About Heather Juda
Heather grew up in a suburban condo in Atlanta, GA, and became interested in the food industry when she was 16. It was at this time she became a vegetarian because she learned about the state of the industrial food (meat) system. After high school, Heather moved to Colorado to go to college, eventually finishing a master’s degree in Applied Computational Mathematics and then went on to become an IT professional at an engineering consulting firm in the Denver area.
During this time, food continued to be a passion in Heather’s life, and she eventually un-vegetarianized because she learned about places like Polyface Farm that raise meat in a different way. She supported small farms in Colorado, had a plot in a community garden, hunted a bit and just did what she could in her condo-life to support her food passion.
After nine years in IT, she knew it was time for a change. In 2011 she applied for the Polyface Internship (now known as the Stewardship) and got selected! In 2012 she quit her job and moved to Polyface to do the summer internship, went on to do the year-long apprenticeship, and then became a contract farmer for Polyface on one of their largest leased farms for six years. During this time, she also became the Grass Stain Tour guide at Polyface, leading two-hour private walking tours of the farm.
The tours became quite popular and took up a lot of time, so Heather no longer manages a farm for Polyface. She continues to guide tours, works at a raw milk dairy, and has a small business making lip balm and hand cream out of Polyface Pork fat and jewelry out of Polyface cowhide. She also helps on several poultry butchering crews in the area and practices “urban” homesteading in Staunton, VA.
2023 Homesteaders of America Conference
TOPIC: To Boldy Go (A Story of Perseverance)
DATE: October 13, 2023