Almost everything we eat, wear, or use comes from a plant or animal on a farm, but we are losing the knowledge of how to grow food, work on farms, and cook with whole ingredients. Americans’ physical separation from farms, declining direct involvement in farming, and dependence on consolidated national and global food supply chains sets up the next generation of Vermonters to lack knowledge and experience for self-reliance in this changing world, especially given climate change and global health pandemics. For Vermonters to be knowledgeable local food consumers and agricultural advocates, they need food and farm experiences throughout their lives. Starting with the earliest learners, the populace needs to be connected to the land and Vermont farmers, taught basic knowledge and skills in food and farming, shown the connection to other issues including climate and water, and develop work ethics and transferable skills.
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