Leslie coordinates 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 is very excited about developing new opportunities for Penn Staters to learn about sustainable food and agriculture.
She received her MS in Rural Sociology from Penn State in December 2013. Her thesis assessed opportunities and barriers for beginning farmer land access through land link programs in the Northeast US. Her BS is in Horticulture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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.