Valerie Toupin-Dube McGill U-Macdonald campus, Canada
The Farm to School program at Macdonald Campus of McGill University aims to provide educational resources and training on global agro-food systems to communities with the goal of increasing awareness and understanding of sustainable food and healthy eating lifestyles, thus promoting global food security. Our goal is to offer education about food, agronomy and environment to young students from the island of Montreal and the surrounding areas. We organize workshops on our campus and at schools. We also supply educational modules to teachers so that they can use them in their classrooms. The modules are built following the guidelines set out by the Quebec Ministry of Education. This way, they can easily be used in class. The Macdonald Campus Farm is used as a collective resource to enrich individual's knowledge of the farm to plate voyage.
Our team consists of five complimentary and dynamic students from the faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of McGill University. The team leader, Valérie, is currently majoring in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Her main tasks are to coordinate the development of educational modules which are used in our program all while collaborating with surrounding schools. Rebecca also studies Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and deals with internal communications as well as the advertisement of the Plate to Farm camp. Mathieu, studying in Agricultural Economics, is in charge of all exterior communications with Canadian partners and organizations. Naomi, with a specialty in Animal Science, promotes our program online and to the media. Our final member, Anne, is majoring in Food Science. She develops educational modules on food topics and organizes module schedules for them to be taught at the Plate to Farm day camp offered at the Macdonald Campus Farm. The long-term objective is to use our Farm to School education model at the Macdonald Campus Farm in order to create an "eat local, think global" culture change. The change in food habits comes from a proper understanding of the agro-food system. Our educators, along with their Canadian partners, apply their expertise in the Farm to School model in our community to replicate it to other farms around the world.