My name is Emma Keele and I am the new AmeriCorps member serving with the Penn State Sustainable Food Systems Program and Meals on Wheels until August 2019. I am from south-central Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a degree in Wildlife Biology.

My first job after graduation was serving on a five-month AmeriCorps program with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Idaho Corps. This was a phenomenal experience for me; I worked on trail construction and conservation projects within multiple National Forests in Idaho! Not only did I love the adventure and being outdoors all the time, I fell in love with AmeriCorps as a program, for their commitment to serving in high need areas, the opportunity to meet new people, and the diverse learning opportunities that AmeriCorps offers.

With that, I am very excited to be an AmeriCorps member again! I will be focusing on a variety of projects, such as: providing resources and education about food security assistance, developing intergenerational programs, providing increased access to locally-grown food and other activities with community partners.

I am interested in this work because food security, land use and farming practices all converge in some of the most challenging conservation and ecological issues we face today. Food systems-related endeavors, and especially gardening, have become a major hobby of mine in the last several years. I love fermenting foods, canning and experimenting while cooking. I have always been interested in gardening but never got a chance to contribute to a garden until the past couple of years. I am excited to learn about the process of farming and be a part of so many vibrant community projects with the SFSP here at Penn State!

Emma Keele