Last November we welcomed Ariel Looser on board as our Membership Services Coordinator. It's about time that we introduce her! During her six months with CNG, she's been welcoming new members, sending out certificates and orders, keeping up with our busy renewal season, and ensuring that the 750+ farmers and beekeepers have up-to-date certifications. We finally took a moment to interview Ariel about her interests in food and farming, and the many factors that brought her to CNG.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up for the most part right here in New York.
Q: How did you become interested in sustainable farming?
A: Pursuing environmental studies as an undergrad, I came to see food--specifically agriculture--as a nexus point for many of the social and environmental questions that I wanted to dig into further. Approaching our food system as a whole, it became clear to me that the key players in improving the food landscape are those working towards bettering it from the ground up: those who are growing our food with care and intention, with the wellbeing of future generations in mind.
Q: What inspired you to become involved with Certified Naturally Grown?
A: I care a lot about small scale agriculture, both at the personal level, and at the broader social scale. I really believe that the farmers who take part in CNG are doing such important work, and at the end of the day, it's satisfying knowing I could help them (even a little bit). Since being here at CNG, I've had some really rewarding conversations with members who can attest that this certification makes a big difference for them, and is accessible in a way that other certifications may not be. That is more than thanks enough!
Q: What are some of your favorite things about working with CNG?
A: As I mentioned, I love getting to talk with those who are doing the real work towards making CNG the grassroots program that it is-- the farmers, apiarists, and mushroom growers alike. Knowing that this certification means something real to them is such a satisfaction, and getting a glimpse into the work of farmers North America-wide makes it even more fun :) And of course, the wonderful team of women running the show here at CNG are who I look forward to working with everyday!
Q: What do you like to do when you're not at CNG?
A: Outside of work, I enjoy running a weekly CSA pickup (Local Roots NYC
) and--no surprise--cooking with this Hudson Valley bounty!