Green Youth Farm Success Story… Jesus Cuezzi

Jesus Cuezzi first joined the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Green Youth Farm Program in 2009. He began as a high school Crew Member at the North Chicago/ Waukegan Green Youth Farm, before moving up into the Crew Leader role in 2010 and then into the Market and Growing Apprentice role from 2011–12.


Throughout his employment at Green Youth Farm, Jesus has proven to be a hardworking, trustworthy, very capable and outgoing person, with an adventurous soul.


He was considered a leader among his peers at the farm.

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“Jesus has always taken customer service to the next level—when one regular customer hurt her leg and couldn’t make the trip to the market, Jesus offered to do some personal shopping for her and hand deliver farm fresh produce to her at home.”

— Laura Erickson, Green Youth Farm Sales Coordinator

For the last three months Jesus Cuezzi has been volunteering on an organic olive farm in Italy…

“I stayed with a wonderful family that owns an agritourismo in Riparbella, Tuscany. Ah, what a beautiful place! People are friendly. Food is made from heaven! The scenery is breathtaking. It’s simply a great country. I was able to learn a bit more Italian there. We harvest olives for about a month. I was in charge of taking care of the livestock. I fed and cared for donkeys, pigs, goats, horses, geese and chickens. The rest of the woofers didn’t care much for the animals, so I took that opportunity.”

 — Jesus Cuezzi


Jesus singing with fellow Green Youth Farm participants for a Talent show.
Jesus singing with fellow Green Youth Farm participants for a talent show.

Now back in the United States, Jesus is currently interviewing for a farming position with Tempel Farms in Old Mill Creek, IL, while helping to support his mother and brother. Jesus hopes to travel again in the fall to work on an organic farm in Central or South America. He has been a true success for our programs and we are proud to acknowledge his work, presence and persistence in the urban agriculture field.

©2013 Chicago Botanic Garden and

Published by

Darius Jones

Darius Jones is the coordinator of the McCormick Place Rooftop Farm. In 2013, WBEZ Radio named Darius an "Eco-Hero" for his work with urban agriculture ventures in Chicago. In 2014, he was named one of the Chicago Botanic Garden's Employees of Distinction, and was also awarded one of six "Golden Beet Awards" by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance for the "other varieties" category.

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