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Cornucopia offers Farm to Fork Fellowship

  • Hannah Berardi of the Cornucopia Project works to build a hoop house at the jughandle across from ConVal High School in Peterborough on Friday. Cornucopia recently announced the Farm to Fork Fellowship, an innovative student-farmer entrepreneurship pilot program. Partnering with ConVal and regional businesses who sponsor the students, the program’s first visible signs – and the foundation of the project – are taking shape in the form of a 90’x30’ hoop house. The growing space will transform into a garden, learning lab, and production center for Farm to Fork Fellowship students. Four high school students will be selected each year by Cornucopia Project leadership based on an application and essay, and are then paired with, and sponsored by, a regional business. The Fellowship begins with a 10--week intensive summer session where students are paid an hourly stipend to create a garden that gives back to the community. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Hannah Berardi of the C]ornucopia Project works to build a greenhouse at the jughandle across from ConVal High School in Peterborough on June 24, 2016. (Ben Conant / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ben Conant—


Monday, June 27, 2016

The Cornucopia Project, a non-profit organization with a mission to bring gardening education to today’s youth, announces the Farm to Fork Fellowship, an innovative student-farmer entrepreneurship pilot program. Partnering with the Contoocook Valley High School and regional businesses who sponsor the students, the program’s first visible signs – and the foundation of the project – are taking shape in the form of a 90’x30’ hoop house across from the school on Route 202. The growing space will transform into a garden, learning lab, and production center for Farm to Fork Fellowship students.

 

 

Four high school students will be selected each year by Cornucopia Project leadership based on an application and essay, and are then paired with, and sponsored by, a regional business. The Fellowship begins with a ten-week intensive summer session where students are paid an hourly stipend to create a garden that gives back to the community through a collaborative CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) with Farmer John’s Plot, a non-profit farm based in Dublin, NH. Over the course of the school year, Fellowship students will work 2-6 hours a week maintaining the greenhouse. They will also spend a week shadowing their business sponsor as they learn how that business works.

 

 

“The goal is to create a new cohort of leaders,” says Tony Geraci, Cornucopia Project Executive Director. “Students will stay with the program throughout high school, gaining responsibility as the bar is raised each year. They will also be tasked with training new students coming into the program. The vision is to have students bring the skills they’ve learned in the program into a deeper conversation about how those skills can manifest themselves in the business community.”

 

 

Students will collaborate with mentors from MAxT Makerspace in Peterborough – and entrepreneurs from across the community – to learn innovative skills, best practices, and apply Lean Manufacturing principles to the business of farming.

 

 

“We are empowering youth to do real work and gain life skills as valuable partners in our local food systems,” shares Hannah Bissex, Farm to Fork Coordinator. “We’re giving young people the opportunity to gain unique entrepreneurial and agricultural skills by co-creating an economically viable business model that gives back to the community.”