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Volunteers Create Program for Regenerative and Organic Agriculture at the High School and Collegiate Level
As the Jamaican Sustainable Farm Enterprise Program (JSFEP) and The Source Farm Foundation (SFF) has been working with its educational partners and hosts for this volunteer assignment, The College of Agriculture, Science, and Education (CASE) and St. Thomas Technical High School (STTHS), it has become apparent that one of the barriers to regenerative and organic agriculture (ROA) education in Jamaica is the lack of effective model programs and curriculums at the high school and college level. To begin addressing this need in what we hope will be a multiple trip volunteer assignment, JSFEP brought in Chip Hope, from May 17-24, 2015 to do an initial program assessment with suggestions for program development and site development options.
Chip is the Department head for Engineering and teaches horticulture/sustainable agriculture at Western Piedmont Community College, Morganton, North Carolina. He is a widely respected and experienced educational program builder and teacher at the community college and university level in western North Carolina. Chip gave presentations and consulted with school faculty and administration at both CASE and STTHS. At CASE, his program inspired the college's faculty, administration, and CASE's President, The Rev. Dr. Nichols, to agree to support the development of an initial Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Class to be team taught by the faculty in Fall semester, 2015, as an initial offering to build a program around over time.
Chip's STTHS consult was also very productive, with another JSFEP volunteer, Mario Yanez, following up on Chips suggestion to engage in a Permaculture based re-design of the high school's property for long term sustainability. Chip also supported the development of a senior honors program, the Solutionaries, to dive deeply into enacting the design recommendations.