The next generation of farm and food system leaders are prepared to transform the food system.
Under strict precautions and in the midst of a pandemic, 8 Fellows gathered to complete a condensed four-month Farm and Food Study at AMI's Allegheny Farm Campus. Each Farm Fellow participated in 880 hours of farm training and educational sessions with staff and 15 local experts in preparation for putting their learning into action during 2021.
Phase II Fellows Matt and Lola mentored Farm Fellows to improve garden rotation, a no-till system, and animal integration. Together, they grew 7,000 pounds of vegetables, sharing 40% of the harvest withthe Highland community through market sales, a 12-member CSA, and donations valued at $3,000.
The AMI Farm at Augusta Health empowered patients and community members to enrich their diets for robust health. Fellows Kaila, Georgia, Will, and Tess cultivated 24,000 pounds of organic produce, supplying prescription produce and 3,400 fresh food boxes to home-bound patients. 1,600 people learned tips for growing and cooking in 43 workshops.
WAYNESBORO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Kate Collins Middle School built a new garden! Teachers and Fellow Tess constructed 12 raised beds and offered 14 educational sessions for Special Education and Technology classes. Learning in the garden improvedacademic achievement, physical health, and social development. Students plan to impact community health as farming expands in 2021.
HIGHLAND CHILDREN'S HOUSE
As Highland County’s only licensed child care center, Highland Children’s House has a fundamental role in nourishing healthy youth. Through 645homemade meals, countless cooking experiences, and a brand new vegetable garden, Fellow Naomi laid a strong foundation for growth. Elementary students also dug into 22 school garden classes.
STAUNTON CITY SCHOOLS
Bessie Weller Elementary School grew greener! Under the guidance of Fellow England, a formerly empty courtyard transformed into a bountiful, inviting garden and living classroom. In its first year, 175 studentsenjoyed hands-on and video-based encounters with plants, soil, compost, and pollinators during 25 educational sessions. Together, they grew 375 pounds of vegetables for taste testing and hunger relief.
AMI and Project GROWS joined hands to improve access to nutritious, local food. Fellows Natalie and Will helped grow vegetables, increase SNAP sales by 80% at the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market, and distribute3,000 meals to students. Through the new Fresh Food Donation Program, Fellows collected 369 poundsof produce at the end of farmers' markets and delivered it to shelters and food pantries.
LOCAL FOOD DRIVE-THRU
The Local Food Drive-Thru emerged as a solution to sustain community health and economic viability during uncertain times. Through logistics and outreach, Fellows Georgia and England aided 40 farmers and food producers in selling $180,000 of food to 600 customers. Working with non-profits, families in need received 300 community boxes of vegetables, dairy, meat, eggs, and bread.