UCAN Spotlight | Volunteering is Cool

Dave Milkereit

A volunteer is a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. Volunteering is important as it offers much-needed help to organizations. Urban Community AgriNomics rely heavily on the generosity of volunteers to help accomplish the goals and future of the farm. 

If you look up the word volunteer you will surely see a photo of Dave Milkereit (left) and his daughter Rachel (right). This family has helped Urban Community AgriNomics with creating a chicken run (seen below) for our new chickens. Let’s chat with Dave to learn a little more about his background.

Dave, how about you share some information about yourself? I grew up in Ohio, Illinois, and South Carolina and have lived in Durham since the early ’90s. I will be celebrating 25 years of marriage (to the same gal!) in May. I have two grown kids, one is Rachel (pictured with me above), who has worked with me on several UCAN projects. I worked many years in the construction business but wanted a career change. So I got a degree in Soil Science from NCSU (just ’cause I love playing in the dirt!) For the last 10 years, I have worked in local government on stormwater issues. 

How did you connect with UCAN? A few years ago I was volunteering at a street festival in Durham, where I met Mrs. Sellers and Mrs. Patterson who were passing out tomato plants. They told me about Catawba Trail Farm and I was hooked.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at the farm? All the incredible people I meet out there inspire me and make me feel hopeful for the world.

Have you developed any new skills while volunteering at the farm? Yes, by paying close attention to gardening pros like Mr. Evans, and watching the benefits of patience and perseverance in the garden, I have definitely upped my own gardening game. 

What would you say to people on why they should come and volunteer at Catawba Trail Farm? It’s a great bunch of folks and a chance to be part of something wonderful and connect with the community. I agree with most people I talk to out there, that you often get more out of the experience than you put in. As we can see people choose to volunteer for many reasons. We are thrilled that Dave decided to volunteer with us. We want to give Dave a big THANK YOU for everything you have done for UCAN. We can’t wait until the chickens arrive to see their new home. If you were inspired by Dave’s story we welcome you to come out and volunteer at UCAN. There is something for everyone to do. Come on and give it a try.

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