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Antioch College farm manager receives service grant to farm in Ethiopia

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio— May 1, 2013—Antioch College is pleased to announce that Kat Christen, Antioch farm manager, has recently been awarded the All People Be Happy Volunteer Service Award and provided matching funds from individual donors to travel to Ethiopia in May with the Kossoye Development Program.   

Christen will be part of team of Ethiopian educators working with the Kossoye Development Program to promote sustainable, small-­scale gardens and build new demonstration gardens in areas where access to fresh produce is limited and lack of micronutrients has created health problems for many Ethiopian families.

The Kossoye Development Program was started in October of 1963, in partnership with the University of Gondar, to assist the people in Kossoye, the surrounding area, and Ethiopia at large in their efforts to improve health, lifelong learning, and food security.

Launched in 2010, the Volunteer Service Award focuses on enabling bright minds to enact projects in the developing world, use their talents and time to expand the opportunities and understanding of those in impoverished communities. Without the grant, Christen’s trip would not be possible.

To connect the program to the College and prepare for her work in Ethiopia, Christen has designed and implemented a sample 10 x 10-­foot garden on the Antioch Farm with students. The small, sustainable gardens are similar to the ones Christen will be working with in Ethiopia that are normally managed by one small family. The garden has already inspired discussions with students about appropriate technology, sustainable agriculture, and global health issues.    

Christen has a strong background in sustainable food practices. From 2005 to 2009 she worked at Five Rivers Metroparks in Dayton, Ohio, on urban gardens in a program targeted at disadvantaged teens. In 2006, Christen and her husband co-­founded Smaller Footprint Farm, a project dedicated to revitalizing land degraded by traditional agricultural practices using organic methods.

Since 2011,  Christen  has been the farm manager  at Antioch  College,  helping  launch the Antioch  Farm as a learning laboratory  for  students,  a  place  to  practice  and  demonstrate  sustainable  methods,  and  a  large  garden  to  provide healthy, fresh produce to the Antioch community. The Antioch Farm practices a variety of permaculture,  organic, and ecological agricultural methods—teaching students the meaning and purpose behind organic farming. 


About Antioch College   
Antioch College is a small, liberal arts institution located on a historical campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College has an inspiring mission and a proud history of educating leaders and contributors to our society, including Nobel Laureates, Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, notables in arts and culture, the sciences, the public sector, and business. Our innovative baccalaureate program integrates rigorous classroom learning with full-­‐time work and community engagement. Commitments to social justice, sustainability, and global issues are important components of the Antioch College experience. A low student–faculty ratio provides Antioch College students with personal attention from professors who have a strong commitment to teaching. Originally founded in 1850, Antioch College is authorized by the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents to grant the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.


Nicole Wroten
Assistant Director of Communications