Nonprofits partner for students

07/19/2012

This week Marin Organic and Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) announced a new partnership aimed at expanding a farm-based educational program for Bay Area public and independent schools. The program, called Farm Field Studies, has ran for over a decade in partnerships with various organizations. Marin Organic says it hopes to lead and manage the program as a part of its strategic focus on public education about sustainable foods. “In a society where children are increasingly detached from the origins of their food and obesity and diabetes are on the rise, it is critical that we engage and educate our youth,” Stacey Smith, who has served as Marin Organic’s interim executive director since the end of May, said. “By connecting students to farms and farmers, we can help build awareness and inspire a preference for locally grown, nutritious food that benefits their health and the environment.” Constance Washburn, the former education director at MALT who had a significant hand in the creation of the program years ago, has joined Marin Organic as its interim director of education, and will lead the new program. Marin Organic board president and Cowgirl Creamery co-founder Peggy Smith said she hopes a collaboration like this will offer a deeper impact to students, focusing on each organization’s complementary strengths. “Never before has there been such a willingness to share resources and support one another’s work in Marin’s agricultural community,” she said. “Partnerships like these really are a model for counties across the nation.”