Employee Spotlight: Joëlle Abran
You’d think that Joëlle Abran fostered her appreciation for agriculture and the environment while working at Montel as a sales coordinator for vertical farming, or while tending crops as a literal farmhand.
You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
It began much earlier than that. Long before either job, her interests in sustainability were obvious. She was a vegan, canned her own vegetables, and even studied agronomy in her spare time.
So when the pandemic hit, Joëlle reevaluated her working life and saw an opportunity to leave her desk job for a fresh start. She left her corporate gig and transitioned to a local farm, where she dived headlong into the work. She planted seeds, rotated crops, and cared for seedlings and transplants. She drove a giant 624K loader. She picked crops and brought them to market. It was backbreaking work for sure, but to her it was also wildly rewarding.
“I worked long hours, in the sun, the heat, the rain, and the cold. I hurt my hands, my knees, and back. I was super tanned,” she said. “But it was so gratifying.”
During that time, she engaged in deep, sometimes heated, discussions with the farm agronomist in the greenhouse. They talked about different greenhouses setups, the future of farming, accessibility, and how to reduce the strain that traditional agriculture has on the land and the planet.
“Because, let’s be honest, agriculture is a major part of the destruction of soil and the abuse of resources like water and lots of pollution. That’s when indoor and vertical farming made sense to me.”
A proponent of regenerative agriculture, Joëlle had made small strides in her daily tasks, but too much of what she saw around her was still done the old-fashioned way.
Once Montel and Joëlle finally connected, it was a real breakthrough. Her experience as a farmer now informs her life as a sales coordinator for vertical farming, and she can help spread the word about saving the planet through vertical farming and its environmental benefits. And because of her experience on the farm, Joëlle can speak to farmers and agricultural specialists in real terms and about how Montel’s vertical farming solutions are engineered to circumvent the biggest challenges in conventional farming.
Joëlle is a self-proclaimed social butterfly, a trait of hers on full display whenever she attends conferences.
She is fearless when it comes to striking up a conversation about how a revolution in farming could empower not just an individual farm but the whole world.
“We could help farmers on every corner of the planet. We could bring food to places that we thought impossible. We have solutions to offer,” Joëlle said. “That’s beautiful.”