History

Did you know that the FBEN was founded in 2006? Eighteen representatives from eleven farms and organizations met for a lively 2-day meeting at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. The idea for the association had brewed for quite some time. Brooke Redmond, a consultant to farm-based education programs, had visited farm programs in the spring of 2004 while researching her masters thesis. In talking to farm-based educators, board members, and teachers, she realized that everyone had the same idea: to start an organization that would support and nurture farm-based education programs.

Did you know that the FBEN was founded in 2006? Eighteen representatives from eleven farms and organizations met for a lively 2-day meeting at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. The idea for the association had brewed for quite some time. Brooke Redmond, a consultant to farm-based education programs, had visited farm programs in the spring of 2004 while researching her masters thesis. In talking to farm-based educators, board members, and teachers, she realized that everyone had the same idea: to start an organization that would support and nurture farm-based education programs.

In 2005, the  seed of an idea for the FBEN sprouted at the The Association of Nature Center Administrators’ 2nd Farm Education Symposium in Greenville, Delaware. Then, in May of 2006, the Farm-Based Education Association gathered at Shelburne Farms the first time to discuss how it could support the work of farm-based educators around the world.  Representatives from the following farms and organizations played key roles in launching the association and shepherded it as it grew and evolved: The Farms of the Trustees of Reservations, The Delaware Nature Center & Coverdale Farm, Drumlin Farm, The FARM Institute, The Farm School, Land’s Sake, Shelburne Farms, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, Stonewall Farm, Pony Farm & Horse Power, and the Spannocchia Foundation.

 

The Farm-Based Education Association hosted gatherings, developed a website, and worked on consulting projects. The membership grew from 3 people in 2007 to 500 in 2010 to 2,460 in 2015. It moved from an association to a network in 2013 and was nested at Shelburne Farms, where a team of educators continues to help the FBEN fulfill its mission of inspiring, nurturing, and promoting farm-based education. 

Founding Partners

 

This network would not exist without the dedication and vision of the Founding Partners of the FBEN. Some Founding Partners have moved on from the positions they first worked with the FBEN. They are listed with their past affiliation because they represented that founding farm or program at the time.

 

Michael Abelman - Farmer, Author, Photographer & Founder, Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, British Columbia, CA
Marci Birkes - Formerly with Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH
Megan Camp - Vice President & Program Director, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT
Wayne Castonguay - Former Farm Manager, Appleton Farms (A Farm of the Trustees of Reservations), Ipswich, MA
Erin Cinelli - Executive Director, Spannocchia Foundation, Portland, ME
Patch Connors - Assistant Director, The Farm School, Athol, MA
Daphne Derven - Formerly with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, New Orleans, LA
Rolf Diamant - Formerly with the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, Woodstock, VT
Brian Donahue - Professor of American Environmental Studies, Brandeis University
Sam Feldman - Founder & Chairman of the Board, The FARM Institute, Edgartown, MA
Judy Fink - Formerly with Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY
Matthew Goldfarb - Formerly with Cornell Unioversity's Small Farms Program and formerly with The FARM Institute, Ithaca, NY
Ben Holmes - Founder, The Farm School, Athol, MA
Dana Hudson - Northeast Regional Lead for National Farm to School Network, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT
Antoine Jacobsohn - Responsable du Potager du Roi Versailles(Curator of the King's Kitchen Garden)
Versailles, France
Jen James - Formerly Director of Operations at Farm Aid and Former Director of Codman Community Farms
Cambridge, MA
Nena Johnson - Public Programs Director, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY
David Kahn - Executive Director of the N. American Montessori Teachers Association, Program Director for the National Center for Montessori / Adolescent Studies & Founding Program Director the Hershey Montessori Farm School, Burton, OH
Grey Lee - Formerly with Land’s Sake, Weston, MA
Tia Pinney - Teacher Naturalist, Drumlin Farm, A Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary, Lincoln, MA

Brooke Redmond - Farm-Based Education Association Founding Executive Director, Principal Consultant, Radish Road, Concord, MA 

Rachel Schneider - General Management Group, Hawthorne Valley Farm, Ghent, New York
Kris Scopnich - Education Manager, Drumlin Farm, A Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary, Lincoln, MA
Louise Schorn Smith - President, Countryside Consulting, Glenmoore, PA
Scott Stokoe - Organic Farm Manager, Dartmouth College Organic Farm, Hanover, NH
John H. Vogel Jr. - Adjunct Professor of Business Administration & Associate Faculty Director, Allwin Initiative for Corporate Citizenship Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH
Michele Wales - Farm Program Coordinator, DE Nature Society, Hockessin, DE

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Shelburne Farms is the coordinating organization for the Farm-Based Education Network 

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