We are involved in the Farm-Based Education Association because it supports working farms that provide unique experiences. It used to be that every child had a farm in their life. Whether they grew up on a farm, or visited grandparents on theirs, most children could describe the difference between a sheep and a goat, and knew the pleasure of finding frogs at the watering hole or playing pick up ball in the pasture. They watched as the crops grew tall in the field, helped with the harvest, and when they sat down to a warm plate of sweet squash mid-winter they could recall the afternoon in fall when it was canned. Rising at early hours and being a part of the natural rhythms of a farm gave a person life-long appreciation for the price of milk and eggs. In today’s fast-paced world people are often so removed from the source of their meal they can’t even name the origin of all the ingredients. I believe in the importance of connecting our communities to the role of agriculture in their lives, and to re-establishing that basic human connection to the land that sustains us. Every child who comes through our farm can recite that milk comes from a cow, but when their eyes open wide and they look up with surprise and whisper, “It’s warm!” I know the value of farm-based education is immeasurable. FBEA is the first step to seeing that these sorts of experiences continue and strengthen for generations to come.
- Marci Birkes , Education Director, Stonewall Farm , Keene, NH
We joined the FBEA for a few reasons. We need a resource that will stave off the isolation we feel out here in the countryside and that will save us the time we spend seemingly reinventing the wheel. Most importantly, we firmly believe in the unparalleled power of farm-based education to change people’s lives and the world and felt an organization was needed to help promote and nurture these special programs.
- Wayne Castonguay , General Manager, The Farms of the Trustees of Reservations , Ipswich, MA
The Spannocchia Foundation is delighted to be a Founding Partner of the Farm-Based Education Association and hopes to bring an international perspective to discussions about the importance of farm-base education and preservation of rural culture.
- Erin Cinelli , Executive Director, Spannocchia Foundation , Siena, Italy & Portland, ME
Wendell Berry, a farmer and poetic author, has said that. “eating is an agricultural act”. In today’s world, the vast majority of eaters lack any connection to the source of their food. Yet it is the land, the farms and the farmers who nurture and nourish us. People are rarely passionate about something they don’t know. People who are as passionate about farming as they are about learning founded the Farm-Based Education Association. Join us and help convert eaters of all ages into consumers who care about where and how their food was grown.
- Daphne Derven ,
(Candidate) Master of Science degree in Sustainable Development
at the University of London
2003-2006 founding director of programs at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
"A community and educational farm in every town is an essential part of a larger movement to conserve land and promote stewardship that engages people with the land. I became involved with the Farm-Based Education Association to further this vision. We need an organization that supports existing educational farms and that inspires and assists the creation of more educational farms."
When we founded the Farm Institute on Martha's Vineyard six years ago, our dream was to make our teaching farm a "model for America". Now, in collaboration with other similar organizations who share our vision, we have created the Farm Based Education Association so that all citizens can be exposed to the noble work and experiences that engaged us.
- Sam Feldman , Founder and Chairman of the Board, The FARM Institute , Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Farm-based education programs are working their fields to plant crops, raise livestock, and tend forests and gardens with the helping hands of children and adults who are seeking to experience the dynamic cycles of a working farm. These farms also serve as a tool nurturing and cultivating qualities of civic engagement, creative thought, independent action and responsibility, cooperative effort, pride and integrity. I support the work of FBEA because I share the belief that the virtues gained in farm work are greater than the production of food alone.
- Matthew Goldfarb , Executive Director, Bull Rider, Stunt Double, The FARM Institute , Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Our modern society seems to be moving further and further away from the land and into media fantasies and flicking screens. I have chosen to work in farming and land stewardship because it is an authentic and real experience, linking my life to that which physically sustains me and spiritually nourishes me. I want every kid to have the experience of working on a farm so they at least have a doorway to use to come out of the modern mess and seek their own path to the good life. The FBEA links many like minded folks working in this field and provides us a stronger team of horses to hitch our wagons to, and get more community farms to help more people get back to their agrarian roots and the goodness of the land.
- Grey Lee , Executive Director, Land’s Sake , Weston, MA