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Youth Development

Growing the Next Generation

Working with youth is a top priority for Field & Fork Network as we seek to strengthen the future of our food system. Our Urban Seeds program is a multi-faceted educational and outreach program for youth and young-adults who want to learn more about the food system and their role in it. The youth program focuses on teaching the full spectrum of our food system from seed to waste. The interactive curriculum provides participants’ hands-on learning and exposure to various actors in the food chain including farmers, business owners and as consumers themselves. Our Urban Seeds Sprouts program, for 11-17 year olds, informs participants the connection between food and healthy in order to make healthy choices. The Urban Seeds Cultivators program for young-adults, ages 17-24, focuses on training participants how to be food entrepreneurs. Participants get the opportunity to explore careers within the food system and develop work readiness and life skills. Youth that experience the Urban Seeds curriculum become accessible resources, energetic conduits of information, and a friendly reminder that fresh food is essential to everyday community life.

Establishing Sustainable Futures, Starting With Our Youth

Food Pathways is a workforce development and training program that introduces individuals to career opportunities in the food system.  The program is a priority of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan, a larger initiative that Tom Lowe, our Project Director has been spearheading in the Niagara Falls communities. The program was developed in 2021 to address gaps that exist between the workforce and food system employers in Niagara County.

Through a partnership with Niagara Falls High School, students have an opportunity to enhance their education and receive professional development that will prepare them to take on important careers that help improve and sustain our local food system.

The curriculum combines inclass professional development activities such as personal branding, social intelligence, team building, with food system experiences both in the classroom and out in the field visiting local businesses who all play a different role within the food system. 

Food Pathways kicks off again in 2023, offering 20 Niagara Falls High School seniors a $500 scholarship to participate in the 14-week program that explores career paths in the food system.

For questions or inquiries regarding the Food Pathways program in the Niagara Falls community, please contact Tom Lowe

Interested in hearing more about Food Pathways?

Contact Tom Lowe
Interested in bringing a youth program to your organization or school?