Organizing Partners 

The missions of the organizing partners of the 6th Farm-Based Education National Gathering overlap around education and community engagement. We share a vision of building an informed and engaged citizenry and a vibrant agricultural landscape where everyone has access to healthy food. We have joined forces through the 2016 Gathering to convene practitioners and professionals who, like us, believe in the power of public engagement on farms, in gardens, and in kitchens and know the strength of Connections That Lead to Change.

"The most successful farm to school programs take an integrated approach - connecting local food in the cafeteria with experiential food and agriculture education in the classroom and out in the community on farms. In order to make sure more students have access to these kinds of experiences, we need professional development opportunities like those provided by the FBE National Gathering."

Simca Horwitz

Massachusetts Farm to School 

"Community Education in Concord-Carlisle is an idea that comes to life only with the voluntary participation of local citizens and community organizations. In the National Gathering we envision an opportunity to bring together a large number of people who, while diverse in many respects, share a love of the farm and the classroom. Creative partnerships make this possible."

Court Booth

Concord Carlisle Adult and Community Educationo 

Concord Carlisle Adult & Community Education

Concord Carlisle Adult & Community Education (CCACE) provides opportunities for lifelong learning to the citizens of the school district and surrounding towns. We make schools available for extended-day educational use for citizens in  Concord and Carlisle.Collaborating with citizens and organizations, CCACE responds to community needs and interests with our communities' talents and resources.

The Trustees 

The Trustees of Reservations preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts. We are more than 100,000 people like you who love the outdoors, who love the distinctive charms of New England, and who believe in celebrating and protecting them, for everyone, forever.  Our passion is to share with everyone the irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures we care for.

Massachusetts Farm to School 

We facilitate sustainable purchasing relationships between local institutions and local farms, promote local food and agriculture education for students, and support state, regional and national networking of farm to school practitioners.

Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit organization educating for a sustainable future. That means learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet. Our home campus is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark.

The Concord Food Collaborative

The Concord Food Collaborative is a network and online resource facilitating information sharing and the building of local food connections in Concord, Massachusetts. The mission of the Concord Food Collaborative is to celebrate and grow our vibrant, local food system.  ​The Concord Food Collaborative is open to all individuals, businesses, and organizations with an interest in the mission.

The Farm Based Education Network

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 program 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.

Shared Vision Among Organizing Partners 

The diversity of partners organizing the 6th Farm-Based Education National Gathering are committed to education and community engagement that links people to the land within the regions where they live, work, and play.  Connection to the land has potency to transform lives. Our vision is an informed and engaged citizenry that cares for the agricultural land and supports a healthy food system.


Connections that Lead to Change

The 2016 Gathering will bring together practitioners and professionals who provide public engagement on farms, in

gardens, and in kitchens; and who understand the potential that such connections hold for sustaining lasting food systems change.

Farms that open to the public offer tangible means for people to build relationships with working lands. Farm-based education links us to the land, to food, to our agrarian roots, and to each other. The more we understand where our food comes from, the more we will care about sustaining a local food economy. These connections build strong, resilient communities.


As social beings, humans are at our best when pulling together. Sharing the yoke and connected, we accomplish more with less and reduce redundancy. This certainly is the case with the partnership of 2016 Gathering organizers. It also holds true for citizens buying CSA shares, attending farm-based programs, volunteering on farm boards, and mapping farm-food-nutrition programming into school curriculums, to name a few.

People caring for the land and animals that sustain them.

People caring for each other.

People needing people.

Connections That Lead to Change.

Farm-based education plays a vital role in individual, community, and environmental health.  The miracle of cultivating life from the soil, being sustained by it, and enjoying the conviviality of a thoughtfully prepared and shared meal – these simple experiences can strengthen lives. Suddenly, we appreciate the land in a wholly new way, valuing our connection to it and with each other. From this springboard of caring, an amazing place-based transformation can occur.


Peace. Love. And Radishes. See you in November!

2016 National Gathering Planning Committee


Appleton Farms, a Property of The Trustees, Ipswich, MA

Common Ground H.S. Urban Farm and Environmental Learning Center, New Haven, CT

Fernbrook Farms, Chesterfield, NJ

Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista, MN

Holly Hill Farm, Cohasset, MA

Farm Discovery at Live Earth, Watsonville, CA

Massachusetts Farm to School

Retreat Farm, Brattleboro, VT 

Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT

Soule Homestead, Middleborough, MA

Spence Farm Foundation, Evanston, IL

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY

Suzie’s Farm, San Diego, CA

Three Sisters Garden, Ipswich, MA

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

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