If you spend any time in the Wild Ramp after 3:30 pm Monday through Friday, you have probably noticed a new face. Johnna Bailey was hired on as a part time assistant market manager in late September. A Huntington native and Marshall graduate, Johnna regularly volunteered at The Wild Ramp throughout 2013 before leaving to pursue a position with Change the Future West Virginia through the AmeriCorps. During this exciting time, Johnna received training as a healthy community developer and taught classes about healthy eating, disease self-management, and keeping active. Her talents with gardening also led to opportunities to teach children about growing and preparing their own vegetables in an after-school program.
Johnna has had a lifelong passion for volunteerism and has many aspirations. “I want to see my community reclaim its food and where it comes from as part of our culture and system of values, I believe the Wild Ramp does just that.” Her aspirations are evidenced by her hopes to volunteer abroad in the Peace Corps, in order to gain relevant experience to bring back to West Virginia. She believes, “in order to better West Virginia, it will require young people to go out into the world, gain fresh ideas, and bring them back to our home state! I hope to be one of those people.”
TWR: What do you wish to accomplish?
Johnna: I want to serve my community and help the local agricultural economy grow. I love how The Wild Ramp gives us food that we can feel good about, food that is free from additives, tastes amazing, and is grown by our neighbors; furthermore, I want that to be available to everybody. Also, I hope that I can have a part in educating every single person that walks through the doors of the Wild Ramp on the importance of the community building work we are doing, and why it matters.
TWR: Why you wish to work here?
Johnna: West Virginia has received substantial criticism about its overall public health in the past few years. I feel that organizations like The Wild Ramp are at the heart of the response to these issues. I love working here because I get to see the positive changes taking place in the people around me. What we do at The Wild Ramp moves our community forward and deepens the connection we have with our food.