CRYP is excited to announce that Ryan Devlin joined its full-time staff in late September. Devlin will serve as the organization’s sustainable agriculture manager.
In his new role, Devlin will be responsible for preparation, planting, maintenance and harvesting of the Winyan Toka Win garden; maintaining CRYP grounds, the garden shed and all equipment; directing and managing the Leading Lady Farmers Market; supervising all garden work; promoting native food sovereignty and security; developing and promoting community gardens; collaborating with youth programming staff on garden-related youth and intergenerational initiatives; assisting with community outreach and education; and developing necessary assessment tools for CRYP’s sustainable systems initiatives.
Devlin said he came across CRYP’s sustainable agriculture manager position through a sustainable jobs website, and he was intrigued by the job’s combination of community and agricultural work.
“I’m so excited to join the Cheyenne River Youth Project team, and to be part of the amazing work that is done here on a daily basis,” he commented. “I’m looking forward to taking care of the Winyan Toka Win garden and providing healthy produce for the community, and I’m especially excited to collaborate with many different people in the community to expand the presence of CRYP’s Leading Lady Markers Market.
“One of my goals is to increase the opportunities people have to buy and sell locally grown food and crafts in Eagle Butte,” he continued. “Most of all, I look forward to working fulfilling CRYP’s mission on a daily basis — working with Cheyenne River’s incredible young people.”
Devlin said that his love for agriculture began in his youth, although he is not originally from a farming background. In high school, he worked for a Boston-area nonprofit agricultural organization called The Food Project. As a leader in the sustainable food movement, The Food Project works to bring youth and adults from diverse backgrounds together on farms to create positive social change in the food system and beyond.
Devlin’s work at The Food Project fostered a passionate interest in the intersection of agriculture and community. He continued to pursue this interest as a college student at Cornell University, where he majored in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in sustainability. As a student, Devlin became a manager for the student farm’s market garden; he was responsible for managing the production and sales of a 2-acre vegetable garden, and he coordinated the farm’s extensive community volunteer base. After graduating from Cornell, Devlin returned to The Food Project to lead the farm’s summer youth program.
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Ryan to our team,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Our sustainable agriculture initiatives are a major component in our vision for the future, and having those initiatives in his capable hands will mean so much to our youth project and to the Cheyenne River community.”
To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit www.lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.