (brewers to consumers) surrounding the availability, quality, and special characteristics of craft malt. This is still true. However, more than ever, I think it is important that our industry focuses on connecting the craft malt value chain to beer and spirits consumers directly.
Why are you interested in serving on the Guild’s Board of Directors (BOD)?
I am interested in continuing to serve on the Board of Directors because I think that I have an important perspective to bring to the Board. As a farmer and a maltster, I understand the challenges and assets of both of those links in the local grain supply chain. I hope that I can work to find ways for craft malt to continue to strengthen and inspire the whole local/regional food and beverage system in a way that will benefit participants at all levels.
What working groups are you currently involved with?
- Conference & Events
- Member Services
- Governance & Elections
What skills, resources, and connections do you feel you will be able to contribute to the Guild’s Board?
While I only began malting in 2016, I have years of experience working in agriculture and food systems and marketing as a local alternative to larger “commodity” type farms. This experience also included working with a local produce promotion program run by our State Department of Agriculture. Whole grains have not always been a product that consumers have thought of when attempting to purchase more locally grown and sourced produce, I think local promotional programs would be excited to think about expanding the local food web with grains. Finding ways to leverage the Guild’s marketing and promotional efforts with those of other entities interested in the promotion of local products could be beneficial to our membership.
Over the past three years, I have continued to build my own relationships within the malt community and have expanded my malt education. I currently serve on the Conference and Events Working Group and the Member Services Working Group. I also serve as the Board’s Secretary and the Chair of the Governance Working Group. If re-elected, I plan to continue to serve on these groups and hope to help our Guild build on our current efforts.
What other long term volunteer opportunities have you been involved in, including service on other Boards? Please list and describe:
- Cumberland County Board of Agriculture: Recording Secretary, then Vice President (2011-2014), then President (2015 – 2018) The County Agricultural Board is responsible for engaging and informing the local ag community regarding agricultural policy in the County and the State of NJ. This County Board serves as an advisor and co-author of policy for the State Board of Agriculture and the NJ Department of Agriculture.
- NJ Farm Bureau Board of Directors: I have served a few terms on the Board of Directors for the NJ Farm Bureau. NJFB is a grassroots, membership-supported NGO advocating for agriculture in NJ. NJFB represents 12,000 farm families and agribusinesses across the state and in varied ag sectors from fruit and vegetable growers to equine farms. I have served as Director in the past and currently serve as Alternate Director.
- Shiloh Town Council: I am currently serving in my second 3-year term on the town council. Shiloh is a small, rural town in NJ with less than 600 residents.
What do you hope to get out of service on the Guild’s BOD?
I think that the work that the Guild has undertaken over the last few years has been amazingly important to our industry. Our Guild has hosted our own Craft Malt Conference and Advanced Malting Course to further education in our community. We have launched the Malt Cup competition to help build understanding around malt flavor and analysis. We launched the Craft Malt Seal to support our brewer and distiller partners in telling the story of craft malt. I would like to continue to help to build on this amazing momentum. I hope to gain a stronger and more connected craft malt community.
What is one thing that your fellow Guild members should know about you?
I live (with husband Jeff and 2 sons) and work on my farm in NJ where we grow not only grains for malting but also commodity grains and sod. Family and farm are most important in my life.