Farm Corps

Racine Area Youth Farm Corps - Eco-Justice Center, Inc.

As we strive to serve as a catalyst for regional transformation, we recognize that food is one area of need: eight percent of Racine County (mostly within the city of Racine) is considered a food desert, which means residents have inadequate access to affordable fresh food. We know that what we eat and where it comes from has profound ramifications. The Racine Area Youth Farm Corps addresses these issues of food justice, hunger, and sustainability in our community.

Youth Transferring Crops - Racine Area Youth Farm Corps

Modeled after the successful Prairie Farm Corps in Grayslake, IL, Racine Area Youth Farm Corps employs a crew of high school students led by college-aged crew leaders to work on the farm in the summer season. The Farm Corps students learn the growing process from seed to harvest. Once the produce is out of the field, they prepare and market the organic produce. During the harvest season, the students prepare snacks and lunch time meals using the food they grow, working in partnership with FoodWIse.

The Eco-Justice Center provides a unique setting to interact with animals on the farm who play a role in our food systems, such as the Center's chickens and bees. In addition, our summer camps (serving children ages 6–14) run concurrently with the Farm Corps program, allowing the Farm Corps students to demonstrate leadership and teach the younger children about organic farming practices. We feel that young people teaching other young people sends a powerful message to all of our participants.

Youth Displaying Homegrown Crops - Racine Area Youth Farm Corps

Farm Corps produce is made available in areas deemed to be food deserts and the students will offer cooking demonstrations at local community centers. As the students learn valuable leadership, social, and job skills they will in turn help educate the community about organic farming, sustainability, and equity in our food system.