About FARMS Leadership
The FARMS (Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability) Leadership Program serves 230+ youth from 30 high schools in thirteen California counties. Each student spends an average 35 hours in the field engaging in hands-on experiences at farms, wildlife areas, agriculture related businesses, colleges and universities. We currently run programs at ten sites:
- North State (Sutter, Yuba and Colusa County)
- Sacramento Valley (Sacramento and Yolo County)
- San Joaquin
- Central Valley East Track 1
- Central Valley East Track 2
- Central Valley West Track 1
- Central Valley West Track 2
- Monterey/Santa Cruz
- Orange County
- Kern County
- FARMS Advanced
The FARMS Leadership Program provides innovative, hands-on experiences to urban, suburban and rural youth at working farms, agri-businesses and universities. Participants develop leadership skills and learn about agriculture practices that contribute to a healthier ecosystem, and connect to agricultural, environmental, and food system careers.
The core elements of the FARMS Leadership Program:
Working in small groups, students identify and complete a "Community Action Project" based on student interest and an identified community need. Leadership and teambuilding challenges are built into each field day.
College and Career Access
Each FARMS Leadership site visits at least one college or university to learn about college majors, academics, campus life, and career choices available in Agriculture, Environmental Science and related fields.
Students begin to understand the relationship between agriculture and the environment by engaging in hands-on projects, which demonstrate on-farm practices that conserve and help to renew natural resources. They learn about innovative ways farmers are adapting practices to reduce environmental impacts of farming, maintain the viability of family farms and feed an increasing population.
Meals are provided to students to model healthy food choices, expose students to fresh food and how to prepare it. Activities support student learning about nutrition, cooking and daily food choices.
Results of the FARMS Leadership Alumni Survey:
56% have a career involving agricultural or environmental sciences.
92% said that the FARMS Program changed their attitudes about food and agriculture.
85% have been involved with community/volunteer work.
92% say they learned to be open to new experiences.
89% are more comfortable interacting with new people.
88% are better when working as a team.