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 Oregon, as well as farm mentors in Oregon 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 Oregon:
In 2021, Oregon renewed its commitment to supporting farm to school and school garden programming throughout the state. These funds are critical resources for Oregon schools to buy and serve Oregon foods; for districts and partner organizations to provide agriculture, nutrition, and garden-based educational activities; and for producers to meet the needs of schools as buyers.
In 2019, the Legislature increased its support for farm to school activities support from $4.5 million to nearly $15 million. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, those funds were threatened. After a state-wide effort that activated dozens of partners, and enlisted support from schools, food businesses, and advocates from across the state, legislators voted to allocate $10.2 million to the program.
A history of hard-won success
Through wide-ranging partnerships, farm to school and school garden programs have grown. But it didn’t happen over night. It has taken the state more than a decade to advance to where it is today.
2006: The Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network is formed
2007: Oregon creates a “Farm to School” position in the Oregon Department of Agriculture
2008: A parallel position is created in the Oregon Department of Education, making Oregon the first state in the country to support this program through positions in two state agencies.
2011: A Farm to School and School Garden grant program is created for school districts, starting with a small pilot funding amount of $200,000.
2013: Grant funding is expanded for school districts by $1,000,000, to a total of $1.2 million for 2013-15, allocation funding to 21 school districts around the state to buy local foods and to provide “food-based, agriculture based and garden-based educational activities.”
2015: Funding is expanded again, this time to a total of $4.5 million for 2015-17.
2017: Advocates and practitioners throughout the state rallied to keep Farm to School and School Garden grant funding in the Oregon state budget. HB 2038, championed by Representative Brian Clem, passed with unanimous support in both the House and the Senate, preserving $4.5 million in funding for the statewide Farm to School and School Garden grant program for the coming two-year budget cycle.
2019: HB 2579 passed with unanimous support in both the House and the Senate, increasing farm to school and school garden funding from $4.5 million to $15 million. The new legislation includes early $5 million in recurring funding for Oregon Department of Education to continue their programming.
2020: With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Farm to School grant funds are in threat of being eliminated.
2021: In June 2021 the Oregon legislators voted to approve $10.2 million in funding for Oregon’s Farm to School Grant Program, with all grant programs intact, and indicate that this level is sustainable into the future.