What is your position with Rogue Valley Farm to School and what does it involve?
I am the program manager. I coordinate all aspects of our Harvest Meal program. The Harvest Meal field trips are a chance for classes to visit one of our five farm sites, where they harvest, cook and enjoy a farm fresh meal together as well as engage in other farm and nutrition related activities. My position involves signing up and coordinating with the teachers, making sure there are staff and volunteers that are trained and prepared for all field trips and working with the farmers and farm site needs.
What is your favorite part of working with RVF2S?
I love being out at the farm sites with the kids, seeing them engaged and excited. I also really enjoy building community connections through RVF2S. We help bring students and teachers, our staff and volunteers, the farmers, the land and local food together.
Are there particular things that make you feel like you are really making a difference for children and their families?
We work hard to create an experience on the farm where students are relaxed and happy and open. When I see students in that mode, I know that they will have a positive memory of the Harvest Meal field trip. That experience will percolate and bubble up as knowledge or a feeling somewhere down the road.
You work with volunteers regularly - what are examples of activities that volunteers get to do?
Volunteers make the Harvest Meals possible. They work in the kitchen station, helping the students and staff prepare the meal. We also rely on volunteers to lead our lessons. It might be playing a plant part game, dissecting a seed, investigating compost critters or one of our other activities.
What would you recommend to someone wanting to work in the field?
Finding a job in farm education takes some time and creativity. Volunteering, doing internships and working part time and/or seasonal jobs is part of this field. You may not make a lot of money, but it will be rewarding in other ways.
If you would like to join Rogue Valley Farm to School as a volunteer contact us via the volunteer page.