The Times They Are A-Changin

Support farm-based social justice education in Tompkins County

A fundraising campaign for Youth Farm Project

Support our farm-based education and infrastructure at the Youth Farm Project as we adapt and grow in a changing political and ecological climate.

This spring, the farm’s infrastructure was shaken as heavy winds ripped a large steel production greenhouse out of the ground and deposited it on an adjacent field over 300 feet away. In the same month, we lost access to water when the well system pump malfunctioned due to overworking during one of the worst droughts in 15 years.

The young people we work with understand the connection between the climate, the farm, the policy environment, and community impact, and they're involved in assessing and solving these problems as they arise. A group of teens from Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS) rebuilt the greenhouse in its entirety this spring!

In the severe drought conditions and other drastic weather patterns we will continue to experience as climate change unfolds, access to water is fundamental.

At its core, the Youth Farm is about growing healthy, aware, and empowered kids who will build the equitable, sustainable food communities of the future.

Last year over:

  • 50 teens farmed and participated in our summer program
  • 1600 ICSD elementary students ate fresh classroom snacks weekly  
  • 600 students visited our farm for field trips
  • 9000 lbs of produce sustainably grown

Teens develop leadership, teamwork, and agency during summer employment. Young kids discover chickens and compost and make salad on school field trips. Our produce finds its way to classroomscafeterias, and the plates of families who otherwise face barriers to affordable, dignified use of healthful, community grown and led food sources.

The key is making connections between kids’ hands in the soil, food on their plates, and systems of inequity. These youth will grow to tackle issues of racism, climate change, hunger, and economic justice, all of which are bound up in our food system.

About the Organization

The Youth Farm Project is dedicated to healing our food system through an anti-racism organizing lens by bringing together youth from diverse backgrounds to explore environmental and social injustice within the food system.

We believe that through critical thinking and openly learning about these issues, we can begin the healing of our food system, the earth, and ourselves. By developing leadership and communication skills with young people and having them participate in all aspects of food production and farming – from planting to harvesting and distributing, we can increase our unity and hope for positive change in our community and beyond.