Meet 2021 Annual Photo Contest Winner: Emma Jagoz
Updated: Jan 15, 2022
Farmer Emma and her 9 year old daughter Anisa are digging in the soil to check on their potato crop! They grow over 12 varieties of specialty potatoes, including purple, red, yellow and white potatoes as well as fingerlings!
This past summer, we held our annual EcoWomen Photo Contest in honor of Earth Day. Thank you all who participated and submitted photos. We were thrilled to receive so many stunning submissions that highlight your visual stories about women, the environment, and the DC community. Congrats to one of our winner Emma! The questionnaire below introduces her personal story to share.
1. Where are you originally from and what city/state do you live in?
I’m from Cockeysville, Maryland and now live and farm in Woodsboro, Maryland in Frederick County.
2. How did you find out about DC Ecowomen?
I went to school at the University of Maryland in College Park and majored in American Studies and Women’s Studies. I found out about DC Ecowomen a few years after I graduated when I was seeking work in DC.
3. What aspect/part of the environment are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about land use in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I know that we can greatly improve the health of the largest estuary in the US by being better stewards of the land, and to me that means – growing more perennials, no longer spraying grass & growing less of it, decreasing pesticide and herbicide use among homeowners and farmers, encouraging biodiversity by growing more than just corn and soy, giving land back to Indigenous peoples and BIPOC farmers, supporting regenerative and organic farmers, preserving woods and waterways.
4. What (do you believe) is our biggest environmental problem today?
I believe that poor land management combined with poor eating habits/choices and the total loss of connection with our food nationwide is a huge environmental problem. We can tackle this one meal at a time by connecting with the farmers who grow our food and shorten the chain of our food. By eating local and organic food, we’re supporting soil organic matter, our community members and their labor AND our own personal health. By eating local and organic, we’re refusing food grown in monocultures + CAFOS (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) that have not been grown responsibly and then have been shipped across the country or world sometimes several times over before getting to our plate — and making us sick anyway. Poor land management and our broken food systems are major environmental problems we can each do something about with every single meal we eat.
5. What place/country/city have you traveled to with the best aesthetic view of the environment and would recommend to others?
Since it can be difficult or impossible to travel far in the world today, I’ll recommend a close place that I love: Old Rag Mountain in Sperryville, Virginia. It is a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has the most fun rock scrambles to hike up and brings you to a stunning exposed summit. Fall is my favorite time of year to climb up it when you are surrounded by exceptional fall foliage and crisp cool air.
6. What is your favorite activity in your spare time?
I love to kayak on the Monocacy River here in Frederick County. The river is beautiful and is home to a huge diversity of wildlife that is a joy to paddle alongside.