Mihret Haile is committed to being an organic farmer breaking racial barriers. With a deep passion for the collective liberation of all oppressed people, she plans to use her positionality in this world to actively support young people creating sustainable solutions for their communities.
Mihret is eager to take on the challenge of becoming the next generation of farmers and gain the material understanding of farming and food systems through MESA’s Training in Applied Agroecology Program.
Veggies, flowers, herbs, fruit – you name it, Lauren Drabenstott loves to grow it! Over the past five years, she’s not only cultivated crops, but her knowledge of local food systems, environmental justice, plant-based cooking, and regenerative agriculture, too. Though she calls eastern Pennsylvania home, Lauren has worked on organic farms in New York, New Hampshire, and Maine, after discovering her love of food and farming while studying at NYU.
She spent 2022 WWOOFing her way across western Europe, and is now back in the U.S. and WWOOFing through the end of summer, when she’s slated to begin a graduate program in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development at University College Dublin. She’s thrilled to be part of the 2023 Future Farmer cohort!
Alesia Hill lives by the motto, “Work for the land, not the man.” She is a veteran of the US military and has a Bachelor’s degree in dietetics and nutrition. Both of these backgrounds have led her to pursue a life in gardening, sustainability, spreading food education, and working together with others to complete goals more effectively.
Farming allows Alesia to appreciate and better understand the science and relationships plants and humans have. She is passionate about community gardening and educating children (and older people) about the truth of nutrition and growing their own food. Her goal is to teach easy, sustainable, healthy, and fun techniques to get people back into nature and comfortable helping one another grow their own products.
Kia Lyons is a chef and has been in the kitchen for 20+ years. About 12 years ago, she started working in farm to table establishments and realized her calling shortly thereafter. It’s been Kia’s dream to farm full-time and on a larger scale, which she has been actively pursuing for the last 5 years.
Kia truly believes we as people need sustainability in food, water, shelter, and love to thrive as a planet. For her, farming brings passion and purpose together. For that reason, she couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to be receiving support on this incredible journey.
Tiara Lloyd is a New York-based organic gardener. Although she was born and raised in the city, she is a free spirited, adventurous soul, who truly enjoys nature, gardening, animals, cooking and connecting with others. Tiara is very passionate about learning new ways to expand her knowledge in gardening and farming to better educate herself and others to take better care of the planet.
Tiara experienced her first growing season in the summer of 2022 and instantly felt a connection and calling to the earth and gardening. Not only did she learn so much about gardening but also how to fully appreciate seasonal offerings. This experience opened her eyes to becoming more eco-conscious in regards to her lifestyle, relationship with food, community and nature.
Marzen Abala’s goals in farming are to understand their ancestral relationship with the Earth and to share this knowledge with their community through garden education.
Their interest areas include: Composting, Queer Ecologies, Polycultures, Cooking, & Rollerskating!