Food, Farming and Sustainability: A Whole Systems Approach for Farm-to-School Education for the Future of Food Security.

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2023: $38,192.00
Projected End Date: 04/01/2025
Grant Recipient: Good Shepherd Montessori School
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:
Therese Zimmerman
Good Shepherd Montessori School

Information Products


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, mentoring, networking, workshop, youth education

    Proposal abstract:

    Building on our previous SARE grant (ONC21-097) Farm Education for core curriculum, we request funding to conduct an in-person 3-day conference for farmers and teachers interested in partnering to build school farm programs as a tool for growing a resilient and sustainable local food system and environment in the NCR. This conference will market heavily to small farmers, both urban and rural in the NCR, and provide curriculum and training to encourage whole systems approaches to education using the farm lifecycle as the foundational tool. By doing so, we can address a number of looming insecurities experienced by small farmers in our region including land access, ready markets, quality of life issues, and we can promote farming careers while helping future generations understand the relationship between agriculture and environmental health. 

    During the conference, local farmers, agriculture professionals, and teachers will participate as expert instructors. Each participant will receive a farmer-developed and tested curriculum (output of ONC21-097), training, consulting and demonstration breakout sessions, and farm tours. All conference activities will aim to inform and inspire the development of unique farm programs across the region.


    Project objectives from proposal:

    • To include young adult interns in pre and post-conference development and data collection as an educational experience
    • Publish 120 copies of curriculum manuscript Food, Farming and Sustainability: A Curriculum Guide for Home, Schools, and Farms (product of SARE grant, ONC21-097)  
    • Plan and execute a 3-day professional conference for training and consulting to advance farmer/teacher partnerships in farm educational programming
    • Collect and evaluate surveys: pre and post-conference (6-month and 18-month) to measure conference and curriculum success regarding attitudinal and conceptual changes of participants and development of new farm-to-school programming.
    • Prepare SARE reports
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.