Local Farm Visit Provides Experiential Learning Experience
Collegiate students in Rhiannon Boyd’s Senior Seminar: Food in America and Rebecca Hottman’s AP Environmental Science classes visited PolyFace Farms in Swoope, Virginia, this week.
The farm visit provided a case study of sustainable alternatives to the conventional food system as well as a chance to evaluate the contrasting issues between sustainable and conventional food production.
The trip allowed students to see what's possible for the future in a fully experiential manner and went beyond the simple learning of facts and information, says Mrs. Boyd.
“A day on the mountain involves all the senses: smelling the fresh mountain air, feeling the rain on your nose, touching pigs and broiler chicks, hearing the cows tell you to leave their calves some space and seeing the interconnectedness of each species with the earth,” she said.
Throughout the day, discussion topics seamlessly move from one to the next.
“In minutes, we go from conversations about soil quality to exothermic reactions, to vertical integration, the economics of land management decisions and USDA regulations,” she said. “There is no better way to learn.”