I’m Christy Vanderwende Wright, Farmer Dan’s daughter, and I’m passionate about agriculture, family, food, health and policy. This happened naturally for me because I was lucky enough to grow up with a loving family and a farm in my back yard. I grew up watching my dad and extended family work hard for our family farming business. I also watched my mom take care of me and three other siblings full-time; a blessing many children do not have these days. She toted us to little league games, sunday school classes, 4-H meetings and school sports practices. These activities shaped me into the person I am today but the most impactful was 4-H. My three central projects were dairy, horticulture or gardening, and public speaking. My dairy project taught me responsibility and patience by caring for and showing my dairy cows. My horticulture and gardening project turned into a long-term family business for me and my siblings and paid for our first cars and college education. It also taught me business and marketing skills. My public speaking project enabled me to have confidence in myself and to excel in many professional positions such as teaching. I am so thankful for what 4-H did for me and thrilled that my nieces and nephew are beginning their 4-H careers now.
Thanks to my work in 4-H and FFA, I received an agriculture scholarship to University of Delaware in 1997. I chose to double major in Food & Agribusiness Management and Agricultural Education. I graduated in 2001 and hated the fact that the word “Food” was in my degree title and tended to shorten it to “Agribusiness” only. But now, ten years later, I’m thrilled because I realize that “Food” is a way that all people can connect. Through working with my family’s produce farm, I realize that many people have become disconnected from food products, while others have become much more informed. I hope this blog helps people become better connected to food production and better informed about food safety and food related topics.
In 2009, I finished my Master’s degree in Public Administration at Wilmington University. My coursework introduced me to a whole new world of public policy. I had no idea so many public policy issues existed! This connected my studies to politics and since Delaware is such a small state, I had no problem getting involved in campaigns and local issues. I owe my interest in politics to my grandmother on my mom’s side. Her and my grandfather took us all over the state when we were little and introduced us to many people, as well as state history. I later spent 5 years in state government and 4 1/2 years teaching agriculture at the middle and high school levels. I currently work in the Division of Public Health for the State of Delaware. I’m in the section of Health Promotion and focus on promoting tobacco cessation programs but have the flexibility to promote physical activity and nutrition as well. This work relates well to the promotion of fresh fruits & vegetables my family sells at many local farmer’s markets.
The goal of this blog is to better connect and inform the ag community and the food they produce with the citizens of Delaware, so that they can lead healthy lives, just as I did.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Boards Served:
- DE Vision Network
- State of DE Nutrition & Dietetics Board
- Volunteer for CommonGround (National Corn Growers Association & United Soybean Board)
- DE Farm-to-School Advisory Board
- The Next Generation (TNG) Southern Delaware
For more information about our family business and Farmer Dan, see Little Wagon Produce.