The 167th recipient is Annalise Hagen of Straw Pocket Farm @strawpcktfarm in Lansing, NY. Annalise writes, “My name is Annalise (she/her) and, with my mother, I run a farmstead goat creamery, Straw Pocket Farm. Both of us came to farming from wholly inexperienced backgrounds, and it's still difficult to fully shake the imposter syndrome, even after six years of farm work. That said, being able to witness the slow, but very tangible, effects of our efforts on our community and the land around us has been unlike any other work I've undertaken - totally worth it.
It has been a privilege to work alongside my mother while giving birth to this farm, and it's reinforced my own understanding of the importance of intergenerational cooperation: how a farm is, inherently, a collaborative, communal effort. Our farm is still in its toddler years, but I aim to work towards a point where I will be able to share it with, and/or pass it on to, a future young farmer, or collective of young farmers. Dairy farming on any scale is incredibly financially inaccessible and inequitable in this country, and I see it as a duty of ours to make sure that the resources we've cultivated ultimately work against that paradigm.
As a person living with chronic depression, ‘self-care’ for me is being able to ascertain when I'm sliding into that sense of bitter overwhelm that is so unique to running a farm. It's a constantly evolving practice: allowing my brain time to leave the nitty-gritty to-do lists alone, and to instead slowly and quietly appreciate the world that my mind will skim over when I'm overly concerned with efficiency or productivity. I firmly believe that being able to balance both pragmatism and a sense of wonder is the only way I'll be able to keep showing up for the animals, the land, and the people I love.”