This month we were lucky enough to interview RKie Clark who has been a BRWIA member since October 2018. Rkie has helped BRWIA in several ways since moving to Boone four years ago. We enjoyed speaking with him and learning about why he sees BRWIA as a valuable asset to our community and why he decided to join.
What are some of your passions and hobbies?
I moved to Boone four years ago and I brought a number of my interests with me: from British sports cars to white water. I also am a regular and supporter of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
The family that Edna and I put together. They are amazing to me. I have two children and five grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 20. I’m also pleased with my professional career as a CPA. Education-wise, I have numerous degrees that have come in very handy and some that make great wall decorations.
When did you first hear about Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture?
I am a regular at the King Street Farmers' Market and learned about the organization when they took over management of the market last year. I rarely missed a market and began to notice the tremendous effort and improvements being made.
Why did you decide to become a member of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture?
I officially joined last year. I met Courtney, the Executive Director, at a fundraising auction for the Blue Ridge Conservancy and I found out more details about BRWIA and knew I wanted to be involved.
Would you encourage others to become BRWIA members?
Yes. I see the great efforts being made in supporting local agriculture businesses and recognize that BRWIA is a key part of ensuring agriculture continues to thrive in this part of the state.
What value do you think BRWIA brings to the local community?
Our current economy doesn’t emphasize how food gets to us. Some children think that food just appears in the stores and you go pick it up. They don’t understand the process and some of the dangers to the environment of how we raise food. Prior to WWI, we learned how to generate ammonia, to remove nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into products that could be used as fertilizer and explosives. Now there are dead zones in our water like the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean. Nothing lives in these areas of our waterways anymore due to the nitrogen from the fertilizer runoff causing algae blooms that steal all of the oxygen out of the water making it inhabitable for life.
Have you had any favorite memories of BRWIA, the farmers market, the Food Hub, or elsewhere in the local agricultural community?
I spent a lot of time this summer observing the Tuesday King Street Farmers' Market and helping out with set-up and clean-up. That was reassuring for me to see other people taking advantage of their local food sources and talking to them. That’s been a favorite activity of mine lately.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.