Most of the land in our area belongs to family farmers who, in the absence of guidance and incentives, are unable to adopt sound and sustainable conservation practices. Local government lacks the resources to provide leadership, soils are exhausted, water resources are stressed, and the forest is cleared. Due to lack of opportunity many local youth no longer see a future for themselves, frequently dropping out of school and drifting to the towns to take unskilled and often unsatisfying jobs.
The program aims to equip groups of students to become environmental leaders in their community. We do this by focusing on three things: critical thinking, science-based learning and practical field experience.This cross-pollination of ideas between students and farmers is highly beneficial to both groups, as the enthusiasm and scientific discoveries of youth plus the practical experience of the farmers creates a dynamic new understanding of how we can all play a role in caring for our planet.
Young people everywhere complain of not having enough to do - yet when they are involved in programs that inspire them and stimulate their creativity they can become the change makers of the community! As their skills and confidence increase, our EcoLeaders will become ever more excited about encouraging and working with 1000 farm families in adopting better land management practices to increase productivity, enhance sustainability, and protect the forests, soils and water that benefit us all.
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