About the FBEN
The FBEN is a free member network established to strengthen and support the work of educators, farmers, and community leaders who provide access and experiences of all kinds on working farms. The FBEN is a project administered by Shelburne Farms and supported by regional groups, network advisers, and founding partners who co-coordinate many of the outreach and program activities of the Network.
Join the the FBEN to get involved in our co-cooridnated national gatherings, regional events and to stay conencted to your network of colleagues and friends!
We strive to join all farm-based education practitioners in an international network to facilitate a supportive environment for our work.
We strive to serve as a resource for professional development, networking, employment, education, programming, and facilities management to reinforce and support each member’s farm-based education practice.
We strive to serve as a champion of and advocate for the growth of farm-based education programs and enhance the visibility of the field.
We strive to be a sustainable, effective, and highly valued professional network that exhibits, expresses, and administratively supports the vision, goals, and values of the organization.
Network Core Values
We believe that farm-based education is among the most effective and promising forms of environmental, experiential, and place-based education because of the innate ability in all people to connect to farms.
We believe that farm-based experiences promote life values by relating to the social, moral, cognitive, and emotional aspects of the human experience.
We believe that hands-on learning on farms builds confidence, self-awareness, and individual and collective responsibility which leads to the sustainable stewardship of our world.
We believe that there is real pedagogical value to learning while working on a product or process that will have lasting value beyond the task at hand.
We believe that practical lessons on farms enhance and reinforce theoretical learning in schools.
We believe that farm-based education promotes respect for nature, manual work, individuals, and community.
We believe in the practice and promotion of sustainability in all aspects of society.
We believe that the raising of food is fundamental to our society and that all people should know about agriculture and where their food comes from.
We believe that experiences on farms affect participants far greater than the specific programming such that the peripheral experiential learning is deep, significant and truly transformative.
We believe that the natural rhythms and cycles seen and experienced on farms leads to a deeper and accessible understanding of the world.
We recognize that farms come in a wide variety of sizes and structures. Educational activities at farms can be effective regardless of specific characteristics and products. Farms can be owned, leased, for-profit or not-for-profit, raising vegetables, animals, fiber, timber, and other living natural resource products. Educational farms can range from having a single teacher-farmer to a staff of hundreds. Educational farms can serve all ages from infant visitors with their parent, through K to 12 grades, to university students and adults throughout their lives.