The purpose of the Farm to Community Mentor program is to expand agricultural awareness by developing a community understanding of agriculture and to develop on-going relationships between communities, schools and their local farms. Farm to Community Mentors are farmers and educators who facilitate links between other farmers, gardeners, educators, children, and community in order to reconnect communities to their local agriculture.
Farm to Community Mentors work to make farms and farmers more prominent resources in every community in Vermont. The Mentor project responds to the need in our communities for children and families to understand the important role that farms play in Vermont.
One of the most beloved Farm to Community Mentor Programs is our Farmer Correspondence Program, which establishes pen pal relationship between a farmer and a classroom for the winter months. Each farmer/classroom pair is eligible for a farm visit. Here are videos of successful farm visits: one on a diversified organic vegetable farm (below) and one on a dairy farm (above). If you'd like to participate, contact Abbie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-434-4122.
Statewide farm to Community Mentor Projects
Do you ever wonder what farmers do in the winter months? Farmer pen-pals correspond with classrooms during the winter months across the state to share the events on the farm: from using draft horses in Fairfield to collect sap, to training a working farm dog in Dorset. Mentors match classrooms with farmers based on students’ interests and grade levels. Every subject matter taught in school can be explored through agriculture and be enhanced by corresponding with a farmer.
Joining the NOFA VT Farmer Correspondence Program as a teacher or farmer, means that a farmer pen pal relationship will be established with a classroom for the winter months. Each farmer/classroom pair is eligible for a farm visit either in the fall, before the letter writing or in the spring as a culmination.
Here are videos of successful farm visits: one on a diversified vegetable farm and one on a dairy farm!
NOFA-VT Farm to Community Mentor Program, a local sheep farmer, and Northwest Access TV (channel 15/16) have teamed together to create a farm visitation video geared towards preschool-age children. This ongoing project (more videos to come!) is intended to build excitement and knowledge of Vermont farms. Local libraries and daycares are viewing the farm experience, and it has been used for farm education lessons in some local classrooms. Next video to be made available soon: Dairy and Fiber Farms!
Agricultural Literacy Week is an opportunity for focused educational events to encourage a robust understanding of agriculture in Vermont's schools and communities. Farm to Community Mentors facilitate events, such as farm visits and film screenings, in their areas.
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