Emily Mauntel is one of six students who recently completed the nine-month Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certificate program as part of her major in regenerative organic agriculture.
Emily grew up in Michigan, where she attended a Waldorf school. She enjoyed spending time outdoors, camping, and working on the community farm, which were all part of the holistic curriculum. Her love of nature led her to study environmental science at Adrian College in Michigan.
While a student there, she was introduced to the Transcendental Meditation® technique by her mother, and learned about MIU from her TM® instructor. When she discovered that MIU offers training in biodynamic agriculture, which is based on the same philosophy as Waldorf education, she decided to transfer.
“I like the curriculum here; it feels like it’s more laid-back, but I am learning so much more in the classroom,” said Emily. “I like both reading about things and doing them.” During the nine-month certificate program, Emily worked on the MIU Student Farm growing produce and helped with the CSA program and the farmers market.
“I also like that meditation is part of the class,” she said. “I feel more grounded from practicing the TM® technique, and I have a clear path of what I want to do.”
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Emily attended a Biodynamic Conference in New York state, where she visited local farms, participated in workshops, and networked with farmers from all over the world. She was able to attend the workshop at no cost with the help of a scholarship she won from the Biodynamic Association. Earlier this year, Emily and her classmate Kelly Kretschmar also attended the Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota, as MIU’s official delegation.
In January Emily is heading to Oregon, where she will be completing a three-month internship in regenerative sheep grazing as part of her major. After she graduates in June, she wants to continue interning at various farms and learning more about the role of livestock in regenerative agriculture.