The Farm at Stonehill seeks to “grow community around fresh produce” and spark those who visit the farm to think about how their food choices have local and global, social and environmental impacts. We are pleased to be partnering with Farm to Institution New England and the Vela Foundation to host this inaugural gathering of the campus farmer community in New England. This one-day summit will be participatory in nature and may result in the establishment of a more official “Campus Farmer Network” if this is deemed a priority by attendees. We are part of a community of colleges with gardens or farms on or near their campuses, and we are organizing this summit to offer campus farmers and their friends an opportunity to gather to learn “what’s growing on your campus.”
About The Summit:
The Farm at Stonehill will host a one-day summit at The Martin Institute at Stonehill College to offer campus farmers the chance to connect in person about what makes their farms successful. At this summit, students, farmers and instructors will have the opportunity to meet with individuals working at other campus farms, local for-profit farms, and local, regional and national organizations and agencies that are working to strengthen ties to the foods that we eat. This forum will provide an opportunity for stakeholders working at the intersection of food justice, environmental sustainability, food access, and healthy eating to discuss challenges and opportunities, as well as invite partners from the nonprofit sector to join us in conversation about what colleges and universities can be doing to forge deeper alliances within our communities to grow a stronger regional food system.
What to Expect at The Summit:
Following inspiring opening remarks by Molly Anderson and a campus farmer panel, workshops and breakout sessions will offer attendees the opportunity to learn from fellow campus farmers, local farmers, and non-profits about a range of issues chosen by participants who complete this survey by September 15th.
This summit will foster conversations around how campus farmers can better support each other and themselves to support initiatives that are important to their communities. Attendees will learn from each other and special guests about the many different opportunities available to them to engage in the fields of food justice, food security, the Real Food movement, sustainability, nutrition, and student research. Ultimately, attendees will work together to determine how college farms can connect and support each other as they help their students to learn about the different success paths that they can take to find meaningful work that will strengthen our food systems, environmentally, socially, and politically - today and in the years to come.
Campus farmers who attend the summit will be given the opportunity to learn from each other and from individuals working for local non-profits and small businesses about the different ways to cultivate successful living classrooms and help fuel social change.
Students, Faculty and community partners will gain knowledge about the different opportunities available to engage with the fields of food justice, food security, the Real Food movement, sustainability, nutrition, research, and academic excellence.
All attendees will exchange best practices and work together to determine how college farms can play a role in strengthening our food systems, environmentally, socially, and politically.
Who should attend?
The Farm at Stonehill is hosting this summit to celebrate the growing trend across the country for college campuses to start and maintain sustainable farms or gardens on their campuses. We welcome student and beginning farmers to attend the summit to learn from veteran farmers who have been doing this work for decades and to share their ideas in a format designed to spark conversation and grow relationships between institutions.
The campus farm trend, however, lacks a consistent platform for networking, sharing best practices, and working cohesively among campuses and with community partners to create lasting change.
Housed in the Mission Division of the College, develop a strong sense of place and stewardship to the natural world, all the while working to address local and global issues of poverty and hunger relating to climate change, food production and food distribution.
Welcome & Introduction to Campus Farmer Network - Martin Auditorium
The Many Faces of New England Campus Farms Panel-Facilitated by Molly Anderson, Middlebury College -Martin Auditorium PANELISTS: Bridget Meigs, The Farm at Stonehill Gwyneth Harris, Sterling College Bay Hammond, Green Mountain College
Workshop Focus: Learn how to bring more classes to your campus farms to give students hands on opportunities to engage and develop solutions to issues of social and environmental justice. Hear from farm managers about their successes developing living classrooms at their institutions.
Workshop Focus: Learn how campus farms offer unique places for students to get involved with and change the campus food system. Hear from students, farm managers, and dining staff on how farms can be a catalyst for campus change.
Workshop Focus: Learn about on campus food insecurity issues for students and how campus farms can either directly or indirectly help to alleviate the stigma of food insecurity and support these students. Hear from Campus Compact for Southern New England about research and solutions they are supporting on campuses.
Workshop Focus: Learn how campus farms have helped the school’s community learn about the complexity of agricultural systems and witnesses the power of how institutions have the potential to positively impact local businesses. Hear from campus farmers, a Bon Appetit Management Company Fellow, a Dining Services GM about how rethinking purchasing relationships between campus farms and dining service providers can undergird and facilitate the broader educational and community oriented goals of campus farms.
Visit Sponsors, Posters and Network - Martin Auditorium
Workshop Focus: Learn how to acquire farm skills and put them to work in careers that impact the food system – on or off farm. Hear from professionals who completed The Farm School’s Training program and who worked at The Farm at Stonehill as college students.
Workshop Focus: Learn how to take the exciting but potentially overwhelming job of engaging faculty, staff, students, and community partners with campus farms in meaningful ways. Hear from farm mangers, a director of service learning, and plant care specialists about exciting existing and future about how they are managing their engaging campus farms.
Workshop Focus: Learn about a campus farm that has been producing food for the college community for over 40 years on 70 acres of land. Hear from the Hampshire College Farm’s Team about crop and product mix and menu planning, their evolving relationship their food service provider: Bon Appetit, pricing structures, ordering and delivery systems, and student involvement, as well as communication to our campus community about their efforts.
Workshop Focus: Learn about how McKay Farm and Research Station at Unity College engages the local community through a variety of methods intended to strengthen its position as a resource to the area and to support other local businesses and farms. Hear from the farm manager about how to reach out to the local farms and community around your farm to forge ties and grow community.
Social Change at The Farm- Closing Discussion - Dr. Deirdre Tobias - Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Open Space, Networking, Poster & Table Exploration