Amy June Breesman
Land Relations Specialist
Amy June Breesman was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area and spent nearly the last decade living in Philadelphia. Most recently, she transplanted herself to Lawrence Kansas, where she now resides. She considers all of these places to be home, in addition to her Eastern Shawnee tribal lands in Northeast Oklahoma, as they inform who she is as well as who she will become. Amy June received her BFA in Photography in 2013 at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, D.C. She has continued to take classes in an array of fine arts and various crafts, and began farming in 2019. Her farming journey has largely been learning through experience, each year imbued with new challenges and successes. Amy June’s work history follows a winding road through her twenties, from food service work splitting time with event production and management, to residential demolition and high-end remodels, to managing small-scale farms. All of these experiences will inform her work as Land Relations Specialist. This work pulls from her varied background of customer service, program development & execution, project management, relationship development & management, farm experience, and more.
What is most inspiring about your specific position at TLI?
Getting to meet and work with the amazing humans that make up our workforce. The Land Institute seems committed to becoming evermore intergenerational, ethnically, and racially diverse, class conscious, and evolving along other lines of difference as well, which is heartening.
What drew you to work at TLI?
I view natural systems agriculture as a viable and vital cog in a wheel of greater change that is imperative to our time. I am so glad to be on board and to help facilitate necessary change.
What TLI perennial crop do you look forward to eating most, and how would you prepare it?
Wild rice (which is not actually a rice at all, but in the northern US and Canada, an annual wild grass) is one of my favorite foods. I am really excited about the prospect of true rice perennialization and what that could mean for global economies and environments.
What else are you passionate about outside of work?
Farming, gardening, exploring new crafts and natural dyes, and exploring outdoor places.
If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
How to study something for years, practice incessantly, and still fail (in a good way). The title would be something about lessons in humility. Chapters of personal experience would be fishing, pattern making, and indoor plant parenthood…
What’s your motto/favorite quote?
The BFA I hold is in photography, and I have adored and practiced that medium since middle school. Dorothea Lange’s documentary photography and work with the FSA was a source of inspiration, and I love her comment on a life’s work and the ethic it takes:
“Pick something and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.”
Another favorite is one I believe I have heard Rachel, Aubrey, and perhaps others utter around TLI:
What were you like at age 10?
A burgeoning straight-edge punk, X’ing the backs of my hands and anxiously awaiting when I would turn 16 and be able to drive myself over to all the cool DIY shows in D.C.
Support the work of Amy June and others at The Land Institute with a donation.