Jacob has been growing food in different capacities over the past 16 years, first finding his love for food in Chicago community gardens. Since then, he has worked alongside communities in California, Wisconsin, and North Carolina growing food and managing farms at a variety of scales.
He is on a continuous quest to share what he has learned with others; with the intention of breaking down stereotypes, bringing people together, and deepening our relationship with the cosmos.
Jay is a Deaf man who was born in a remote village of Nepal. He worked at not-for-profit organizations in Nepal and volunteered to help Deaf/Deaf children and those with disabilities in rural areas in Nepal. Jay worked to help families access traditional farming, raise cattle, and collect fodder. He is also a cycling enthusiast and social worker.
Three years ago, Jay moved to Syracuse, NY, and is currently working as a farm manager at Salt City Harvest Farm and Deaf Advocate at Hopeprint.
In the past few years, the want for more independence and self-sufficiency has led to an increase in urban farming. Through Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP) grant program, New Americans have the opportunity to learn how to farm within the Northeast American climate. Through partnerships with RISE and CCE we conduct classes for New Americans to learn skills such as record keeping, use of farming equipment, and general crop maintenance through the incubator program.
We have now found the best way to integrate Deaf New Americans into the farm (there are around 50 deaf refugees in Syracuse). A Deaf Bhutanese New American, Monu Chhetri, interprets from Nepali sign language—and sign from other countries as well as the informal sign—to American Sign Language (ASL). A hearing interpreter translates from ASL to spoken English. And so the conversation flows through a zig-zag of interpreters.
Now that the Deaf farmers are fully integrated into the rhythms and practices of farm work. Farm Staff interact directly with the Deaf farmers or through Monu or her husband Jay Regmi, who facilitate communication.
Board of directors
Matt Pottieger, President
Duane Groesbeck, Vice president
Fred Mahan, Secretary
Dennis Brady, Treasurer
Want to be a part of our community?
We're looking for additional committee and board members to assist our efforts of growing food, culture, and community.