Sustainable Agriculture and Education Grant
This education program targets teachers, government employees, community development officials, and agriculture producers. Producers play an important role in demonstrating sustainable agriculture practices and cooperative marketing concepts. Various agencies and organizations will assist with identifying producers to participate and offer practical sustainable agriculture tips and techniques. The desired outcome of these activities is to raise the level of awareness among agriculture professionals and others having an impact on the agricultural economy about sustainability and marketing. As communities increase their awareness of the impact of agriculture and marketing concepts, cooperatives are more likely to be viewed as an economic development tool.
1. To expand knowledge of agricultural economics among:
-Cooperative Extension Agents,
-Vocational Agriculture Instructors,
-the general public.
2. To conduct a series of cooperative education seminars, and workshops demonstrating the impact of marketing and supply cooperatives, and value-added cooperatives.
1. Conduct second seminar for RC&D, & Community Developers March 2003
2. Conduct third/Fourth Seminar for Educators June-July 2003
3. With educators develop a cooperative education/sustainable ag program for students
4. Conduct fifth seminar for Government employees Oct-Nov 2003
5. Conduct sixth seminar for RC&D, & Community Developers March 2004
6. Conduct seventh/eighth seminar for Educators June/July 2004
The following events were held in 2003:
1. Lynden High School Ag@School Mentoring Project utilizing lesson plans provided with Ag@School magazine issues (3)
Sept 2002-May 2003
2. Participation in Ag in the Classroom board meetings to explore opportunity for educational cooperative piece.
May, Sept, Oct 2003
3. North Olympic Peninsula “Forming Ag Cooperatives” workshop
4. Northwest Washington Fair, “Farming for Life” award winning display by Whatcom County Farm Friends
Work Yet to Accomplish:
1. Conduct three more seminars during 2004
2. Publish an agriculture cooperative piece in the Ag@School magazine
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
The workshops are serving as vehicles to raise awareness among teachers, government employees, community development officials and ag producers about the benefits of working together cooperatively. They also serve to identify organizations that are available to assist in their efforts.
Ag in the Classroom provides a method for teachers to highlight agriculture and still teach to the Washington Assessment for Student Learning (WASL) requirements.
Participation in the Northwestern Washington State Fair gives us a great forum for reaching over 12,000 visitors each year. The Whatcom County Farm Friends have designed an award winning display, which received the highest recognition possible from the State Fair Commissioner. The quality of their work created an opportunity to impress upon the public how important agriculture is to our state’s economy, food supply, and way of life.