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Adam Taylor, Catawba Sustainability Center

Adam Taylor
Adam Taylor, Catawba Sustainability Center manager

Since 2016, Adam Taylor has been managing Outreach and International Affairs' 377-acre Catawba Sustainability Center in Roanoke County. The center hosts research and demonstration plots for university faculty as well as community projects, workshops, and trainings.

What’s your favorite way to start the day?

I start my day doing chores on my small farm in Craig County. This includes milking the goats, feeding the chickens, feeding our livestock guardian dogs, checking the sheep to make sure there were no problems during the night, and walking through the garden to see what’s growing and if anything needs attention. This gives me a lot of introspective time to think through my work plan for the day at Catawba, scheme about what needs to be happening next, and enjoy the cool morning air while getting a little exercise climbing the hills of my pasture.  

What is one small thing that makes your day better?

I have great appreciation for small things in life that mostly revolve around nature like the colors the sunrise paints or a honeybee drawing pollen from a flower. One my absolute favorite things is mowing a field at Catawba while barn swallows circle the tractor eating all the insects I kick up.

What is the last book you couldn’t put down?

“Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Companies that Addicted America” by Beth Macy. It is a bit off topic from my usual reading, but as a person from Southwest Virginia, it’s hard not to know someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis. This book did a great job at answering so many of the questions many of us have had about our area, and why we were the ones hit the hardest.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

“A job isn’t done until it’s a job well done.”   − Dahmon Ball (my grandfather)