Born in California and raised in Texas, Kristin Woods made her arrival in the southeast US in 1999 after landing a job as Process Development Scientist for Wayne Farms in Georgia, advising how to modify equipment in order to improve yield. Shortly after, in 2003 she began her journey with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System where she currently she works as a Regional Extension Agent, specializing in food safety, food processing, and poultry meat quality. She earned a Bachelors in Poultry Science from Texas A&M, a Masters from the University of Guelph, and a PhD from Auburn. Kristin has been a member of ASAN for four years. We are so grateful for her knowledge, presence, and support.
Why did you choose your career path?
I had an innate desire to work with and care for animals, food animals in particular. I learned to ride horses at an early age and have pretty much been involved in agriculture in some way ever since.
What excites/concerns you most about the current food movement in Alabama?
While there has been progress made with more and more restaurants taking the farm-to-table approach, sourcing local organic ingredients, I want so much more for the food movement in Alabama. My hope is that folks will learn to connect the delicious locally grown food they are consuming to a deeper understanding of the hard work and sacrifice it takes to produce such tasty ingredients.
I would also love to see more progress towards everyday consumers being able to source and eat farm-grown produce at affordable prices.
After almost 30 years working in the agricultural field, what keeps you motivated?
Support is key: education, healthcare, resources to thrive instead of struggle. The produce industry is where I see the most potential for Alabama ag. We have fertile soil, access to quality water sources, people in need of jobs, and people in need of fresh fruits of vegetables – we need to link these things together and develop our industry.
What are your thoughts on the future of ASAN?
I hope ASAN can continue to find ways to help make sustainable ag profitable and strong. I want to see ASAN continue to help develop and strengthen our local food system, creating better access to quality food for the people that live in Alabama, and a decent quality of life for those producing that food.