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Feb. 29-March 4: Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow at Hood

FREDERICK, Md.—A nationally known environmental activist who advocates for sustainable farming and rainforest protection will be at Hood College for a week of activities focused on educating students and the public about her work.

Florence Reed, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and CEO and founder of Sustainable Harvest International is scheduled to visit Hood College Feb. 29-March 4. Sustainable Harvest International is a nonprofit that provides farming families in Central America with the training and tools to preserve the planet’s tropical forests while helping them overcome poverty.

Reed will visit classrooms throughout the week, participate in a day of service and give a community talk March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall. Her talk, entitled “Organic Farming to Feed the World,” will provide an overview of how common farming practices are contributing to environmental and social decay, including poverty, hunger, malnutrition, illness, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change. She will also discuss the importance of a global shift to sustainable farming practices and success stories from amongst the 2,000 Central American farms that have participated in Sustainable Harvest’s extension program. She will focus on long-term, integrative approaches that link ecosystem health, human health, societal health and a healthy planet. Reed will conclude her talk with suggestions on how people can take action on these issues, followed by a question-and-answer session.

The day of service with Hood College faculty and students March 4 will involve volunteering at Seed of Life Nurseries, a nonprofit committed to helping its community by providing farm-fresh produce to many families in need. Its mission is to make sure that all families in need are able to eat healthy food no matter their circumstances.

Reed became a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow because Roger Bowen’s wife heard her give a Pecha Kucha presentation in Maine and suggested he consider her as a fellow. Roger Bowen is the program director of the visiting fellows. He thought Reed was a good fit and asked her to spend time on college campuses sharing information about the work that Sustainable Harvest International does and why they do it.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the U.S. for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. Through a weeklong residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures and informal discussions, the fellows create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds. There are 115 fellows around the U.S.; Reed is the first to visit Hood.

Reed lives in Surry, Maine, with her husband, Bruce Maanum, and their son, Clay, in a home they built with primarily local materials. They grow much of their own food and are close to reaching their goal of being fossil fuel independent.

For more information, contact April Boulton, associate dean of the Hood College Graduate School, at