Environmental Studies Student Digs into Sustainable Farming Practices

Commence team in front of their poster.

Madelyn Radel is digging deeper to discover the missing pieces of sustainable agriculture efforts in the United States.

Though the United States is the largest exporter of food in the world, it does not have a sustainable agricultural system and 37 million of its own citizens are victims of hunger.

Perhaps these seem like big issues for a college student to handle, but Madelyn Radel is up to the task.

An environmental studies major with an anthropology minor, Mady recently presented her research on the vital role of women farmers in the area of sustainable agriculture.

A growing group in the U.S., women farmers have key attributes needed for the field, Mady says. “They re-emphasize individual knowledge, practice social organization and community-involvement, and are more willing to adopt sustainable practices. By acknowledging the adaptability of women, something crucial in this ever-changing world, and their propensity to network with one another, it can be concluded that women in America are already suited to empower and be empowered through agriculture.”

And Mady should know – not only does she engage with research in school, but in the field as well – literally and figuratively. Last summer, she gained an internship at Wegmans Organics farm where she learned about organic agriculture and farm operations.

A member of the Honors College, a Presidential Scholar, and a Education and Leadership Fellow for Sustainability, Mady has her hands full with stellar schoolwork and academic achievements. But she knows that sometimes what’s most important is to dig in and get your hands dirty.