Yesterday, I went to McNeil High School, at the request of their fantastic librarians, Amelia Bligh and Laura Glaser, to speak with students about the Vital Farms method of pasture-based farming.
A little background: 200 copies of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan had recently been handed out to students to read and share, and Ms. Bligh reached out to us to make their conversation a little more local for the students.
I shared some basic facts about our pasture-raised organic farm methods vs. the industrial, factory farm model, as well as loads of photos from our 14 family farms. The students had quite a few questions. Out of 3 groups of more than 75 students each, a handful of students said they cook at home. Many of them also took coupons to buy our eggs with their families to see if they could see and taste a difference.
A kind student named Joseph even showed the librarians and I the school greenhouse (full of edible starter plants; they sell them for 50 cents each at school sales) and their FFA (Future Farmers of America) stock yard. (The majority of the animals had been sold this year, but 3 goats were still there!) I had no idea McNeil had such an extensive background in farming and agriculture.
Definitely a charming experience; at Vital Farms, we believe that education on the MAJOR differences between industrial farming and pasture-based farming is the real key in changing how people think about (and buy) their food. Who better to make this point to than teens, who still have lots of time to break bad eating habits and create new, sustainable and healthy food choices. We will do whatever it takes to bring this message home!
Thanks for the invitation Amelia and Laura! I had a blast.