Shannon Lai.JPG

SHANNON LAI
Farm Manager, Sunset Park Farm

Shannon is a first generation Burmese/Chinese American–and the first member of her family to become a farmer. Born in New York City, Shannon was raised out in Long Island, but returned to the big apple for college at NYU, where she studied anthropology and studio art. Upon working at a furniture design studio while at school, Shannon found that a desk job wasn’t for her. After a stint WOOFing in Sweden at a CSA farm, Shannon decided to pursue agriculture seriously, apprenticing at The Youth Farm in Crown Heights, and Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, Long Island. Spending several seasons with her hands in the soil lit a sense of urgency within her to become part of the movement increasing green consciousness, and green space, in urbanites and humans across the globe. So it was only a matter of time before she landed on the farm crew at Brooklyn Grange, where she spent her 2018 season farming both of our rooftops and hawking vegetables at our markets. She has led field crews of new farmers at both The Youth Farm and Brooklyn Grange, and has become adept at reading–and when necessary, boosting–the energy and morale of a team. 2019 is her first year managing a farm. When she’s not cranking early 2000s R&B to motivate the crew through a rainy harvest, Shannon can be found strolling around her neighborhood forging connections with her Lower East Side/Chinatown community, or attempting to recreate her mother’s vegetarian Burmese recipes.