Intern Interview!: Amy Verhey

Hi readers! It’s been a busy week here in Boston, and I’m excited to soon share a lot of what I’ve been up to as my role as Food Warrior really starts to get going! For a sneak peak of the amazing Taza chocolate factory I got to visit last week, take a look at the pictures on fellow Food Warrior Diana’s blog – we teamed up for the visit! Another fellow Food Warrior I had the pleasure of talking to last week is Amy Verhey, who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. It was so exciting to get to learn about a fellow intern who is doing similar work but in a different area of the country!

Amy eating a mango outside Mai’s palace in Beijing, China last summer. “Their mangos are sold everywhere and some of the best I have ever had in my life. I still drool over that picture!!”

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Amy moved to Sheboygan, Wisconsin by the time she was in middle school. “I loved living in the San Fransisco area and frequently return for visits, but living in Wisconsin helped me go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which I love!” Amy will be entering her fifth and final year there in the fall, where she’s been majoring in Communication Arts and Journalism, focusing specifically on Rhetoric and Strategy Communications. Along with academics, she works with her university’s chapter of Slow Food, helping to run their weekly café, one that has the goal of being completely sustainable and student-run (something I get very excited about from my own personal experience!).

When it comes to being a Food Warrior this summer, Amy says she is specifically interested in learning about the lifestyles of farmers and how their way of life is affected by the ever-evolving agri-business. She also wants to “focus on learning more about the farming practices involved with animals”, understanding “how certain farms that choose to treat their animals differently than large agri-business farmers do so”, especially those that “follow the animal through the processing and distribution stages.” Amy is clearly conscious herself of these differences when it comes to her own diet: “I only eat meat if I know where it is from and if it’s a whole, organic, grass-fed animal.” She also tries to make her meals “based off of vegetables”, a philosophy her mother passed down to her.

Along with being a Food Warrior this summer, Amy is also working with two farm-to-table eateries. At Bakers’ Window, she’s being trained as a baker. The business is a new bakery in Madison that is “entirely locally sourced with organic and wholesome ingredients – it’s really exciting!” And at Nostrano, Amy both hosts and does PR and social media, working closely with Tim Dahl, the restaurant’s executive chef and proprietor. “It’s nice to bounce back and forth between two really locally focused establishments, that also keep me full everyday!”

Amy visiting San Francisco, her hometown.

After Amy graduates from Madison, she hopes to get a job “that supports the local and sustainable food movement.” For Amy, these hopes include “working with Slow Food USA or WWOOFing”, along with tying in her majors and interests to be involved in “some form of communicational branding for a food establishment.” And with her beautiful blog and trifecta of jobs this summer, I’d say she’s right where she needs to be to make those things happen.

Rebecca Rosenthal
Boston, MA
Summer 2012 Food Warrior

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