Shawn Badgley has wanted to work at BuzzFarmers since before it even existed; since he was a small child in the Nineties growing up on a mire in Belarus, the sixteenth of 17 children born to peat gatherers Vsevolod and Varvara Badgley. Every morning, he would load up hardtack rations on a peat wagon, hitch it to his favorite goat, Gleb, and ride out to a secret writing spot nestled near the Bug River.
There, he would research the flora and fauna, practice his interviewing skills on Gleb, and “blog” on the walls of a mushroom cave, since computers – or electricity, for that matter – had not yet been introduced to his village of Merechevschina. Typewriters, too, were scarce. Pens, pencils, and paper, as well.
This was unfortunate, given Merechevschina’s noteworthy connection to the Western World and all of its technological might: The village, after all, is the birthplace of Tadeusz Kościuszko, who immigrated to America in 1776, befriended Thomas Jefferson (yes – that Thomas Jefferson), advocated for the abolition of slavery, and served in the Revolutionary War alongside his new countrymen. For years after, the dashing and cosmopolitan freedom fighter bathed in glory like the muskrat bathes in an icy brook.
Shawn is a direct descendent of Kościuszko – in addition to bearing a striking resemblance, they share a middle name, Bonawentura – and, much like his celebrated ancestor, he’s excited to get in on the ground floor of something big.
We’re excited to have him as our newest writer! We lobbed a few softballs to get to know him during his first week at the BuzzFarmers office:
BuzzFarmers: How does it feel to be a BuzzFarmer?
Shawn Badgley: It feels fantastic – like a dream come true. Thank you.
BF: You’re welcome. Why did you want to work for us?
SB: For so long, I have admired from afar your approach to digital marketing and audience cultivation. The emphasis on strong writing and dynamic original media is refreshing. The staff is fun and smart. The allegiance with start-ups and companies who do things the right way. The commitment to organic content. But mostly the office furniture, particularly the stand-up desk.
BF: Thank you for your honesty.
SB: You’re welcome.
BF: What do you do for leisure?
SB: I write.
BF: But that’s what you do for work.
SB: Good point. I write more? I read. Cook. Watch baseball. Run in the forest. Take pictures!
BF: What are your six favorite cities?
SB: Merechevschina, St. Louis, Austin, Baltimore, Real de Catorce, Providence.
BF: Six favorite foods?
SB: Sugarbeets, radishes, hardtack, vodka, sockeye salmon, eggs.
BF: Can you share with our audience some highlights of your professional background?
SB: Well, my professional background, aside from the family business of peat, is mostly in journalism and politics – as a writing editor covering news, culture, tech, etc., and then handling communications for campaigns. But I have also laid concrete, worked in a rebar factory, washed dishes, and painted apartments.
BF: Name a company you admire.
SB: Probably a tie between Belkommunmash, a manufacturer of electric public transportation vehicles based in Minsk, and the Country Hen in Hubbardston, Mass., which produces the best eggs on the planet.
BF: Favorite form of social media?
SB: Tie between Tumblr and Twitter.
BF: What are some of your goals?
SB: First and foremost, a nice, lengthy, fruitful career at BuzzFarmers, developing lifelong relationships with co-workers and clients. Also, I’d like to continue developing as a writer, editor, and photographer. Be a better partner, friend, brother, son. Acquire more hard skills, especially in tech and design. Speak more Spanish. Travel. Become more mindful and compassionate. Learn how to actually play the piano instead of just banging around on it like a jerk. And, of course, go back to my village with a laptop or two, maybe load up a word processor for the kids to play around on at the one-room schoolhouse.
Shawn is a remarkably talented writer and we’re so, so, so excited to have him on the team. Napa thinks he’s pretty darn rad, too. Especially when he shares his lunch.