Richmond-Area Farmer Speaks to Collegiate Students About Nutrition

In honor of nutrition month, Collegiate School invited Joel Salatin, a farmer whose family owns and runs Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, to campus today to speak to Middle and Upper School students.
Polyface Farm, open to the public year-round, grows and sells pastured livestock and poultry to individuals and Richmond-area stores. The farm is committed to raising its livestock in ways that are best for the environment, best for the animals (free ranging) and best nutritionally for the consumer.

Mr. Salatin’s unique farming methods and commitment to ideals other than profits have made Polyface Farm a leader in the area of responsibly raised livestock. Mr. Salatin speaks all over the world about how his family farms and why they choose to farm this way.

He spoke to Middle School students about the importance of respecting the bacteria that live within the soil and their connection to food, nutrition and people.  

“Most of us eat without thinking,” he said. “I want you to leave here and the next time someone says, ‘Where are we going to eat?’ think, OK, where did they respect life so I can respect my life. You can be a catalyst to make better food choice decisions.”

Later in the morning, Mr. Salatin spoke with 6th Graders, who are reading Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food. In the afternoon, two Upper School forums focusing on sustainability — Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food and Brand This — were held.

Middle School PE teacher Jenny Lindner facilitated Mr. Salatin’s visit. She hopes his talks have informed students about nutrition, sustainability and ethics.

“Not everyone has access to fresh foods,” Ms. Lindner said. “Joel is a pioneer in that he shows how you can create food and sell it to people for a fair price.”

Other efforts at Collegiate taking place around nutrition this month include a video created by Middle School students, as well as signage and decorations in Centennial Hall and McFall Hall, the School’s two cafeterias, to remind students to make healthy choices to fuel healthy bodies.