College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural & Resource Economics

Amazing Alumnus: Nicholas Stavely, Class of 2014

Nicholas Stavely at work at a farmers market information table.
Image Credit: 
Nicholas Stavely

Nicholas Stavely, May 2014 graduate

Area(s) of Study: Agriculture & Resource Economics with a concentration in Environmental & Resource Policy and a minor in Sustainability Studies.

Current place of employment: Lydia’s Fields, Community Forklift.

Job title and description:

With Lydia’s Fields I am the Associate Market Manger of the Fort Meade, MD and Brookland, Washington D.C. farmers markets. On market days (Wednesday for Fort Meade and Saturday for Brookland) I arrive early and help set up the market. During the market, I oversee the information table, interface with the public, and distribute, collect, and track credit card sales and a token system. I administer and record the use of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP/EBT, WIC, Senior FMNP, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) and distribute checks from the DC Produce Plus program. Outside of the market, I maintain bookkeeping and invoicing, coauthor and disseminate an email newsletter, and update the Facebook page for the Brookland market.

Community Forklift is a local non-profit that specializes in architectural salvage and reclaimed building supplies and recently hired me as Community Builder. Community Builders help run information tables at events and festivals throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to educate the public about Community Forklift’s mission. Additionally, I am working with contacts at the University to work as a guest lecturer in select classes on behalf of the Forklift. 

How did your education at UMD prepare you for your current role?

My exposure to economics and small business practices through the Agricultural & Resource Economics major gives me confidence in my role with Lydia’s Fields, especially with the financial responsibility of bookkeeping. Through the classes I took to fulfill my Environmental & Resource Policy concentration, I became very interested in both macro and micro food issues, so working with the vendors and managers behind so many local farmers markets is very rewarding for me. Lastly, the morality behind Community Forklift is a very real, very concrete manifestation of the Sustainability Minor.

Nick also served as an Ag Ambassador, Vice President of Terp Runners, was a part of the AREC Student Advisory Board, and was employed as a Research Assistant and Student Worker in the AREC Department and Office, respectively. Nick studied abroad in Angers, France in June 2014, and also backpacked through Bolivia for two weeks.

Favorite memory at University of Maryland:

Campus and College Park during the summer and winter semesters. The campus, which is beautiful in the snow, just empties out and slows down.

Advice for current College of AGNR students:

You don’t have to find your job at the career fair. My boss and the owner of Lydia’s Fields was my English professor during my last semester. Just wholeheartedly and honestly follow your interests.





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