Leslie is Associate Director of Farm and Food Systems at Penn State. This role requires her to coordinate the cross-college planning process aimed at creating a sustainable food systems minor and a student-centered experiential learning farm at Penn State. She works with diverse stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni to envision and develop this new initiative. She received her MS in Rural Sociology from Penn State in December 2013. Prior to graduate school, Leslie managed a beginning farmer training program and incubator farm at a non-profit in Lincoln, Nebraska. There, she developed farm production and business curricula for beginning farmers, managed a multi-farmer CSA, oversaw farm site development and maintenance, and grew the program through community partnerships and financial development.
The Penn State Student Farm was established in 2016 and aims to help students learn about where food comes from and give them an opportunity to apply their unique skills and experiences to a farm setting. The Farm is truly a collaborative endeavor; students studying topics from communications, to marketing, to architecture, and more can find exciting ways to contribute to the Farm.