WSU Senior Jackson Ramsland is committed to changing the world, and he believes the best way to do this is to connect with others and have fun at the same time. Since coming to Winona State University, this Public Health and Nutrition major-minor has become involved in several interrelated projects aimed at creating real change and combatting food insecurity on campus. Jackson led the effort to develop WSU's first community SEED Garden (Sustainable, Edible, Educational, and Discovery), intended to be a place where students can connect with nature, their food and each other while also learning about issues of food inequity. In addition, produce from the SEED Garden directly benefits WSU students in need, stocking the shelves of the Warrior Cupboard student food shelf, another project Jackson helped initiate. Finally, seeds from the WSU SEED Garden are being saved for others to use through a connection Jackson made with the newly formed WSU Seed Bank & Library. Throughout all his work and relationships on campus, Jackson's strategy remains the same: to find others in the community to share his passion, to lead by consent and mutual respect, and to always have some fun along the way.
In my first year at Winona State, my sister was in a horrific car accident that led to her being in a coma for three months and waking up with a traumatic brain injury. When Julia woke up she wasn't able to walk, she wasn't able to talk, and she wasn't able to eat or drink without assistance. That semester I struggled. I had to withdraw from a course, I couldn't maintain my friendships, and I had to face some of my darkest times. However, my sister kept improving. I watched her walk for the first time in six months. I watched her slowly talk once again. I realized that Julia's accident wasn't something that should hold me back; Julia's strength should motivate me to actually do something in the world. It is my belief that I can do something every day to make the world a better place. My next semester at school I began work on what would become the SEED Garden. A project that would sprout into the most important thing I've done: a community garden in which students are free to take all the fruit and vegetables they need.