Jennifer Dews began her journey in growing food with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Systems. Her focus shifted from dietetics to food security to explore the world of small-scale farming as an opportunity to positively impact our healthcare system through preventative nutrition. She immerses herself in grower-to-consumer relations to improve and support our food system. She has grown up in various environments, from the rural Blue Ridge Mountains to the urban gardens of New Orleans. Being able to produce a farm-to-fork product and support hyper-local agriculture are the qualities of the trade that motivate her to keep learning.
Jen came to the Rocky Mountains in 2020 to serve as an AmeriCorps member for a Gunnison Valley non-profit. She moved up the ladder to becoming their Agriculture Program Manager in just a couple of seasons. After three seasons with the program and with the guidance of her mentor, Matt Ozyp of Iola Valley Farm, she is transitioning into her own vegetable operation at Iola Valley Farm, partnering with sheep and flower producers with the goal of modeling a regenerative operation. She is also a member of the Gunnison Valley Producers’ Guild, which allows her to support and collaborate with her fellow farmers and ranchers in the area. Similarly, Jen applied for the RMFU fellowship to broaden her network and find ways to support, educate, and connect growers and consumers.