It has been a season of abundance on the farm, and with that has come with an abundance of team growth! We are so excited to introduce you to the newest members of the Blackwood team. Next time you’re out on the Land please be sure to say hello and give them a warm welcome!
Kate Kleiber, Educator
About: I was born and raised in Houston, but didn’t truly appreciate how unique Houston was until I moved away. Growing up, I was an avid reader and loved being outside. Not much has changed since then, other than I don’t have as much time as I would like to read! I went to college at University of South Florida where I got my degree in Environmental Biology and Women’s and Gender Studies. After school I worked as an Educator in the Zoo Department at Busch Gardens. There I learned so much about science education, animals, and conservation. My boyfriend and I moved back to Houston in February and I began working at Blackwood in March. I’ve enjoyed my time at the farm and I am excited for the coming fall, not only for the growing season, but for sharing with kids all the cool things going on and growing at Blackwood.
What does regenerative agriculture mean to you? Healthy people and land. It is a relatively simple answer, but I think it captures the overwhelming effect that regenerative agriculture can have on us and the environment. Before I came to Blackwood, I didn’t think about agriculture and where my food came from all that much. Working here and interacting with other staff has changed my perspective completely. I am excited to know more and make a difference on the farm and beyond. At Blackwood, regenerative farming means practicing and teaching it. The education aspect is most exciting to me.
Favorite quote: “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” — Stephen King
Jason Butterworth, Farmer
About: Jason was born in Spring Branch, TX and at age 5 moved to Waller, TX, where he currently resides. He graduated from Waller High School and became a Waller County Master gardener in 2019. Jason is joining us with years of gardening experience, and will be working on making our production farm grow.
Most interesting job: Being a farmer is by far the most interesting job I’ve ever had.
Favorite quote: “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” – John F. Kennedy quoting Reverend Phillips Brooks
Amy Milliron, Farm Director
About: Amy enjoys the opportunity to connect with nature, learn from its teachings, and then educate others in order to continue to the learning cycle. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in education and a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She has taught all ages from preschool through adult including preschools, public schools, private schools, corporations, and community college. Her family provided many opportunities to connect with the land through hiking, fishing and camping trips. She knew as a young child that she would farm someday and in recent years the farm has become reality. She sought out every training opportunity, mentor, book, and internship she could in order to learn about regenerative agriculture. She volunteered for several years on a regenerative farm before beginning her own. After operating her own educational farm in Dripping Springs, Texas for a few years, Amy joined the team at Blackwood to continue contributing to the regenerative agriculture movement.
What does regenerative agriculture mean to you? Regenerative agriculture isn’t a new concept. It is how people farmed before the Industrial Revolution. We lost our way for a handful of decades, but there is still hope. We can and will return the soil back to its nutrient dense state teaming with billions of microorganisms just as it once held. In turn, the food we grow will provide our communities with the health benefits food once did. I have committed the rest of my living days to this purpose and I enjoy encouraging others to do the same.
Recent great read: I recently read Nature, Culture and the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership by Nina Simons. I then immediately brought it to my women’s leadership networking group as the next book to read, and I purchased and surprise shipped copies to great friends who I knew would enjoy the book. It is one of those books that both validates and encourages women to continue to lean in to what the cycles of nature teach us while also continuing to use our innate gifts to lead well in every area of our lives.