Prairie Farm Corps Youth Development Program

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2017: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2019
Grant Recipient: Liberty Prairie Foundation
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Manager:
Shannon McBride
Liberty Prairie Foundation


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, workshop, youth education
  • Soil Management: composting


    Founded in 2009, the Prairie Farm Corps operates as a youth development program that offers paid job training on an organic farm for diverse teens. This year we will offer a paid internship to a Sustainable Agriculture student from Gateway Technical College to further their classroom education with practical farm experience.

    Prairie Farm Corps is a youth development program that integrates personal and professional development with farm work. Prairie Farm Corps is an immersion in sustainable agriculture from seed to table. The students plant the seeds in the greenhouse, transplant the crops into the fields, weed and care for them as they grow, harvest the vegetables at the appropriate time, and turn the produce into something delicious in our kitchen. Through this process of immersion, along with classroom instruction, the students begin to visualize a full picture of sustainable farming and its crucial role in our food system.

    Project objectives:

    1. Students understand the importance of sustainable agriculture by experiencing it as farmers, enabling them to draw direct comparisons to conventional agriculture. 
    2. Students build a strong foundation of sustainable agriculture concepts by participating in classroom sessions.
    3. Students share what they've learned about their experience and sustainable agriculture by interacting with mothers participating in food programs (Beacon Place and Women, Infants, and Children [WIC]), and giving talks about their experience at a Celebration event for friends and family.
    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.