Meet Molly Schintler  –  Farm to School Coordinator at Field to FamilyMolly has been working on connecting elementary school students to our local food systems through a program called Farmer Fair – an interactive, in-school field trip that teaches agriculture, nutrition, and food systems. She worked with a group of students this year to shake up the Farmer Fair and add an interactive relay race.

“My role at Field to Family is to connect kids to local healthy food through connecting schools to community organizations and food systems. A part of our farm to school programming is Farmer Fairs, where we bring parts of farms, food systems, and nutrition education to schools to connect students to Local Foods in their standard School environment. In the past, Farmer Fairs have consisted of bringing in a guest farmer, chef, and composting expert, but we noticed that it was missing a hands-on component. When I first started working with the students, I explained the concept of the Farmer Fair and what it’s looked like over the last few years and 20+ iterations, and asked ‘how can we shake things up?’ I was really blown away by their creativity. As somebody who’s a decade and a half older than them, I forget what it’s like to be in high school. We landed on the idea of a farmer relay race that was interactive. Kids would replicate types of activities a farmer might do in a day like milking a cow, gathering eggs, and digging up vegetables. They did a great job of coming up with an idea, dreaming big, and truly following through on it. And even though that idea was a really big idea, they rose to the occasion. I think so often we don’t involve students in the community in a meaningful way. I’m hopeful that BIG is helping those students build roots in our community; hoping they’ll see that they can stay in the area and be an impactful part of the community.”

You can help us connect to the community, just like Molly.  Email our strategic partner development team to learn how you can create impact through working with Iowa BIG.  Email Amanda Zhorne – azhorne@iowabig.org – or Laura Seyfer – lseyfer@iowabig.org.