Our GREENandSAVE Staff is pleased to inform our members and readers about organizations that are helping to promote sustainability. If you would like us to profile your organization please Contact Us.
Student Farmers is actively looking to recruit a student ambassador in Kentucky, as well as farm mentors in Kentucky that can help guide students. Overall, student farming is a great way to reduce the distance from farm to table and increase health for students as well as their parents.
Here is an overview on Student Farmers
Student Farmers is a growing group of students who are committed to in-home and in-school sustainable farming as a means to promote physical fitness and environmental stewardship.
Our Mission: To improve health and nutrition education, combat the challenges of climate change, and support each other in generating some revenue to help pay for college.
Our Vision: To increase knowledge about the advantages of eating more heathy and locally grown vegetables across the range of high school and college age students. We also hope that many of the parents of the students will learn from their children’s engagement in our organization and adopt a diet with less processed foods to reduce the growing cost of healthcare.
Here is an example of an agriculture education program in Kentucky:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — He travels to schools across the Louisville and Southern Indiana area, carpooling with sheep, goats, pigs, ducks and other animals.
On a hot afternoon in late July, a spot in the shade of a maple tree was Steve Meredith’s classroom for the day.
The Hardin County farmer had just two hours to teach students in a summer program at Middletown Elementary as much as he could about his traveling crew of animals.
He showed students how to properly hold piglets, bunnies and chicks, how to feed Butterscotch, a young newborn dairy calf, and introduced them to Buddy, an 8-year-old Narragansett turkey.
“This is not show and tell," Meredith told Spectrum News 1. "This is touch and smell.”
Farmer Steve has brought his pop-up barnyard to schools full-time for four years.
“Today we’re opening their minds up to a few things about farm animals, possibly agriculture as a career, certainly a connection with the environment and the outdoors," he said. "These kids are so tied to their devices as we call them today, that they get so little hands on, eyes on stimulation.”
Meredith instructed the children to keep their hands away from their faces as they handled the animals and to wash their hands as soon as they were done.
The final lesson — focusing on where food comes from — starred Mary the dairy goat.
Meredith milked the goat into a cup with the children gathered around to watch.
"Is that actual milk?" asked one student.
"Whoa," said another. "Can I try?"
"That is real milk," Meredith told the students. "I’m not drinking this and I would not allow you to drink it. It needs to be pasteurized first, OK? And that is heating it to control bacteria."
Asked what he learned from Meredith's visit, one student told Spectrum News 1, "I learned that if you be gentle with like any animal like a chick or a duck, it will be gentle and it won’t freak out."
Meredith planned to continue visiting schools for the next few months, he said.
"This helps to make my farm payments and my livelihood, allowing me to do something that I really want to do," he said. "So many people dread Monday. On Saturday, I’m thinking about where I’m going to be on Monday with these animals."