"The recipient of this year’s Friend of Agriculture Award is MORE than a friend to the over 50 farmers and customers whose orders she coordinates, fills, bags, invoices, restocks, and troubleshoots every single week. She can also heft 30 lb boxes of pork shoulder in a 5 degree freezer with short sleeves without getting goosebumps.
Most days, you can find Shannon Carroll at the High Country Food Hub, a storage facility and online farmers' market that features over 500 locally raised and produced products, helping farmers unload and inventory their products, talking with customers about why local food matters and asking how their families are doing, leading a group of young interns and teaching them how to work with local food, or sitting alone in the space on her computer to make sure the online marketplace runs on time and products are updated. Without Shannon, our community wouldn’t have an innovative online marketplace. She goes above and beyond to help make the Food Hub successful. She was a key player in the creation of the online marketplace and is committed to helping farmers increase their income by providing affordable freezer, cold and dry storage space and connecting with new customers through the online sales platform.
Shannon grew up in the Piedmont and moved to Boone in 1983 after spending a year teaching Biology on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. She had 30+ years of experience providing leadership and support for instructional technology for Watauga County Schools when she retired in 2013.
When she’s not at the Food Hub, Shannon volunteers with the Lettuce Learn gardens at Parkway School, cooks a monthly meal for the Hospitality House (using products she purchases through the Food Hub), and is an active member of the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church. She also helps lead her husband's SunCatcher Passive Solar Greenhouse business that extends the growing season without fossil fuels and recently earned her Master Gardener certification. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, traveling to visit her sons, and going for long walks. It is my pleasure to present this year’s Friend of Agriculture Award to the Coordinator of the High Country Food Hub, Shannon Carroll."