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 Oklahoma, as well as farm mentors in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma:
Oklahoma State University strives to promote sustainability efforts, and Ferguson College of Agriculture students are leading the charge to recommend environmental sustainability practices on campus.
Daussin Afonso and Julia Frusciante, OSU environmental science undergraduate students, researched sustainable water drainage systems on campus last spring. They provided recommendations for several locations, including the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall, a state-of-the-art teaching, research and Extension facility for OSU Agriculture.
“We were interested in this project because we saw the need for improvement of water drainage systems on campus,” Afonso said. “We wanted to leave something behind that can be used as a learning tool for students and help keep our campus looking beautiful.”
The duo developed the report as part of a senior capstone course led by Karen Hickman, professor and director of OSU’s environmental science undergraduate program.
With construction for the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall underway, Afonso and Frusciante saw the project as an opportunity to provide student perspectives on areas where sustainable systems can be implemented.
“When students are involved in making suggestions on these types of projects, they tend to move faster,” Frusciante said. “As students, we know what we want to see more of on campus, and OSU listens.”
Afonso and Frusciante worked with Randy Raper, assistant vice president of facilities for OSU Agriculture, on sustainability plans for the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall.
Raper said a rainwater catchment system was proposed as an alternate add-on, but it was not included in the base plan due to budget constraints for the New Frontiers project.
“We would like to implement a rainwater catchment system for teaching and research purposes,” he said. “The proposed plan includes an outdoor cistern located on the backside of the building to catch rainwater. However, we won’t be able to move forward with a rainwater catchment system until we have an entity that’s focused on funding that aspect.”
Combining creativity and knowledge, the students suggested additional rainwater catchment system plans to incorporate in the new building, including a rain garden, green roof and using permeable paving methods for the brick-paved walkways.
The students found rain gardens provide many environmental, economic and aesthetic benefits by capturing water from rooftops, driveways and sidewalks.
“There are already plans in place for landscaping, but we really would like to see rain gardens implemented,” Frusciante said. “We hope the idea can be revisited once construction is complete.”