School-Farm Partnerships: Creating Natural Systems of Education for Food Production and Environmental Stewardship

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2017: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2019
Grant Recipient: Good Shepherd Montessori School
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Manager:
Dr. Eric Oglesbee
Good Shepherd Montessori School


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: cover crops, no-till, seed saving, water storage
  • Education and Training: workshop, youth education
  • Production Systems: holistic management, permaculture
  • Soil Management: composting


    The proposed project included education and hands-on training of Junior High students and teachers in food production with an emphasis on conservation of natural resources. An experienced local farmer specializing in restoration agriculture spent one farming cycle training students and staff. The goal was to expand local food production and facilitate hands-on knowledge of environmental stewardship. Each week, classroom lessons were augmented by landwork that supported academic lessons.

    Project objectives:

    Farmer and educator, Theri Niemier from Bertrand Farm, was hired by Good Shepherd Montessori School (GSMS) to teach two semesters of agriculture classes to Jr. high students and faculty and extend the school's urban farming environment. In addition to the educational objectives of the project (i.e., student/parent/staff applied farm and environmental education), another objective was to position GSMS to be competitive for an NCR-SARE R&E grant proposal as a follow on from the current project.

    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.