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Staff Spotlight: Tim Tetrault, Operations Manager

Tim joined PCC Farmland Trust in 2019, driven by his desire to build systems that help people and their environments flourish. Bringing nearly a decade of non-profit administration experience to his role as Operations Manager, Tim keeps the trains running at the Trust by providing direct support to the Executive Director and Board, and assisting staff with human resource management, office administration, and fundraising tasks. Tim received his MA in Counseling Psychology from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in Washington State. Tim enjoys the ups and downs of life with his wife and two kids, guitar-oriented music, and useful bicycles.

 Here’s Tim…

Tell us about yourself.

I moved to Washington from the Hudson Valley in New York in 2007 for graduate school. Although I came to this work from the mental health sector, I’ve always felt a draw toward natural resource conservation – I was always the “granola” kid in my group of friends growing up. I’m also a practicing Catholic, so the idea of leaving this world better than we’ve found it has always been there with me on a spiritual level. I am deeply grateful to work here, and come home each night feeling like I’m participating in something that will benefit not just my community but future generations as well.

Please tell us why organic and local food and farming is of interest to you.

When I was in graduate school for counseling psychology, I was challenged to think about human health in all forms, and it’s where I first encountered Wendell Berry. I remember reading his works on the crisis of topsoil erosion, and that to me serves as a metaphor for the erosion of community in general. Those works taught me that how we take care of our land reflects how we take care of each other.

What is your connection to farming? Do you have experiences with farms in your family or growing up?

Growing up in the Hudson Valley, I was a pretty active Boy Scout. We would sometimes camp on nearby farmland and be greeted by farm workers who would show us around. As an introverted kid, I remember feeling at ease there, learning how sunlight, soil, water, and seeds are the elements that sustain life. The inner peace that I felt there has followed me throughout my life.

What is your vision/hope for farming and food production in the state of Washington?

I’m hopeful about the future of farming here because of the people I’ve met in my short time at PCC Farmland Trust. Their resiliency and capacity to look forward into the future over generations is inspiring to me. When I think about my vision for farming in Washington, I think it’s that we as an agricultural community create a system that is guided by stewardship, not exploitation.

What are your favorite books or documentaries about food/farming/sustainable agriculture? 

I’ve been really impacted by Paul Kingsnorth’s essays, and his novel, The Wake. It’s a fictionalized account of England ca. 1066, told from the perspective of a farmer as he faces the demise of his culture. It had me reflecting on our changing climate and what it feels like to come to terms with your world undergoing rapid change.

In addition, Fast Food Nation taught me a lot about the overwhelming, unforgiving stresses of farming around the world.

Anything else you’d like to share?

If you reach out to the Trust, I’ll likely be the first person you hear from. Know that I’m always happy to help with any needs you have, and look forward to connecting with other curious and committed supporters of farmland.