UGArden is supported by a wonderful group of student volunteers, UGArden Club members, interns, a farm manager, Americorps Volunteers, UGA faculty, Master Gardeners and community members. The continued success and growth of UGArden is the result of the dedication and hard work of these people. The people that make up the UGArden community give freely of their time and energy. Without them, UGArden is just a roadside field.
Ty Brooks, Farm Director (he/him) firstname.lastname@example.org is a Double Dawg with a bachelor’s in Wildlife Biology and master’s in Agricultural and Environmental Education. He is an experienced farmer who is passionate about organic growing practices. Ty loves spending time outside with his wife Anna Belle, their 2 daughters and their chiweenie Luna.
April McCoy, Farm Manager (she/her) email@example.com graduated from UGA with a degree in ecology and a minor in studio art. She is interested in making sustainable agriculture accessible to more diverse communities.
Americorps VISTA Associates
Allie Johnston, Volunteer Coordinator graduated from UGA in 2023 with a degree in Horticulture. She likes working at UGArden because she gets to be a part of something bigger than just growing food. She finds it fulfilling to know that what we grow feeds people across Athens and teaches others about the value of our practices. She also loves tractors! Allie is a huge fan of the Dawgs and enjoys drives out to the Iron Horse statue.
Madison Dickey, Educational Program Coordinator (she/her) graduated from UGA in 2023 with a degree in Finance. She loves how UGArden unites sustainable agriculture, education and service. She finds that UGArden is teaching her to run an organic farm “both in character and in practice.” When she’s not at work, Madison loves getting outside, reading books, cooking and playing cards.
Erin Ideker, Communications Intern (she/her) is a 2nd year Landscape Architecture student. She likes working at UGArden because she gets to be outside every day learning something new. She also loves seeing all the animals that live at UGArden, especially the bunnies! In her free time Erin enjoys printmaking, sketching, and crafts of any kind. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for press inquiries.
Autumn Girardin, Compost Intern (she/her) is a Horticulture and Agribusiness major graduating in 2025. She wanted to work at UGArden because it helped her fall in love with organic farming, and she felt welcomed by the friendly community. Autumn is a loose-leaf tea enthusiast with over 32 varieties in her collection. She drinks a cup every single day!
Is Padilla, Herb Student Worker (They/them) is a freshman majoring in Economics BBA and Social Entrepreneurship for Consumer Well Being with a Certificate in Sustainability. They wanted to be involved with UGArden because they are passionate about social and environmental justice and they love UGArden’s mission to help the community through sustainability initiatives. A fun fact about Is is that té de manzanilla (a Mexican variety of chamomile) saved their life.
HORT 3920 Interns
Allison Gilbert (she/her) is a 4th year Applied Biotechnology major with a Plant Science emphasis. She chose to do the UGArden internship because she loves nature and really wanted an opportunity to work outside. She also saw it as a chance to test herself and do something outside of her comfort zone. She says she has learned so much already! When she’s not at UGArden Allison likes spending time with her white German Shepherd, Bonnie.
Leah Whitmoyer (she/her) is a 4th year Biological Science major. She chose to do the UGArden internship because she likes the connection between organic agriculture and improving local food security. She also had an itch to plant, harvest, and work outside for the bulk of her last semester at UGA and figured interning at UGArden would be the perfect opportunity to do so. In her free time Leah loves to embroider and is learning to sew!
Donald Fowler, Resident Builder (he/him) is from Cordelle, GA. He is a retired contractor. Donald is our resident tiny house finisher, shelf builder and general handy-man.
Dr. Peter Hartel, Mushroom Guru (he/him) is a retired UGA soil microbiology professor who has a passion for organics, especially chickens and mushrooms. He has constructed a very efficient shiitake mushroom growing area at UGArden as a demonstration. Peter teaches classes in mushroom production (shiitake and oyster mushrooms) to students and volunteer.
Bert Richards, Master Composter (he/him)is a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer and helps at the UGA Trial Gardens, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, and UGA Horticulture Farm. He recently completed the Master Composter course and currently oversees composting at UGArden. He retired from Georgia State University as Lecturer in Accounting in 2013.
Rand Young, Compost Manager (he/him) retired from his career as a cartographer/geographer in 2021 and soon after began volunteering at the UGArden. He was hooked right away. “There are a hundred reasons why I keep showing up at the UGArden. These are 3 big ones: First: The staff, faculty and students who I meet and work with there. Their knowledge, energy and the camaraderie are wonderful! Second: They grow tons of organic food and they share it with people in the local community who need it. Third: I always wanted a big, productive garden. Now I get to work in one, and I get to share the experience with others who love gardening too.”
Faculty Advisory Committee