Friday, September 7, 2012

Healthy Farms, Healthy Kids

SARE Youth Educator Grant

YENC09-019 Ceresco, NE – William Powers

Objective: To inform the next generation of farmers in Nebraska about sustainable agriculture.

Krista and Doug Dittman enjoy
showing visitors their Jersey cattle
and how they farmstead cheeses.
The city kids posing, ready to taste
the butter they made on the farm.
Results: I am the director of the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS).  Founded in 1976 by a group of organic farmers, its mission is to promote agriculture and food systems that build healthy land, people, communities, and quality of life for present and future generations.  Through my SARE project, I wanted to encourage kids in Nebraska to become interested in farming sustainably by offering a series of programs geared toward getting kids back to the farm.

A Youth Scholarship Essay Contest was held. All who submitted a one-page essay on what sustainable agriculture means to them received a full youth scholarship to the NSAS annual conference.

We organized several activities that brought urban kids and kids from farms together. We took pasture walks, milked cows, made butter, and learned about making cheese.

The final phase of my project was taking kids to a farmers market. The kids asked each farmer three questions: where, why, and how they farmed.

I hope to expand this project in 2012 to include a day-long sustainable agriculture day camp, youth-led sessions for kids at the annual conference, and a sustainable agriculture club at universities and colleges in Nebraska.  Learn more here.
(Photo by William Powers)

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