The farming education component of Olney Friends School is featured in the Yes! magazine in an article just released.

The article written by Mary Ann Lieser, a freelance writer and used bookseller from Wooster, touts the school as "the high schoo0l where learning to farm is a graduation requirement".

Olney, Liesner notes is "the nation’s first USDA-certified organic campus" that "integrates farm work and food production into every aspect of student life", the school having achieved this distinction three years ago.

During the past decade, the school has integrated farm work and food production into every aspect of student life, from the barn to the kitchen to the classroom, the article notes.

The food from the farms animals, fields and gardens are consumed by the students throughout the school year.

The article quotes Don Guindon, farm manager, and the perspectives of several of the students, many of whom grew up in urban environments far from the actual sources of the food they consume.

Olney has 52 beef cattle, eight goats, 150 laying hens, and as many as 800 fryer chickens. The farm garden and orchards provide a "variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs."

Bee hives were added this past year.

Guindon said the goal of the program is not to necessarily produce farmers. "Our goal is well-rounded citizens who are smart consumers with social awareness. The farm is a great place to absorb lessons in the complexity of sustainable systems," Guindon notes.

More information on Olney and the school’s unique programs may be found at http://olneyfriends.org/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/olneyfriends/

Yes! Media is a nonprofit, independent publisher of solutions journalism headquartered in Bainbridge Island, Washington.