When guests arrived at a casual Warren Wilson get-together at Heifer International Learning Center at Overlook Farm, in Rutland, Mass., they were greeted by Associate Admission Director Morning Naughton ’97. “I was holding a baby lamb, who we named Wilson in honor of the event and our love for WWC,” explained Morning. The group introduced themselves, took a tour of Heifer Farm, gathered for local food and conversation, and then some folks did farm chores and helped with the animals. It was a wonderful day and a lot of great connections were made.
The College hosted the gathering for alumni, incoming/prospective students and their families at a place with a deep Warren Wilson connection. Overlook Farm is a Heifer International Training Center where WWC Alumni Board member Donna Kilpatrick ’88 serves as livestock manager. “Warren Wilson College profoundly and radically changed my life,” Donna explained.
At Warren Wilson, Donna studied literature and worked on the Farm Crew, serving as leader of the Swine Crew and often staying on campus during holiday and summer breaks honing her tractor skills and caring for the farm’s livestock. For the service component of Warren Wilson’s Triad, Donna traveled to Costa Rica where she worked on a small dairy farm, helping with milking chores and then riding, via an oxcart, to the processing plant to deliver the milk.
After graduating, Donna began working at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, where she managed the dairy and planted and harvested forage crops. Donna continued her work in agriculture as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. After returning to the states, she was hired as an admission counselor at Warren Wilson, where she spent five years recruiting students and volunteering on the college farm. Next, Donna moved to New York and joined the admission office at Eugene Lange College of the New School. While there she matriculated into the graduate division of the New School, obtaining her master’s degree in non-profit management. Her final stint in college admissions took place at Hampshire College, where she served as senior associate director.
Now, at Heifer International Learning Center at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Donna teaches others about sustainable agriculture and issues of hunger and poverty. Heifer International is an international development organization that empowers communities to lift themselves out of poverty through the sustainable gift of livestock. About Warren Wilson, Donna concludes, “I love my work and credit Warren Wilson College and the hands-on work experience I received there on farm, as the experience that ignited my love of agriculture and paved the way to my current position with Heifer International.”