SHELBURNE- When a field trip of young school children arrives at a farm, the farmer often finds him or herself acting as a teacher to explain and educate about farm life. April 20 – 21, twenty farmers got the chance to be students again at the Shelburne Farms “Digging Deeper into Farm Education” workshop, focused on helping seasoned farmers improve their teaching skills for their own farm’s frequent visitors, both young and old. Farmers gathered at Shelburne Farms to learn new, exciting methods of educating about farms while sharing their own experiences and successes as farmer/educators. Vermont Farms! Association Board Chair Beth Kennett of Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester brought knowledge gained as a farm owner who has hosted farm stays and raised the agricultural IQ of many guests who had never before understood the importance of farming to their lives, and learned some ideas, many from “Project Seasons,” Shelburne Farms’ collection of curriculum ideas and hands-on activities for educating children on science, agriculture, and the environment. With its conservation ethic and more than 20 years of experience in educating the public, young and old, with these techniques, “Shelburne Farms is a snapshot of hope for a sustainable future,” said one attendee from Ontario, “It teaches with the heart and compassion.”
Shelburne Farms will hold a similar program, “The ABC’s of Farm Education,” on Oct. 19 and 20 for farmers just beginning to explore the possibilities of opening their farm for education. As one of the participants in the “Digging Deeper” workshop, said, “Educating our youth is the key to our future and the future of the earth.”
Shelburne Farms is a 1,400 acre working farm, nonprofit environmental organization and National Historic Landmark. The mission of Shelburne Farms is to cultivate a conservation ethic by teaching and demonstrating the stewardship of natural and agricultural resources.
Photo: Beth Kennett of Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, right, and Katherine Sims of Northwood Apiaries in Westfield
Shelburne Farms photo
Rosalyn Graham, Diane Konrady
Shelburne Farms, Vermont Farms! Assocation