Meghan Cole, Talking Rock, GA
Meghan Cole was in her early twenties when she first got her hands in the soil as an apprentice on a small farm in her home state of Missouri. Though she had intended on only staying at the farm for a short apprenticeship, she was there for two full seasons. Her mentor was always quick to remind her that farming isn’t an easy way to earn a living. Twelve years and a degree in sustainable agriculture later, she can’t imagine living any other way. She’s passionate about growing food for her community in Talking Rock, Georgia and loves the freedoms and richness that are provided to her as a farmer. Her farm, Harvest Table Farm, is a mixed vegetable operation nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
But because of her student loan debt, the only way that she has been able to make her way as a farmer is from generous donations from her family, loans from the Farm Bureau and government assistance such as food stamps. Meghan says, “The beginning of the month is something I usually dread for the fact that my student loan payment is due. While I have yet to miss a payment, I hardly ever have extra money to apply to the principle balance. Often times I wonder what it would be like to get ahead, but for as long as I have student loan debt hanging over me, I won’t know that feeling.”
Meghan remains fully committed to her duties as an organic farmer. “I work hard to produce beautiful food and I remain optimistic that one day, my efforts (which I perceive to be a community service) will be valued.”