Connecting with the earth has been a longtime passion for Morgan McKnight. Growing up he always had a garden, starting with a strawberry patch as a young child. Later he graduated to helping his mom with her flowers, and by the time he was in high school, he was responsible for his family’s vegetable garden. “My mom definitely instilled a work ethic in me,” Morgan says. “Before I could go out and play, I had to go pull a few weeds!”
Now a graduate student in Communication Studies at San Jose State, Morgan brings that passion with him to his Workday Leader role at Veggielution. He prioritizes explaining to the volunteers on his watch what they’re doing and why the tasks are important. He also makes sure new folks really understand the story of how the farm came to be. “How a couple of college kids turned a school project into all this,” he says, gesturing towards the six acre farm. “It’s empowering. There are so many high school and college kids here and knowing the story means that they know if there’s something that you’re interested in and have pride in, you can do it.”
As a Workday Leader, Morgan also sees an opportunity to be an ambassador for the farm. He is determined that people don’t just volunteer once, but become repeat volunteers and ultimately members of the farm family. Vividly remembering the warm way Veggielution first welcomed him as an intern, Morgan is determined to reinforce that sense of belonging in all the folks he meets on his Saturday stints. “I want people to know they are valued here. It’s as much their community as it’s mine.”
Balancing being a full-time student with a job and his Veggielution volunteer responsibilities is not always easy for Morgan, but he thinks being a Workday Leader has ultimately empowered him - he credits the role with helping him to better manage his bandwidth and increase his confidence to get things done.
Will Chen, Veggielution's Farm Manager, definitely appreciates the effort Morgan puts into his farm responsibilities, saying "Morgan is an awesome workday leader! He is enthusiastic, very willing to help others and encourages volunteers to work hard. He is even leading a team to design our cob oven!"
Morgan remains humble about his contributions. “I just love to be here. Come for the vegetables, stay for the community,” he says with a laugh. Congrats Morgan on being our December Volunteer of the Month!
To find out more about volunteering at Veggielution, visit us at: veggielution.org/volunteer
Our next Workday Leader training will be in late February. Drop a note with your interest to email@example.com to get more information as the event draws near.
Our end of year campaign is happening now! Show your support at veggielution.org/donate