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VALUES

Building for the Future
FERN believes in supporting local food systems by educating the next generation of farmers. We believe in providing information to others about the importance of securing healthy, fresh, local food sources to insure a continuous supply of food in their region by promoting farming as a vocation and lifestyle. FERN values the dissemination of information to those that are interested in learning any and all aspects of farming as a vocation from soil building, to animal husbandry, to farm business management.

Land Stewardship
We believe in working in harmony with the cycles of nature and the environment. We respect the land, its animals – both domesticated and wild, and its people. We believe in fostering a personal connection with the natural components of farm landscapes and the surrounding community. In furthering the value, FERN believes in educating others in sustainable and ecological farming practices such as polyculture farming, diversification in farming, resource conservation and the humane treatment of animals.

Preservation of Farmland and Farming Traditions
We believe the preservation of a region’s agricultural land is essential to a community’s longevity and quality of life. We value farming as a lifestyle and support agriculture as a vocation in an effort to preserve a region’s tradition of food production. In supporting farmers as teachers, we strive to represent small-scale farming as a viable career.

Integrity in Programs & Partners
We believe that farms must be sustainable not only in their ecological practices, but also in their economic practices. We believe farmers deserve fair compensation for their goods and services. We believe it is necessary for farms to be honest and transparent with customers and community members in regards to their farming practices and business ethics. As farmers and educators, we do not promote specific products or services, nor are we influenced by private interest entities.  Our farming curricula are based on our personal experiences as farmers and educators, and stewards of the land.

Inclusive Education
We believe that everyone has a right to education, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, language, gender, age, socioeconomics, physical challenges, sexual orientation or any other difference. We embrace inclusion and access regardless of differences in background or life experience. In addition, we believe that all people have the right to healthy food and a healthful lifestyle. We believe in valuing each other as learners and as teachers, and in providing both youth and adults with the opportunity to develop important food production skills.