ISSUED: 20 June 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University, the West Virginia University Extension Service, and Jefferson Growers, Artisans, and Producers Coalition, conducted the Jefferson Farm to School Institute for school teachers, nutrition staff, cafeteria managers, nurses, and parents June 17-19. The institute is part of a new initiative to help connect K-12 students to the land and their communities.
The workshop covered topics such as starting a school garden, adopting garden-based learning, sourcing local food into the cafeteria, and incorporating more agriculture and place-based lessons into current curriculum.
Each day began with tours of a farm, including the West Virginia University Kearneysville Tree Fruit Research and Education Center, Green Gate Farm near Shepherdstown, and Tudor Hall Farm near Middleway. There were plenary sessions, demonstrations, and panel discussions. During the three days, members of each team designed an action plan for their school.
Participants attended a garden-based learning session and farm-to-table dinner at Shepherd’s Tabler Farm. Presenters from Shepherd included Dr. Arnetta Fletcher, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences, and Dr. Peter Vila, associate professor of environmental and physical sciences and director of Shepherd’s Veterans to Agriculture Program.
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