The Fauquier Education Farm exists to promote agriculture and agriculture-related education through best method demonstrations, classroom instruction, on-farm workshops, and hands-on learning. The farm supports the community by contributing all of its fresh produce to local food banks and by providing richly rewarding volunteer opportunities.
We recognize that there is a hunger for agriculture education in our community. People want to know how to grow vegetables at their homes or farms and are eager to learn by direct involvement, coming to the farm to get their hands dirty and see first-hand what farming is about. Our community also sees an important need to engage their children in learning about farming, creating a learning experience that is both fun and meaningful for the next generation.
A great many of the people who take our classes and come to our workshops are actively building on-farm businesses of their own. They welcome this outdoor lab experience as a means to broaden their farming skills and deepen their understanding of good resource stewardship. Through collaborations with our land grant universities and agriculture and conservation agencies and non-profits the Education Farm can help expose these new farmers to meaningful information that they can track from planting to harvest and even become directly involved in through our volunteer opportunities.
Our volunteer experience is a key element of our success. Just as there is a hunger for agriculture education, there is also a hunger for civic engagement. Our volunteers are often driving much more than hour to support our efforts by freely giving of themselves. Yes, they are learning about farming, but most are motivated by a desire to support our donations of vegetables to food banks. And just as they are motivated to expose their children to how food is grown, they also want to instill in their children that freely giving of themselves to help someone else, is a rewarding experience and way of life.
Through our collaborations with the food banks in the region the Fauquier Education Farm has helped make a significant impact in the lives of many thousands of people. The addition of large quantities of fresh produce to the offerings at these food banks helps to ensure that the food bank clients are not just surviving but are able to thrive. The health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables is significant. And if growing the produce is helping to grow our community, then everybody wins.
In 2020 we were able to step up our production to meet the increased need in our region due to the Covid related shut downs. The Education Farm was able to donate 71,428 lbs of fresh produce to the area food banks. Just think of what we can do in 2021 with your support!