Q&A

Getting to Know Isabel Montez, Outreach Technician

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

We’re continuing our Getting to Know CIFT series with our Outreach Technician, Isabel Montez. Isabel has been with CIFT for a little over 11 years and has played a pivotal role in expanding technical outreach to the community. We asked Isabel some questions to get a glimpse into her role and what motivates her.

What do you do at CIFT?
I perform technical outreach for CIFT, a nonprofit organization, in the area of urban gardening. I’m responsible for educating and instructing different agencies on vertical gardening and farming best practices along with providing information on plant nutrition. When a new growing environment is created, I collect and record all research findings and submit that information to different institutions like the ODA. I also teach organizations on how to extend the growing season and sustainability.

Outside of my primary job responsibilities, I also coordinate community activities for CIFT to be involved with so we can give back to our community.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
My passion in sharing my knowledge with others, but especially listening to others, and the value of learning something new every day.

What has been your favorite project so far?
The Vertical Growing Systems project where I worked with hydroponics and learned a different method to grow food. It was challenging and started healthy discussions and concerns about “hydroponic growing”. It also addressed food safety issues on the economic impact to food deserts and many more. This project ultimately has no end and will constantly grow and evolve.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?
Along with all the great work we do for food companies and manufactures, CIFT strongly supports the farming community. We provide resources, education, innovation or introduction of new crops to Ohio.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
That I proudly served 20 years in the United States Navy, it provided me the opportunity to travel throughout Asia and European countries. I value the lifelong friendships made in my career.

Learn more about our agribusiness and food systems services.

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