Friday, February 26, 2016


Here's what's been happening around CAUSES!

  1. Justine Cromer joins CAUSES
  2. Belarusian Farmers Visit
  3. Accolades for Ethnic Crop Program 
Continue reading to learn more!
Justine Cromer joins CAUSES

Justine Cromer joined CAUSES as the project specialist for green business and social entrepreneurship in the Center for Sustainable Development. She brings over 20 years of experience in the profit and non-profit sectors focused on integrated marketing, strategic communications, change management, and sustainable business development. Whether launching high-tech startups, improving mature organizations, or standing up flagship programs, she brings innovation and seasoned problem-solving to the area of entrepreneurship. She is passionate about education and taught Aerospace Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Business Communications for the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and senior-executive courses at national conferences. Since 2011, her extensive travel in Southeast Asia — building goodwill and advancing airlift for humanitarian assistance and search and rescue — reinforced her focus on the underserved and closing gaps between progress and bureaucracy. She’s excited to combine her experience on the Hill with grassroots-to-executive campaigns and advance efforts in CAUSES. Justine holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a B.S. degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of California, Davis. She recently completed the Master Class in Aquaponics with Nelson & Pade, to fuel her passion in sustainable urban agriculture.  She is a Gulf War aviator and Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) with numerous assignments at the Pentagon. 

Belarusian Farmers Visit

In February 2016, a small delegation of farmers from Belarus visited Firebird Farm. The visit was part of their organic farm tour and knowledge exchange across U.S. The tour was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

Accolades for Ethnic Crop Program 

Dr. Steve Young is the director of the Northeastern IPM Center, and an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science for Cornell University. He shared the following  praise, after visiting our research farm to review the Ethnic Urban Food Producers Project, managed by Yao Afantchao, an ethnic crop specialist with the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education:


I have to say that I was very impressed with the work that you all are doing at your research farm. I have never seen such progress in the university system – ever. I applaud the efforts of all who are involved. It shows in the greenhouses, field plots, and peoples’ attitudes. From your Associate Dean on down, the enthusiasm and excitement was evident. I love the ‘can do’ attitude with a ‘get it done’ mentality. It was so refreshing to see this at an institution. Too many times, I have been located at field stations that don’t have the leadership or staff that wants to look ahead and find their niche. All they want to do is retire and at the same time grumble and complain about what they don’t have and what they can’t do.

It is so obvious to me that you all are serious in sharing and fulfilling the CAUSES vision to “be a world leader in designing and implementing top quality, research-based academic and community outreach programs that measurably improve the quality of life and economic prosperity of people and communities in the District of Columbia, the nation, and the world.” I think this is fantastic! 

It was a real honor for me to be able to see what I would call a ‘gold nugget’ in the nation’s capital today. This is probably THE highlight of my entire trip. Our Center will do whatever we can to help you in your efforts with regard to IPM. Please feel free to contact me with questions about where and how you can find the information you need.

Again, I congratulate you on building such a fine program, which I know has yet to reach maximum potential.

Thanks again,

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