Caroline Stephens Joins EVST Faculty
PEAS Farm Lecturer
The Environmental Studies Program is excited to announce that Caroline Stephens has joined our faculty as the PEAS Farm Lecturer. She just finished up her first full season on the farm, successfully leading a great crew of learners. Caroline is a farmer, educator, and researcher. She has been farming since college when she earned a B.A. at Centre College in Kentucky, two miles from her grandparents’ farm. The family farmhouse, which dates back to 1820, sadly now sits on a remnant two acres surrounded by development. While still steeped in a rich heritage, Caroline says her grandmother witnessed the demise of the farm in her lifetime.
Caroline became deeply interested in farming because of the essential way it connects people to the environment. “Producing good food nourishes people…and it’s tangible. That's what I love about farming, and teaching farming to college students,” says Caroline. “How do we nourish ourselves and our communities? How do we build a reciprocal relationship with the natural world? How do we build soil that is resilient to climate change?”
While at UM working on her masters in Environmental Studies, Caroline (MS 2015) focused her graduate work on agriculture, food systems, and creative writing. Her thesis looks at the history and practice of drought adaptation among organic and conventional grain farmers in Central Montana. Since then, she has taught farming to people of all ages, working and managing farms in both Kentucky and Montana.
Besides teaching classes in EVST, Caroline is co-director alongside Dave Victor, another EVST alumnus, at the PEAS Farm (read more). There she works to ensure students have a rich educational experience in addition to the farm work they do. The PEAS farm, a collaborative effort between Garden City Harvest and EVST, grows thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables for the Missoula Food Bank to distribute to low income families. During spring and fall semesters, 20-30 students work and learn on the farm, and in the summer, the farm supports about 15 student interns. When not in the classroom or on the farm, Caroline and her partner manage the Moon-Randolph Homestead, a public, historic homestead owned by the City of Missoula, where they build connections with the community, host events and help people interpret our agricultural past.