The Merry Lea Team: Transitions

1. Kaeli Evans, Goshen, Ind., joined the Merry Lea Team as the new farm manager on November 13. Kaeli is a graduate of the 2012 Agroecology Summer Intensive and a 2014 graduate of Goshen College. Since then, she’s worked with AmeriCorps VISTA in Athens, Ga., and taken courses in food studies at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. Her work in Georgia involved food security.

2. Elena Fischer arrived in August to teach and help support school programs at Merry Lea. She also assists with the master’s in environmental education program, coordinating opportunities for the students and developing recruitment strategies. Elena first explored the field of environmental education in Honolulu, where she served on the External Affairs Team as a Kupu AmeriCorps Intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A native of Elkhart, Indiana, Elena is excited to re-invest in a place she calls home.

3. Lungelo Ndodana is a yearlong volunteer with Mennonite Central Committee’s International Volunteer Exchange Program. He hails from the country of Eswatini in Southern Africa which was known as Swaziland before 2018. Sethu works at the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm and is doing his best to adapt to cold weather.

4. Ellie Schertz left her position as farm manager in September 2019. She and her husband, Josh, moved to Tucson, Ariz., where they are presently enjoying the Sonoran Desert. In her time here, Ellie mentored farm volunteers and students, managed the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm’s CSA and did an admirable job of maintaining the farm gardens and greenhouse.

5. Eric Shaffer is joined the team in September 2019. He recruits high school students for Goshen College’s sustain

ability majors and graduates for the Master of Arts in Environmental Education. Eric grew up in Lakeville, Indiana, and spent seven summers working at Camp Tamarack, the local Boy Scout camp. These experiences gave him a lasting love of nature. During his time at Purdue University, he studied forestry and was part of Purdue’s Student Chapter of Environmental Education.