Get to Know our Summer Interns

We are excited to host three great interns this summer! In northern Michigan, we have Emily Lesky as our Community Health Intern and Julia Linder as our Communications and Outreach Intern. In Southeast Michigan, Travertine Garcia is our Community Health Intern. These amazing ladies will help Taste the Local Difference further our mission of educating consumers about the benefits of local food and supporting food and farming entrepreneurs.

Emily Lesky

Emily is a Northern Michigan native born and raised in the beautiful Petoskey/Harbor Springs area. She graduated this past May from Michigan State University with a degree in nutritional science and a minor in health promotion. She will be working with Taste the Local Difference this summer as a Community Health Intern. Growing up in a close-knit Northern Michigan led me to a passion for local food and sustainable communities. She is excited to get to explore the Traverse City food culture this summer and make new connections in the area.

Julia Linder

Julia recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Environmental studies and a minor in Food. She spent a lot of time abroad while growing up, though her family always considered Elk Rapids home base. This led Julia to focus her studies on Michigan agricultural issues and food systems. For my undergraduate thesis, Julia researched how Michigan cherry, apple, and other tree fruit growers will be impacted by a changing climate. She wants to continue learning about local Michigan food systems and connecting with local farmers, and is excited to do so with Taste the Local Difference this summer! 

Travertine Garcia

Travertine is a second year graduate student at the University of Michigan studying Public Health and Nutritional Sciences. Growing up in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia, she developed an appreciation for food, agriculture, and the environment. As a young adult, she moved to Southern Chile where she was fascinated by bountiful produce markets and subsistence farming communities, but alarmed by inequities in the food system that were similar to those in her home state. These experiences inspired her to pursue studies in nutrition and food systems. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition with a minor in Civic Agriculture & Food Systems from Virginia Tech and has experience working in clinical research, managing community gardens, waiting tables, and selling produce at Eastern Market farm stands. Travertine hopes to address complex public health issues using a food systems approach and bring greater attention to sustainable food systems in the fields of dietetics and public health. As the TLD SE Michigan Community Health Intern, Travertine is excited about supporting Michigan’s local food economy, learning from food systems leaders, and promoting 10 Cents a Meal, a state program that provides schools with incentive funding to purchase Michigan-grown produce.