SAAFON is not only addressing sustainable agricultural issues that affect the small and limited resource farmer
directly, we are also looking at the communities and regions in which they live.
SAAFON's Youth In Agriculture Camps Project is the organization's program component designed to educate youth between the ages of 5 - 18 from both the rural and urban communities on the importance of good eating practices and how these practices can reduce exposure
to chronic and deadly health conditions. SAAFON's first Youth in Agricultural Camp was held on October 4, 2008 on the Marshview Community Organic Farm - Young Farmers of the Low Country, St. Helena, S.C. (see Featured Farmers)
The first camp was conducted in partnership with YFACE (Youth For A Cleaner Environment). YFACE, an urban youth organization, educates and empowers youth on how they can impact their environment. Through the organization's Healthy Kids First Project, YFACE as incorporated farm visits and nutritional educational sessions.
Fifteen youth and five adults participated in a day long planting and clearing of the Marshview Organic Farm and a tour of the historic
Penn Center Museum. The museum highlights the contributions by African-American farmers and educators to the agricultural industry.
The nutritional education component for the day "Juvenile Diabetes - Eat Right to Prevent" was demonstrated through a lunch with a menu that showcased what foods would best help in the prevention of the disease.
Goals For The Camps Are:
- To provide educational information on nutrition and how good nutrition can reduce the impact of diseases such as obesity, juvenile diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer.
- To increase children's understanding of the origin of their food and increase their physical activity level by having them participate in how a farm is operated.
- To educate the youth attending the camp on the importance of a local community food system and
how this system can improve their families health and environment.
One or two day sessions located on three SAAFON farms.
- Marshview Community Organic Farm, St. Helena, SC
- Huckleberry Hill Farm, Talledaga, Ala
- Dogwood Farm and Nursery, Maple Hill, NC
Each farm will conduct two camp sessions per year. Each camp session will focus on a
chronic disease and how nutrition can be a factor in the prevention of the disease.