Educators and the public are invited to discover new and innovative ways to learn about the region’s culture, history, and future at Farms & Food: Teaching the Hudson Valley from the Ground Up, a conference to be held July 29-31 at the Henry A. Wallace Education and Visitors Center on the grounds of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home and Presidential Library in Hyde Park.
The keynote address, “Educating our Next Generation to Eat with Consciousness,” features Pam Koch, associate professor of nutrition education and executive director, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, & Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition, Koch will lead a workshop, “Empowered Eaters: Making Connections through Food and Nutrition Education.” To see Koch cooking with her own children, visit Kids Cook Monday.
Other featured presentations include:
- Farming in the Valley Today, a panel with farmers from Dutch Hollow Farm (Rensselaer County), the Rockland Farm Alliance, Hearty Roots Community Farm (Columbia County), the National Young Farmers Coalition, Rondout Valley Growers, and Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corp.
- Climate Change and Agriculture: No Longer Business as Usual – Local to Global featuring Mike Hoffmann, associate dean, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and director, Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University.
More than 15 workshops will be offered. For instance: “Breaking Old Ground: A History of Hudson Valley Agriculture” with Kelli Huggins, education coordinator, Chemung County Historical Society; “Growing Curriculum: Creating School Gardens,” featuring representatives from New Paltz High School, Lake Avenue Elementary School Garden (Saratoga), and JFK Magnet School (Port Chester); “Teaching Food Equality” with Susan Grove, Poughkeepsie Plenty Food Coalition; and “What do animals need to stay alive? FOOD!,” featuring environmental educator Rebecca Houser, Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
On the second day of the institute, participants will choose one of four in-depth field experiences
incorporating tours, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on activities to explore a
specific aspect of food or farming in the Hudson Valley:
• Cropsey Community Farm – get an introduction to the farm and the intersection of
suburbia and agriculture and savor a food truck lunch. New City, Rockland County.
• Food Arts in Albany – take a cooking class with chef and blogger, Deanna Fox,
followed by sketching and instruction with Carol Coogan, artist and illustrator.
• Our Ecosystem, Our Health: Exploring School and Community Gardens – visit
urban gardens at schools and neighborhoods in Poughkeepsie and get ideas for starting,
planning, and maintaining your own garden.
• The Scoop on Dirt: Soil, Farming, and History – learn about the complexities of
farming past and present. Roxbury Farm and Martin Van Buren National Historic Site,
Kinderhook, Columbia County.
While Teaching the Hudson Valley from the Ground Up was developed for K-12 teachers and
informal educators, anyone interested in the subject matter is encouraged to participate. For a
detailed schedule and more information, visit THV’s website. To get first choice of field
experiences participants are urged to register immediately. Registration is $115 for all three days,
$80 for two days, and $40 for a single day for those who register by July 18. There is a
supplemental charge for some field experiences. Register here.
About THV Launched in 2003, Teaching the Hudson Valley (THV) helps educators discover,
appreciate, and share the region’s natural, historic, and cultural treasures with children and youth.
THV fosters collaboration among schools, museums, parks, historic sites, art galleries, libraries,
and other physical resources and promotes the value of place-based learning.
THV’s growing collection of free K-12 lesson plans uses significant Valley sites to teach
virtually all subjects. Our grant programs have enabled tens of thousands of students to visit
significant places in our region and make it easier for teachers to get students out of the
classroom and into the community. And, our summer institute and other programs offer rare
opportunities for school and informal educators to meet each other and exchange ideas.
Photo courtesy Woodstock Day School.