ASAN is pleased to welcome Laura Núñez to our staff as our new full-time Administrative & Program Assistant.  Laura, originally from Los Angeles, California, completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in international relations and minored in Korean. Laura has lived in many corners of the country before moving here, but after a year in Alabama she has found that living in Birmingham is as close to home as she has felt. After completing 10 months of service with AmeriCorps, conducting vision screenings at daycares and preparing income taxes throughout the state, she has visited over 25 of our 67 counties and is sure this is where she wants to be.

Laura’s experiences in California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New England, as well as her many experiences with field-based education have led her to her interest in community building and sustainable agriculture here in Alabama.  Alabama’s natural wonders, friendly residents, and the opportunity to share stories, debate, and find common ground with people with different opinions, continues to draw Laura in. Laura currently does community organizing work with Greater Birmingham Period, an organization that provides menstrual products to those experiencing houselessness and incarceration through direct service, policy recommendations, and collaboration with local artists.

Laura’s first experience with agriculture occurred when she was 7 years old. Her mother was a seasonal blueberry picker and nursery worker in Central Florida and Laura accompanied her mother in the fields on weekends and in the summertime. In high school, Laura engaged in several agriculture service projects including restoring a root cellar at a homestead in Temple, Maine, and mucking stalls, turning compost, and pulling weeds on a farm in Freeport, Maine and at Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont. In college, Laura was a field intern at a travelling high school that partnered with an Icelandic sheep farm in the Mad River Valley of Vermont and a teaching farm in Burlington, to facilitate learning about local food systems, holistic living, and environmental justice.

Laura was drawn to ASAN’s mission of promoting practices in agriculture that are both sustainable for the environment and to the people and communities who depend on natural resources. Laura is excited about the possibility of learning from and building relationships with local farmers and others throughout ASAN’s network, and she hopes to support farmers and consumers with the skills she has acquired in organizing and education.

Laura can be reached via email at laura@asanonline.org.  Please reach out and introduce yourselves, and welcome her into the ASAN family!