I am a fourth generation family onion farmer. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from SUNY Cortland. During the summers of 1987, 1988 and 1989 I was a radio/video/ instructor at Northwestern University’s prestigious National High School Institute (Cherub) Program (http://www.northwestern.edu/nhsi/) working under the Director (and my mentor and professor in undergraduate school) Prof. Robert Thompson, who is now the Director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. From 1988 till 1990 I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Iowa as well as a graduate instructor in the Rhetoric Department. In 1990 I received my Master of Arts Degree in Communications/Broadcasting with a minor emphasis in Film Studies and proceeded to take a very long leave of absence.
After marrying my wife and best friend Eve (McLamb) in 1990 (who I met in graduate school) and living in her hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin for 3 years, we moved back to my family farm in 1993. After farming part time for 2 seasons (and teaching Public Speaking and Speech Communication Studies at my local Community college) I started farming full-time in 1996.
Starting in 1996 we were hit with a number of weather disasters. These events led to, quite accidentally, my start in volunteer public policy advocacy on behalf of farmers and my being the spokesperson to the media for my community. Over the years I have had, mostly with Eve, numerous accomplishments, achievements and experiences. I’ve also appeared in dozens of media outlets, print and broadcast, local, regional, trade and national, over the past 17 years.
I am married to a loving, kind and intelligent woman named Eve for 22 years and the father of two intelligent and kind sons, Caleb & Jonah. Despite all of the financial difficulties and hardships I have dealt with since resuming my full-time farming career I truly am, in regards to my wonderful family, the luckiest man in the world.