Apprenticeship Profile: Thomas Smith

We’ll be taking the time to profile each of our full time apprentices in the coming weeks in order to give you a sense of who grows the food that ends up in our CSA boxes and market booths each week. The farm is deeply influenced by the people who live and work here, and we wouldn't be able to offer a complete picture of the farm without introducing each apprentice.

The 2019 season is Thomas Smith's third growing season at ATG! Thomas was born and raised in Weddington, NC, outside of the bursting metropolis of Charlotte. He grew up throwing hay, fencing and hunting on his Grandparents' 100 acre cattle farm in Alabama, so he had plenty of exposure to the agrarian lifestyle before enrolling at ASU. Thomas was originally drawn to ASU because of the mountain setting and the surrounding community, and decided to stay in the area after his time at the University came to a close. He graduated in 2017 with a major in Appropriate Technology and a minor in Sustainable Development, with a focus on Agroecology. Thomas joined the ATG team in June of 2017, and has influenced the farm in countless ways from the beginning.

It's been a joy to watch Thomas's relationship with ATG develop and to witness his growth as a human being. Early on, Thomas utilized the farm's resources to explore the Korean Natural Farming technique, which continues to benefit ATG's soil building efforts. During the 2018 season, Thomas was the farm's go-to livestock expert, maintaining fences, managing pasture health and monitoring animal welfare. In 2019, he has taken on the role of "crew leader" as well as soil point position. He helps prioritize daily tasks and also help teach new apprentices the ways of the farm, while at the same time managing the compost piles and performing most of the tractor work on the farm.

Since coming to ATG, Thomas has developed the skill of seeing the big picture while also keeping a keen eye on all the details and intricacies associated with a diversified farm. He enjoys the teamwork that comes with working on a farm, and he loves watching people "wake up" to all that a farming lifestyle has to offer. His favorite place on the farm is "fireball" hollar because he says it's simply "magical" in the mornings and evenings. It is impossible to imagine the ATG farm organism as it expresses itself today without the influences of Thomas Smith. He's a power-house worker with a tender heart and open spirit, and he will always hold a special place at the farm.