Alumni spotlight: Samantha Wetzel

Samantha Wetzel (BA Political Science ’08/H&S) is now at the helm as the Executive Director of an exciting urban agricultural project in Washington DC called Common Good City Farm. Their mission is to create a vibrant, informed, and well-nourished community through urban farming.

As an undergraduate student at VCU, Sam grew an interest in the intersection of politics and economy. She went on to earn an MSc from the London School of Economics, focusing her studies on food security in local communities. Later career stops included volunteering with the Peace Corps in Honduras and a position with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As she continued her work in food policy, she became increasingly attuned to the reality that “economic development can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Sam has built a solid experience in food policy through education and various positions but has also impressively and personally committed herself to its practices—earning a Master Gardener Certification, a certificate in Community Composting and honing her skills as a gardener, beekeeper and homebrewer. Now, as the Executive Director of Common Good City Farm, she looks forward to taking root as a community influencer through food access, education and hand-on experiences at the urban half-acre LeDroit Park site.

Sam knows the importance of the resource she captains and is eager to grow the farm’s offerings to engage every member of the community while continuing the already-successful farm stand, volunteer program and youth education program. Leading the organization into its second decade, she is dedicating herself to the ideals of biointensive mini-farming that was the topic of her master’s thesis and showing the surrounding community the incredible output that a small urban half-acre plot can yield for its caretakers.

To read more on Common Good City Farm, visit their site.