Marlene Marsh '24

For Senior Marlene Marsh ‘24, there’s something special about being a Warren Wilson College Farm shepherd that’s hard to put into words. About the connection one feels to the land and the animals on it. About the love one puts into caring for the flock. Maybe it’s the early rainy mornings and long hot days, or the long tradition of knowledge being handed down from shepherds before her. “It is hard for me to articulate, caring for them, caring for the land, it just gives me purpose. I just have this duty to protect them and do right by them and see them thrive. They’re the ones that are out there changing the landscape and pushing the cycle of life along. They’re a window into what is going on out in nature. I want to be more like them. I want to foster that connection to my surroundings in the way that they do.”

When not caretaking the sheep, Marlene can be found in the classroom, completing her major in Environmental Studies with a double concentration in Sustainable Agriculture and Ecological Forestry. “I chose my academic pursuits to complement the work that I was doing on the Farm. I really believed that the management of our forests and of agricultural spaces should overlap. I wanted to learn to manage land in a more holistic way and to get a more ecological perspective of the use of our land.” After graduation she plans to apply this holistic approach to working lands and our community. “My mission is to help anybody that has working lands to make the best decisions for their community, their ecology, and their business in the hopes of healing our food system and our environment in local ways. Like in the soil, the native plants, the wildlife, our waters, our waterways, but also our human connection to that.”

Fast Facts
Environmental Studies
Sustainable Agriculture and Ecological Forestry
Work Crew