UGArden welcomes Ty Brooks as its farm director.
An Athens native, Brooks is a Double Dawg with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology and a master’s degree in agricultural and environmental education. During his time as a graduate student, Brooks also pursued his certificate in organic agriculture, which brought him to UGArden for the first time.
“I ended up interning here. I loved it,” he said. “I loved the people, I loved everything that [UGArden] was doing.”
Brooks lived in Chicago, Illinois, and Boulder, Colorado, after college and explored the agricultural field as an arborist, IPM technician and even seasonal park ranger at Heil Valley Ranch. After returning to Athens, Brooks worked with local flower growers 3 Porch Farm and with Winder nonprofit Wimberly’s Roots. He is also an independent farmer who specializes in winter squash, pumpkins and peaches.
As he takes on his new role at UGArden, Brooks has lots of hopes for the future of the farm. For example, he wants to revitalize UGArden herbs. But first, his focus is on increasing awareness of everything happening on the farm already.
“All the work [UGArden does], I don’t think it’s widely known,” he said. “So, trying to get more people aware of it—that’s probably my main thing to get going here.”
When he’s not launching community gardens or harvesting peaches, Brooks loves spending time with his family. His wife, Anna Belle, is a therapist with a private practice in Oconee County. The pair have two daughters who are 4 and 7.
UGArden is UGA’s student-powered community farm. Its mission is to build a community of students around a sustainable food system. Visit ugarden.uga.edu to learn more.