Ground School: Educating Young Adults About What's Possible In Sustainable Ag. Careers

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2023: $5,980.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Gathering Ground
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Manager:
Alessandra Rolffs
Gathering Ground

Information Products

Reflections From Ground School 2023 (Article/Newsletter/Blog)


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: agroforestry, cover crops, intercropping, pollinator habitat
  • Education and Training: mentoring, study circle, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: agritourism
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, row covers (for pests)
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, quality of life, social networks

    Proposal abstract:

    Gathering Ground’s Ground School is a summer internship that immerses young adults in sustainable agriculture. With 10-field days at GG's 40-acre farm, a biweekly seminar and 3 field trips, students are part of a community of learners and practitioners. Many of our past students are questioning their career/educational path or come from environmental studies programs that lack hands-on experiences. With a need for practical experience and understanding of career choices, Ground School provides students with a diversity of experiences and exposure to different kinds of career opportunities in sustainable agriculture. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Increase sustainable farming skills and knowledge in youth through hands-on horticultural sessions at Gathering Ground’s orchards, vineyards, and gardens. 
    2. Increase knowledge of modern food systems and the role of social responsibility in sustainable agriculture through seminar-style discussions of selected readings.
    3. Introduce youth to sustainable agriculture career opportunities through 3 field trips to different kinds farms and organizations that focus on sustainable agriculture.
    4. Students and educators will present learnings at public presentations event, with articles in the local newspaper, and through social media. 
    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.