Duke Campus Farm Catalyzing positive change in the food system


 Duke Campus Farm Program Staff


Saskia Cornes
Farm and Program Manager, Assistant Professor of the Practice at the Duke Franklin Humanities Institute

Dr. Saskia Cornes took the helm at the Duke Campus Farm in June of 2014. She received her formal farm training on the  30-acre farm at UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (known as the Farm & Garden), where she started as an apprentice and ended as an instructor. But most of her farming knowledge comes from farming alongside others – mainly with small-scale organic growers, but also with college students, chefs, and at-risk youth, including stints at the Stone Barns Center for Food and AgricultureAdded Value/Red Hook Community Farm, and smallholdings in India, Scotland and Spain. She has been working in and around the campus farm movement for five years, designing experiential curricula in critical food studies for Columbia University, the University of San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz and Hostos Commmunity College. Saskia recently completed a doctoral dissertation in English literature, on the culture of agriculture, at Columbia University, where she was a Mellon INCITE Fellow. When she’s not out in the field, she’s bringing the field to campus, working with departments and programs across Duke to rethink our relationship to food and to the land and people that grow it.

Emily McGinty, Emily_Garlic
Asst. Program Manager

Emily supports DCF’s food production and educational programming by building connections across student, faculty and community spheres. She has been with the farm since its inception in 2010 and enjoys connecting with other campus farms to strengthen the broader movement toward developing interdisciplinary, experiential food systems spaces. When Emily isn’t busy working alongside the student farm crew or scheming DCF’s next co-curricular program, she’s probably chatting with a neighbor.



Lucas Howerter
Production Manager

Born in the corn country of Nebraska, Lucas spent most of his younger years living on the coast of Savannah, GA. During college at Furman University while studying Earth and Environmental Science and working with the student farm-garden project, he became increasingly interested in growing food. In 2011, Luke headed out west to work with Ecology Action, a nonprofit focused on teaching people how to grow food using simple, sustainable methods. He then spent the next 5 years working with Ecology Action, co-managing a small market garden at an elementary school, and working on a few different organic production farms throughout northern California.

Now back in the southeast, Luke is excited to have summer rain and thunderstorms again, ready to take on the challenges of growing food in a more challenging climate, and looks forward to working with students and getting their hands in the soil and reconnected with the food they eat.

As the Production Manager, Lucas is the primary contact for any inquiries on produce availability.


Duke Campus Farm Student Crew

Alex Bressler is a member of the class of 2018 and has a very dubious academic plan, but he does hope to complete a Program 2 in sustainable agriculture. He holds a leadership position on Duke’s Food for Thought club, where members enjoy thinking just as much as they enjoy eating (and creating sustainable food change on campus). During summer 2016, Alex won a Benenson Award for the Arts and spent time visiting and working on multiple farms before completing a stained glass project about queer farmers.


Charlie Cooper is a senior Computer Science major who spent summer 2016 as the farm’s sole student intern and has continued on as part of the 2016-2017 school year crew.

Becky Dalton is a second year graduate student in the University Program in Ecology. She’s working with DCF after spending most of her time in undergraduate working with strawberries in a laboratory setting. DCF has allowed her to work with fruits and vegetables of all kinds in a brand new setting.


Pauline Grieb is a sophomore and prospective Environmental Science and Public Policy major. After visiting an organic farm near Agadir, Morocco and a breathtaking permaculture farm in Le Bec Hellouin, amidst the linen fields of Normandy, France, this summer, she came back ready to actually plunge her fingers into the soil. Since she wants to transform cities around the world through urban farming, she believes that being on the farm crew is a way of already being part of a growing movement to grow food but also nurture our soils.

Kai Yu Lee is a Pratt senior double majoring in ECE and Economics from Singapore. An avid nature lover as a kid, he lost his way somewhat in middle/high school, but has rediscovered this passion at Duke. Stints at the Smart Home, Marine Lab and with various WWOOF farms led him to make the jump from casual workday volunteer to being part of the campus farm crew. He greatly appreciates the opportunity to be in touch with and learn about the Earth we live in.

Caroline Maretz is a sophomore undergraduate in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Elizabeth Rublev is a first-year Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Nicholas School of the Environment.

Sara Snyder is a junior Environmental Science and Policy major from eastern North Carolina. She worked as student intern on the 2015-2016 summer farm crew and has stayed on as part of DCF’s school year team.




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