Shannon Hayes Bio
Cherie Davis, my web designer, tells me that I need to include a bio on this website. I tried to argue that there was plenty of biographical information about me on www.shannonhayes.info and www.sapbush.com, but she said I needed to write yet more about myself. And it needed to be different than the stuff you’d find on the other sites. Cherie is a very sagacious woman and possesses a certain inner power that I am reluctant to challenge, so I’ll do my best to comply (plus, she and her husband Frank are very good customers of Sap Bush Hollow Farm, all the more reason to keep them happy).
I grew up in West Fulton, NY, the higher hills of Schoharie County, the northernmost tip of the Appalachian Mountain chain. Despite the fact that farmers have subsisted on the rocky hillsides of our community for centuries, most of the farmland in West Fulton was disregarded as non-viable for much of the last half century, sparing us from many of the treacheries of agricultural industrialization. My family purchased our farm and moved our sheep flock to these hills in 1979, and we’ve stayed here ever since. I received a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from Binghamton University in 1995, and a Masters and Ph.D. in sustainable agriculture and community development from Cornell University in 2001 (as an interesting bit of trivia, I was rejected three times from Cornell’s various graduate programs. It wasn’t until I called a particularly wise and sympathetic member of the rural sociology department and convinced him that the admissions committee had made a grave error that I was finally allowed in).
After graduate school, my husband and I considered various career options around the country, then ultimately decided we’d prefer to work with my parents on Sap Bush Hollow Farm, where we now raise grassfed lamb, beef, pork and poultry. In addition to working with my family, I write essays, articles and books, mostly about food, farming and rural living. I feel passionately that the simplest ways we can begin to foster radical global transformation, heal the environment, solve worldwide resource problems and cure myriad social problems, is to choose our food wisely – to acquire our nourishment sustainably, locally and regionally; to pay farmers a fair price for their labors, to cook for our loved ones, and to take time to celebrate life together by sharing meals around the family table. It is in this spirit that I offer my books, and I hope you will enjoy them.
note from web designer: Hey, I just told her she should tell you about herself here on this site instead of making you click to all those other places. And it is sort of nice, isn’t it, the whole not having to click to thousand of different places and forgetting where you were and then not being able to find the books to buy. Well, that is it from me. I will now go revel in my sagaciousness. And probably get the husband to cook me something from The Grassfed Gourmet for dinner.