What is Community-Grown?

Community-grown means raised with the intention of sustaining a community’s health, economy, and resources. Here at TRACTOR Food & Farms, that’s exactly what we source. We’re building a network of farmers, growers and producers who aren’t only skilled craftspeople, but want to feed their communities wholly and responsibly. We then help distribute that food in the same way, by establishing diverse markets designed to reach everyone in the place where that food was grown.

Food insecurity can embody a wide array of circumstances. It could be a retired grandmother who finds herself homebound after a surgery, a toddler out of daycare, a hardworking nurse who has just been laid off, a lawyer who has just incurred some unexpected medical bills, or, strangely enough, a farmer who works long hours in a remote community. Anyone who lacks access to the nutritious, fresh foods grown in their community, for whatever reason, is food insecure. You might not realize it, but you probably know someone who is. And what’s even more likely is that you care for them in some way already.

Anecdotally, an abundance of fresh food is something of the past in Appalachia. It’s a relic of people who were food rich and cash poor, when a family may not have had a bank account but were of critical value to their community as vegetable growers, fruit orchardists, raisers of grain, pork, poultry, and beef. When the value of a craft is extracted, it becomes a novelty. Truly fresh food is now, in a lot of cases, just an inconvenience and a great expense to many Appalachian people scrambling to make ends meet. Other major inconveniences and expenses soon follow, like compounding health issues and the exploitation of rural communities and their resources.

At TRACTOR, we prioritize environmentally, economically and socially non-extractive techniques for growing, procuring and distributing food. Our standard is to serve the same quality product to everyone, whether they are paying customers, a food pantry client, someone experiencing a diet-related illness, and so on. Our standard is to value people, health and happiness, not the dollar. 

You deserve to eat the food that’s grown here. TRACTOR is here to make sure that happens.

 

Take a look at our 2021 Annual Report

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Meet the Team

Becca Smith, Office Administrator (she/her)

Becca grew up in Weaverville, North Carolina. She has been interested in local foods and agriculture since high school. She attended Appalachian State University where she earned a B.S. in Sustainable Development, focusing in Sustainable Agriculture. Becca loves meeting and working with the farmers at TRACTOR. She believes that they are hard working individuals and wants to help them any way she can. That is what she believes is the most rewarding part of working at TRACTOR.

Dru Zucchino, Executive Director (he/him)

Hailing from the Old North State, Dru is the Executive Director of TRACTOR Food and Farms. He has over a decade of experience in North Carolina agriculture, ranging from conventional blueberry production in Pender County to biodynamic fruit orchards in Mitchell County. He holds a BA in English Literature and a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He lives in Mitchell County, where he, his wife, Jessica and daughter, Reveille keep busy reclaiming a 17 acre farm.

Andrew Snavely, Community Programs Manager (he/him & they/them)

Andrew grew up in Spruce Pine, NC loving the mountains and the rich foods grown here. They hold a BA in Psychology and Fine Crafts from The Evergreen State College. Andrew began volunteering with DigIn Community Gardens in 2020 and saw the importance of building Western NC’s agricultural infrastructure for greater resiliency in this region. He is grateful to work with TRACTOR staff and many community partners who are passionate about growing thriving food systems.

Michael Graf, Associate Director (he/him)

Michael joined TRACTOR in September of 2017.  What drew Michael to TRACTOR was the work that TRACTOR does to help local farmers connect to markets, and build healthier communities through connections to local food.  His favorite fruits and vegetables are the ones that he either watched grow or knows who grew them.

Sierra Bryant, Agricultural Programs Manager 

Sierra grew up in Bakersville, North Carolina. Her passion for agriculture began in high school through the FFA and spending her summers working on her uncle’s farm. She continues that passion by assisting on her husband’s 7th generation family farm. Sierra believes in commemorating Appalachian history through agriculture. She looks forward to agricultural growth within our community.

Our Board

Casara Logan, Board Chair

Sara Runkel, Vice Chair

George Moffitt, Member at Large

Jim Smith, Member at Large

David Smiley, Member at Large

Annette Brock, Member at Large

John Silver, Member at Large

 

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