Mason Adams and his young son Noah during his send-off from the Roanoke Times. Photo shot by Matt Chittum.

Just six weeks ago, Mason Adams was covering the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

But as of this week, the former Roanoke Times politics reporter has gone to work as SustainFloyd’s new operations coordinator.

Mason will be working in the office downtown and handling the nuts-and-bolts of many of SustainFloyd’s programs, providing Director Mike Burton the support and assistance in helping take this organization to the next level.

Mason is a relative newcomer to Floyd County, but he’s a native of western Virginia. He was born and raised in Clifton Forge, Virginia, about an hour north of Roanoke. He’s one generation removed from farm – both on his mother’s side in Alleghany County, Va., and on his father’s side in Paris, Ill.

Mason grew up steeped in the outdoors: His father, Steve “Doc” Adams, taught biology and nursing classes at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and his family took regular camping trips to the Great Smoky Mountains and elsewhere. Mason obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island and worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico. He also spent two years tracking California Condors, banding migratory songbirds and working on riparian restoration in Big Sur, Calif.

In 2001 Mason shifted directions and went to work as a full-time journalist, interning at High Country News in Colorado before moving on to the Enterprise Mountaineer in western North Carolina and ultimately landing at his hometown paper, the Roanoke Times. Over the last five years he’s covered Roanoke city and western Virginia politics, including the last two presidential elections.

Mason sees his new job at SustainFloyd as a return to his roots and an opportunity to take a hands-on approach to issues he’s passionate about. SustainFloyd’s work touches many of the themes he’s tried to approach in both his career and personal life – particularly the balance between local culture and globalization.

“Much of the SustainFloyd’s work, whether through the farmers market, artisan trail tour or facilities to assist food and dairy producers in adding value to their products, is aimed at helping locals take advantage of regional and global opportunities,” Mason said.

You can follow Mason on Twitter.

Mason will work out of the SustainFloyd office in downtown Floyd and should be there during business hours on most days. Come by and say hi.