Interview with Teisha Wymore

Analeah Vannavong

Teisha Wymore is not only a member of the advisory council for Fanimal, but she is also a program leader for North Carolina State University, who engages with other universities to align academic research with local food systems. She works on creating local food councils networked throughout local communities and local governments and currently resides in Durham, North Carolina as a residential real estate advisor and serves on the Durham Board of Adjustment. Teisha’s research and program development around the role of animals in our food systems has helped a statewide effort in educating and developing relationships between institutional, municipal, and corporate consumers and local food markets.

Teisha went to graduate school at North Carolina State University for sustainable agriculture, with a concentration in food systems. She has always been a fellow to animals, and has even had hands-on experience working with livestock during her graduate years. 

When asked if food systems was a recently found interest or a life-long investment, Teisha explained how her parents lived a more nonconformist/hippie lifestyle, but they still ate meat and were very into sustainability. Because of this, she was no stranger to the sustainable lifestyle. Back in the 80s as a small child, she remembers realizing she couldn’t properly digest beef. Teisha spent most of her life wondering why this was happening to her, and why the chemicals and proteins in her body wouldn’t settle. This peaked her interest, and when she went off to graduate school she was able to take that interest and turn it into a concentration for her studies.

Teisha began working with the Center of Environmental Farming Systems at NC State and started leading programs that taught people why it was important to eat local and organic foods. She then became entrenched in teaching how food systems work for more than a decade. Teisha also worked with food councils around North Carolina and implemented different programs with grocery stores and universities. 

Teisha said, “We had a lot of interest in different types of sectors and then you kind of realize this is a really big thing and it’s more than just us, it’s global.”

Teisha’s interest has always revolved around animals in the food system, which is where most of her graduate work was focused. Some of her graduate work focused on goats and how they are a part of the food system in many parts of the world. As the program team researched and developed, Teisha was interested in creating a sustainable model for owning goats. It highlighted how they are a part of our food systems, how they worked and also how they worked with other animals.

Teisha said her main focus has always been, “on how animals play a role in our food systems and how we can work better to maintain, you know, their lives and the lives of future animals.”

To Teisha, having the knowledge and understanding of how food systems work, is like understanding the “crooks of the world.” 

If you would like to learn more about Teisha Wymore and her work or the other members of the Fanimal Advisory Council, check out these links!